Dawson Tso of Dublin, a student at Cedarville University School of Engineering and Computer Science in Ohio, is part of a team of students that is designing a rocket to be presented at the 2022 NASA Student Launch in April.

NASA Student Launch is a research-based, competitive exploration activity that aims to provide cost-effective research and development of rocket propulsion systems.

As part of a team of 12 students, Tso is leading work on rocket recovery and safety.

“The goal of this project is to get more people interested in rocketry and areas of STEM,” Tso said. “I view it as an excellent way to get people engaged in the science and application of rockets in tangible ways.”

The team chose the name “Forerunner” for its rocket in recognition of the the team’s first-year status and hopes for future teams. The Forerunner will be constructed out of fiberglass and have an approximate length of 8 to 10 feet, a width of 5 inches and weight of 35 pounds. It will be equipped with an altimeter and potentially include cameras on the nose cone, while the payload will contain sensors and a computer to keep track of the rocket as it flies.

The team estimates the rocket will reach about 450 mph and rise to 5,500 feet of altitude before attempting to land safely back on Earth.

During the fall semester, team members will research and begin work on the rocket’s design so they can start building in the spring semester. As they’re working on the rocket, team members will also submit a series of reports to NASA. They have already submitted one report, the initial proposal, and they have three more to write.

The 2022 NASA Student Launch will be held in April in Huntsville, Ala., over the course of four days.

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