UC Baerocats: Ready to Launch at NASA

By:     Staci Jones
Date:  April 10, 2017

The new CEAS spacecraft senior design team, the UC Baerocats, are launching onto the scene with rave reviews from their NASA Critical Design Review.

The UC Baerocats pose with their rocket.

The UC Baerocats pose with their rocket in front of the Neil Armstrong Exhibit in Rhodes.

The University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) Baerocats have received great feedback from NASA in regards to their Critical Design Review.

Baerocats is the Spacecraft senior design team comprised of 20 students. The team will represent the University of Cincinnati in the NASA Student Launch competition. They will compete against 42  student teams during the competition.

 The focus for the competition is designing, building, testing, and launching a rocket. The rocket is expected to go one mile high and deploy a custom-made payload that will image-detect and differentiate three ground targets. The rocket is expected to upright itself upon landing.

Before attending the NASA Student Launch competition later this year, the team submitted its design for the NASA Critical Design Review. During this part of the design process, design and groundwork must be approved in order to move forward.

“If they are not satisfied with how safe and sound our work is, we are not permitted to move forward,” said team lead, Chirau Patel.

Chirau believes that teamwork is what led to the positive feedback from NASA so far.

“We have so many talented and gifted individuals on the team, they change the definition of the word hardworking,” said Chirau, “If you could peer in and see the countless hours they’ve put in, the all-nighters they’ve pulled to have quality work, you would see these are people who will change the world.”   

NASA staff, Ian Bryant, gave feedback such as “We don’t really have any questions for you because you answered any questions I could have, which I think is a testament to your hard work.”

UC Baerocat's rocket

Ryan Connelly of NASA stated, "I have your website and all your accounts on social media which is very impressive. You’re doing a really good job there and we’re keeping an eye on you guys."

"I was trying to think of how to describe your project in my mind and the three things I would describe your team as is prepared, organized, and you’ve thought this out well. I think you guys are doing great work and I am fairly impressed with what you’ve done," said NASA Staff member, Fred Kepner.

The Baerocats would like to wish a thank you to their team mentors: Professor Kelly Cohen and Tim Arnett, as well as members of the CEAS Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, including; Professor Paul Orkwis, Professor Curtis Fox, Ms. Teresa Meyer, and Ms. Shelly Tipton.

They would also like to thank their sponsors: UC, CEAS, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS), the Ohio Space Grant Consortium (OSGC), Stress Engineering Services, Inc., Jolly Logic, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Tech Power, Belcan, and Don Pablos.

Additionally, the Baerocats would like to send a special thank you to Mr. Ralph Spitzen, UC CEAS aerospace engineering ’74 and MBA ’76 alumnus.

Be sure to follow the UC CEAS Baerocats on Facebook and Twitter!