PSP Solids is dedicated to develop their

own solid motor sounding rocket

to compete at Spaceport America.

Developing a solid motor sounding rocket is something never done by a Purdue undergraduate team. That is why PSP Solids is trying to be the first to do so. Currently, they are working towards hot-firing a full-scale motor for use in the 2020 Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC).

About the Spaceport America Cup

The Spaceport America Cup is an annual event hosted by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) held at Spaceport America, the world’s first commercial spaceport in Las Cruces, NM. The Spaceport America Cup includes the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC), a competition attracting the brightest engineering teams from around the world.

What are we doing?

01 Developing our own Solid Motor

Currently, PSP Solids has mixed, cast, and fired a small-scale motor. They are working towards hot-firing a full-scale motor for use in the 2020 IREC.

02 Designing and Building a Deployable Quadcopter Payload

An analogue to NASA’s Dragonfly mission, PSP Solid’s drone is a surveying vehicle, able to capture images of a wide area of land, and then descend to reach the surface.

03 Implementing our own In-House Avionics

Our new avionics team team will work to develop a flight computer capable of controlling our rocket’s recovery, and provide us with flight data in the form of telemetry.


Improving Better Late Than Never

The 2020 rocket will carry an updated, improved quadcopter payload and include our new avionics system. It will fly on our 5-inch O-class motor, expecting it to be a strong competitor to the Spaceport America Cup.

PSP Solid’s second rocket, Better Late Than Never is a 6” diameter vehicle designed to carry our quadcopter payload and accept our 5” motor. During our launch at Spaceport, the commercial altimeter failure caused ejection charges to fire during ascent, causing subsequent vehicle breakup and failed recovery.

Our first rocket, A Slightly Smaller Step, is a 4” diameter vehicle used to gain experience competing at the Spaceport America Cup. A Slightly Smaller Step used a “boilerplate” payload to meet requirements. It flew to 43,000 feet on a CTI N5800 motor with a full, successful recovery.