NCA is one step closer to reaching the moon

As a proud supporter of continuous learning and growth, NCA is enthusiastically supporting two of our team members currently pursuing their goals and broadening their experiences with higher education. SMT Programming Technician Kathryn Lehocky and Process Engineering Intern Sudarshan Chettiar are invaluable teammates at our company, full-time students at the University of Texas at Arlington and members of the UTA Aero Mavericks.

The Aero Mavericks is an aerospace student organization made up of three teams: high-power rocketry, liquid rocket engine and fixed-wing aircraft. The high-power rocketry team is currently competing in the NASA Student Launch competition. According to their website, Student Launch is “a research-based, competitive, experiential exploration activity [that] strives to provide relevant, cost-effective research and development of rocket propulsion systems”. Competing teams design and build a functional rocket and payload which must eject from the rocket and meet the following requirements:

  1. Self-level,
  2. Land safely,
  3. Take a 360º panoramic photo of its surroundings and
  4. Transmit the photo back to the base station up to one mile away from the landing.

Since August 2020, Kathryn, Sudarshan and former winter intern Alex Plihon have been working with their team in designing and manufacturing a vehicle and payload that meets the project requirements. The competitors are evaluated on various items, with a heavy emphasis on engineering reports of the project design, processes and engineering innovation, all while having a successful flight, which depends on reaching altitude goals, the safe recovery of the vehicle and the functionality of the payload.


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