Viterbi lab shoots to send rocket into space


first_imgWarren Poh | Daily TrojanRocket man · Neil Tewksbury, a freshman majoring in mechanical engineering, works on the nose cone of a rocket at the Viterbi lab.The Rocket Propulsion Laboratory of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering allows students of all experience levels to participate in design teams where they complete projects for competitions.Their ultimate goal, though, is to create the first university-built rocket to go to space.Each year, the team aims to make improvements on their rocket from previous years to increase its distance and height. “Our goal, to be the first university to go to space, is an ambitious goal. It’s a feat that takes faithful people,” Chief Composite Engineer Roberto Lopez said, in an email to the Daily Trojan. “The kind of people rocket lab attracts are internally motivated and excited about going to space.”Members of RPL can work with a number of sub-teams that specialize in order to work more efficiently. Chief Propulsion Engineer Damian Balla co-heads the propulsion team, whose main function is to design and build motors. Members in that sub-team focus on improving the motors to gain more altitude by collecting data on the performance of the propellant.Over the remaining semester, Balla and his team will find ways to improve the propellant. “We have several performance improvements to make to the propellant, which include making denser propellant that burns longer and has a different ‘thrust profile’ which allows us to gain massive amounts of performance,” Balla said in an email to the Daily Trojan.Last semester, RPL came in with the goal of testing their newest rocket, Fathom II, on the ground and in the air successfully in September. The plan proved too ambitious when the front end of the rocket burned through during static firing. “This made us push back our launch date until we had a working case design,” Lopez said. “After redesigning, we came back a month later only to have the same thing happen on the aft end of the vehicle.”While the first two tests were demoralized, Balla said that they were able to make progress with new member training and building hardware. Despite these setbacks, the team was able to regroup by November and attempt a third test. This time, the case they tested did not burn through. “With this new qualified design, we have built another case and attached fins to it getting ready for our much deserved flight March 4,” Lopez said.Balla said that the ability for RPL to press on in spite of hardships is emblematic of USC. “The ‘Fight On’ motto is extremely important for us because after all, it is rocket science, and it’s extremely difficult,” Balla said. “Because we continue to make improvements and iterate our designs at a rapid pace, we are able to truly ‘Fight On’ and achieve amazing things.”Lopez also believes it is the Trojan spirit that makes it possible for RPL to continue to make progress. “RPL produces engineers that are skillful and ambitious like Trojans. At RPL, we like to do things ourselves,” Lopez said. “We are more than just designers. We are builders. We machine all the metallic components on our manual mill and lathes. From this attitude, we gain valuable hands-on skills that help us design better components.”last_img read more

Hilton Pattaya is delighted to announce that the e


first_imgHilton Pattaya is delighted to announce that the eforea spa has been named Asia’s Best Luxury Destination Spa and Thailand’s Best Luxury Hotel Spa at the 2015 World Luxury Spa Awards. The awards set benchmarks in quality, innovation and service for spas around the globe and put the spotlight on spas representing only the finest standards.“We truly appreciate our spa guests that voted for eforea spa. We aim to provide indulgent experiences for all spa-goers and we will continue striving to raise the bar. This award underscores our commitment to offer guests an exclusive retreat in the heart of Pattaya City that is backed by a high level of service excellence,” said Rudolf Troestler, general manager, Hilton Pattaya.The World Luxury Spa Awards are inclusive of 22 spa categories and recognized on the global front by the public and media at large, universally acknowledged as the world’s leading awards initiative for luxury spas.The winners and finalists of World Luxury Spa Awards were selected by means of an annual online voting process by thousands of spa guests worldwide. Thousands of votes came in from across the globe, and as a result, key brands and independent spas were rewarded for their extraordinary efforts.eforea spa at Hilton Pattaya, is an 880sqm spa featuring seven treatment areas – all of which include integrated music and aroma diffusing systems that simultaneously diffuse signature scents throughout the room while playing soothing music.www.eforeaspa.com11 June 2015last_img read more