Internship Students Watch Custom Payload Launch on Blue Origin Rocket

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Internship Students Watch Custom Payload Launch on Blue Origin Rocket

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On Thursday, Bob Jones internship students watched in awe as their custom-built payload exited the atmosphere on a Blue Origin rocket. Hundreds of hours of hard work finally paid off when, on May 2nd, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket lifted off from its launch pad at 8:35 AM. A group of students from Mrs. Gaines’ internship class had collaborated for months on the project, which tested the Seebeck effect in microgravity.

The project was funded by the City of Madison following Blue Origin’s announcement of a new engine manufacturing plant in Huntsville. The City of Huntsville and Madison County each funded a payload for their respective school systems, too.

“This program is a partnership within Madison City Schools between James Clemens and Bob Jones. Last year, the James Clemens internship class, their seniors, got this project from the chamber of commerce and NanoRacks to come up with a science experiment to send to space,” stated Kyle Cash, a project leader, following the launch. “James Clemens came up with the idea of what to test and put together some basic parts that they thought we might could use. At the end of their semester, they handed the project over to Bob Jones and our engineering program,” he finished.

“There’s an Arduino nano, which is basically just a micro controller. The rocket provides power through a USB connection to the Arduino, then the Arduino powers a relay which switches the experiment’s battery pack on and off. You can get all of these parts on Amazon, it’s nothing too special,” Cash continued.

Thankfully, the NS-11 mission was a success and the students’ payload, fresh from space, will be mailed to Bob Jones in the coming weeks. From there, the team will be able to examine the test results and come to a conclusion.

“I am excited about the payload coming back soon, and want to see what the data from the flight looks like,” commented Ethan Culver, another Project Leader.

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