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What is CU InSpace?

CU InSpace is Carleton's Rocket Engineering Design Team. We are a team of Carleton University students who design, build, and fly high-power rockets at the Spaceport America Cup Rocketry Competition and the Launch Canada Rocketry Competition.

The team was founded by Will Zoratto in 2014 and has successfully launched five rockets at the Spaceport America Cup Rocketry Competition at Spaceport America, New Mexico.


Team Structure

Our team is broken up into five separate engineering subteams and an admin team. The five subteams are Aerostructures, Avionics, Payload, Propulsion, and Recovery.  Each subteam has a subteam lead or leads who oversee the tasks that the subteam is responsible for. 


The Aerostructures team is responsible for designing, manufacturing, and testing the airframe and structural components of the rocket. This includes the body tubes, the fins, the nosecone, and the internal structure that keeps the rocket as stable as possible during launch. Our aerostructures team works initially with CAD software to develop the design and then moves into composites manufacturing and metal machining work. Finally, the team uses both physical testing and modeling to determine whether the components they have designed will survive the launch and landing.  


The avionics team is responsible for designing and manufacturing the telemetry systems of the rocket. These systems collect information about our elevation and speed and control the deployment of our recovery system. The avionics team is also responsible for tracking our rocket on the descent so that we can find it once it has landed. 


The payload team designs and tests satellite hardware to be released from the rocket, including structures, computers, navigation, power generation, thermal control, optics, communication, sensors, attitude control systems, and a scientific payload.

Most of our development focuses on recreating spacecraft-grade satellite systems at low cost.


The recovery team designs and tests the parachutes, release mechanisms, and tethers for the rocket. The system consists of a small drogue parachute for controlled descent from apogee to approximately 1500 feet above ground level, and a main parachute for a soft landing.



The propulsion subteam is responsible for the selection and handling of the rocket’s motor for competition and the development of propulsion systems for future flights.


The team flies Cesaroni Technologies solid motors at their competitions in both the 10,000 ft and 30,000 ft class. Concurrently, a paraffin-nitrous hybrid is being developed as a part of a multi-year SRAD project.

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