Founded in 2016 at Loughborough University, we’re a multidisciplinary team of students dedicated to advancing space engineering and research. We run a mix of events from lecture evenings with academics from the space and astronomy field to stargazing nights, as well as our flagship engineering projects - Chimera: Hybrid Rocket Engine production, and Beacon: Experimental Hybrid Rocketry. Our alumni have also formed Conex research, a mission proposal research group, which we work with regularly to share knowledge and skills.
We’ve won UKSEDS Branch of the Year twice, as well as Best New Society at the National Society Awards (2017), and work with several sponsors to fund our projects.
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Since 2018, we’ve been developing hybrid rocket engines from scratch, known as Chimera, designed to be lower cost compared to similar engines while maintaining performance and reliability.
Chimera uses HDPE (the same material used for milk bottles) for fuel and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) as oxidiser. This has culminated in Beacon, a rocket which uses our newest Chimera Mk2. A lot of pioneering work had been done at the Society to allow it to be in-house built (unlike previous engines).
Project Beacon is our flagship rocketry engineering project, designed to utilise the Chimera hybrid rocket engine, which will be able to soar to over 20,000 feet during flight. Development began in 2020 and we’re currently in the design and analysis phase, with manufacturing expected to begin in 2021.
The aim of Beacon is to produce experimental launch vehicles, innovation at which parallels industry titans such as ULA and Aerojet Rocketdyne on a much smaller budget.
Conex Research launched in 2020 as a lockdown project for our members to have a go at designing a deep space mission, and has developed into a dedicated mission proposal research team with members and academics from over 4 continents involved.
In 2021 they are expecting to submit their first academic paper to the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX), which outlines the Arcanum Mission that proposes a spacecraft to travel to Neptune and explore the possibility of an undiscovered ninth planet.
Every year we gather some of the leading academics in the space field for a series of lectures open to both students and members of the public. This allows us to engage hundreds of new people in the exciting opportunities of space and give an insight into the cutting-edge research taking place.