NASA Engineers Visit SEDS@UCSD

A group of nine NASA engineers from Marshall Space Flight Center and Stennis Space Center visited SEDS@UCSD on March 1 and 2 for a second design review of their static fire test stand.

The group of engineers included Roger D. Simpson, program manager for the NASA Rocket Propulsion Test Program Office, as well as current SEDS mentor Jonathan Jones, who played a key role in starting the SEDS@UCSD chapter and introduced the idea for the student-created 3-D printed rocket engine project.

The double cryogenic bi-propellant liquid rocket test stand, dubbed “Colossus”, was designed from scratch by a team of three SEDS@UCSD members–John Marcozzi, Dennis Ren, and Deenah Sanchez. Colossus showcases SEDS’ innovative high-level design capabilities and ability to build to professional protocol, allowing future members to safely and reliably test rocket engines. Since NASA’s first visit and design critique in November, the Colossus team has worked hard to make improvements and is excited to share their progress with the visiting engineers.

Deenah Sanchez, SEDS@UCSD propellant systems engineer and Colossus systems engineering lead, said, “We are extremely lucky and grateful to have mentorship and design review from NASA because we have a lot of high expectations for this system and want to adhere to industry standards, specifically NASA standards.” Sanchez noted that “NASA wants to help us as much as possible, but they also try to facilitate our growth by not doing any of the design work or calculations, but rather help through design review. I think they see that the members of SEDS have the same passion and drive in aerospace technology and space exploration as NASA does.”

SEDS@UCSD is a undergraduate student-run research group that aims to create and advance the future of space exploration and development technology. With Colossus, SEDS hopes to encourage the longevity of the group by streamlining their design and testing process. Colossus will also eventually provide steady capital for the group and ensure that future SEDS members have a solid foundation with which to develop future technologies.

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