Monday, 11 January 2021

2021 progress update

 Well, what a last few months it has been. If you had told us about the state that the world and the country would be in now 5 months ago we would never have believed you. First of all I would like to apologise for our rather longer than anticipated absence from the blog and our other social media accounts. I promise, we have been working behind the scenes the whole time but have been struggling to find material that we felt was worthy of sharing with you all. With it being 2021 now, I have made a personal resolution to work harder to keep updating our platforms with our progress because I know there are people out there who would find it beneficial, now more than ever, to see how we have tried to approach and overcome all of the problems that 2020 had thrown at us. I hope this post will serve to fill the gap of the last few months and catch you all up to date on what we have been up to.

The first big bit of very exciting news is that our SAC team were successful in their application to take part in the 2021 Spaceport America Cup Competition! Woohoooo! πŸ™Œ Firstly, a massive thank you to all our team members who have been putting their own time and effort into making sure our application was as professional and organised as it could be. Now the real hard work begins.

We had a meeting last week to loosely throw out some plans and ideas for how we want to progress moving towards the competition date of June 22. We now have a full 3D model of the rocket and its components, our next steps will be to effectively make a shopping list of all of the parts we wish to purchase and begin more detailed budgeting plans to make sure we can afford all of our constituent parts. 

With regards to funding, we are looking at expanding our investors. We are hoping to send out more marketing emails in the next couple of weeks but we are aware that given the global economic situation at the moment we would be incredibly lucky to receive any more funding no matter how small. That being said, if I can be cheeky and say, if anyone reading this would love to be involved in our project and help us out with funding, or knows of someone or a company that might be interested please get in touch with us!

With regards to manufacturing the rocket, given the current UK government restrictions on gatherings we are currently planning to delegate the building of individual components of the rocket to a few individuals in our group. We will then organise group calls with the separate teams to provide virtual assistance to the building of the components.

It is unlikely that we will be able to test the rocket in its entirety before the actual competition date. So we are currently operating on the principle that we will get the individual components working separately with the aim that if needs be we can just bring all the components together in America and pray that they work as one unit!

This being said, we are incredibly grateful to have reached even this point in our journey. The fact that we will be able to be physically present at the competition in America is all we could have wished for especially in these unprecedented times. So, if our rocket doesn't work or explodes without even getting off the ground that's absolutely fine! When we established this group it was about getting people with shared interests together to work on creating something. Obviously we want it to work but given the amount of new and interesting situations we have overcome to get to this point the fact we will have something to show for it is all we could have ever asked for.

We want this group to outlast our individual time at university. Therefore, we see our first entry into the Spaceport America Cup as the first stepping stone on this groups much longer and prosperous lifetime! (By saying this we are effectively giving ourselves a get out of jail card, because if our rocket is an utter failure we hope it will inspire others to improve upon our work and take the group to newer heights!- little rocket pun for you there)

In all seriousness though, we would like to take a minute to encourage anyone thinking of starting their own projects like this to take that first leap. For instance, earlier today we met with some students from Leeds University who are hoping to start up their own Rocketry society and enter the cup in 2022, it's always incredible to meet with people as ambitious and enthusiastic as us and we wish them all the best and hope that in the near future we can begin collaborations with them!

We would love it if you were to take us and Leeds as inspiration to get involved in projects near you - maybe even start your own - because, even in spite of end of world scenarios that might throw themselves at you - like, I don't know a global pandemic for example - to make new friends and create something together is one of the most rewarding things you could ever hope to achieve not just in your education but in your life!

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Headshot Socialising

So I think I have accidentally created a clickbait title for this blog post - so if you are here looking for some kind of weird shooting related social content prepare to be horrifically disappointed...😁
Last Tuesday we arranged for some members of our group to meet up to start taking headshots of them to upload on our website - being launched soon so keep those eyes peeled! As like most things we try to do the semi-formal image taking session devolved into loose madness. There were debates over yellow or white backgrounds, so we ended up taking one photo of each person with one yellow background and one white. I mean I love the enthusiasm for the yellow but it was a little pointless because as the website creator no yellow is going anywhere near my beautiful creation. (Yeah, that's right, I am vetoing the colour yellow, what you gonna do about it)
Whilst the great yellow debates were happening some beautiful pictures were being taken of our team members. I am going to post some of the most beautiful on our Facebook and Instagram page so go and check them both out! Click Me
After we managed to get thousands of stunning images a group of us headed to the hottest spot in town for cheap drinks and chips - the Charles. Had a lovely relaxed chat whilst we got to know each other. Crazy schemes have now been planned - apparently, the team mascot is going to be a bee now... I'm sure if they all arrive in America dressed as bees, we will be taken as the serious no-nonsense team of scientists that we areπŸ’ͺ
We [ well realistically I] have also decided that we would all benefit from some lovely drinking social events next term, so keep an eye on the Facebook page for details on that when I plan it - which I will.
This will probably be the last blog post for this term - because let's be real, I have a life that I want to live that doesn't involve buying bee costumes on amazon - so thanks for a really positive term guys and I am excited to see what the next one brings!

UK SEDS National Student Space Conference

On Saturday the 7th March, some dedicated members of our group embarked on their intrepid journey into the depths of Birmingham University for the National Student Space Conference. Because keen is their apparent collective middle name, they were up at 4:30 in the morning to get their 6am train. Despite such an early awakening two of the five managed to miss the train whilst the others had to sprint across York to get the bus. After they had their early morning athletic ability challenged they had a riveting day ahead of them, of endless talks and panels - the kind of thing that only true nerds would enjoy! So naturally, our group loved it - no surprises there! I got one of the boys to leave me a note on what the talks were about, but for those of you who don't know - or somehow missed the very very subtle hints - I am not a scientist so please don't get too upset because I am probably horrifically butchering the cool science content of these talks!

So, first of all, they listened to Airbus talk about black hole observation and soft robotics or something. I am assuming soft robotics doesn't mean they are designing robots that have squishy limbs but I really hope that is what that means! They then had a lovely little break - it's alright for some isn't it! But to be fair, they were working a little trying to 'Network' by talking to startups like D-Orbit and established firms like Airbus and STFC. They also managed to sniff out some possible future investors in our SAC project, so I guess it was worth trekking all the way to Brum after all! After their hard networking break, they had a lunar panel talking about things like lunar gates and possible colonisation of the moon. I have to admit, as a history student, when I hear the word colonisation I do cringe a little but I am sure it's not that kind of colonisation so it will be finneeee, right?... right? After their free lunch, they had a keynote from Kathryn Sullivan, the first American woman to spacewalk and the spacewalker of the original Hubble mission, sts-31. They then heard about the mars sample recovery mission, then a talk about women in space before they ended the day with some classy squash, wine, cheese and chatting.

Phew, managed to get all that down in the end! Making a long story short though, they seemed to have a very intellectual and productive day so we need to thank both the PhysSoc Committee for purchasing the tickets and WRIPA for funding the travel.

TLDR: 5 of our members went to Brum, spoke to some people, got some cheese, thanks PhysSoc and WRIPA for giving them the opportunity to eat said free cheese.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

First UK SEDS meeting

This evening we held a little informal meeting to see if we had any resounding interest in making a team for the UKSEDS competition. The meeting only started 15 minutes late so as long as the UKSEDS rocket isn't judged on punctuality we should be fine! In essence, however, the UKSEDS project is set to be a relaxed, open-ended, and easily accessible enterprise. Having said that, their first deadline for a design and build review is the END OF MARCH - that's this month guys - so good luck with the relaxed vibe, I have faith... The potential team members seemed incredibly keen though, and made immense progress in that meeting alone - a Facebook messenger chat has been made so now there is nothing stopping them launching a prototype tomorrow, right guys? :)
On a serious note though, if anyone missed the meeting and would like to be a part of this really cool project contact Parin Vyas for more details, as he will be the project lead on this one.
This project will be supported by Rapita Systems.

Friday, 28 February 2020

YorRobots exhibition demonstration

Our PiWars team, Sam, Yuri, and Micah have been working through the night in a bid to teach their robot how to distinguish a red colour against a plain background. Success was achieved at a measly 3:30am - come on guys, where is the commitment! They were up nice and early again this morning to prepare for their YorRobots demonstration to university and industry representatives. Despite some minor network difficulties the robot made an appearance, and they were able to demonstrate the control of the robot over different surfaces. There was a lot of interest from visitors who wanted to know more about how the robot was being designed and the types of challenges that it would have to face in the competition. With PiWars coming up in around a month the team have made absolutely incredible progress, and should be thoroughly proud of how far their little bot has come! We will keep this blog updated with all their progress and how they fare in the competition - but I have no doubt they will smash it! (But don't literally smash it please, that little bot is really cute and I have attachment issues...) Lots of love, your favourite York-based Aerospace group.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Welcome to YAR's blog

Welcome to York Aerospace & Rocketry's blog page.

We have set up this page in order to detil all of our activities, events and ongoing projects. To keep up to date with all of our news follow us on twitter, instagram, and facebook, but most importantly watch this SPACE!πŸš€

2021 progress update

 Well, what a last few months it has been. If you had told us about the state that the world and the country would be in now 5 months ago we...