Designed and manufactured over the course of the 2018-2019 Spaceport America Cup season, "Justify" (named for the 144th Kentucky Derby winner) measures up to be the tallest vehicle built by River City Rocketry. The rocket, coming in at 13' 6" and 73 lbs, used an N2220 motor with a sparky and smoky trail. The airframe of the vehicle was made in house by team members from prewoven carbon fiber. The rocket carries the team designed telemetry system, the unmanned aerial vehicle payload "Pegasus," and a 13' reefing modified ringsail parachute.
The rocket had 1 test flight with Tripoli mid-ohio on may 5th, 2019.
Justify flew in Truth or Consequences, NM during the SA Cup's Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in June 2019 and was fully recovered after spending the night in the desert.
The vehicle's nosecone consists of a customized parabolic geometry, optimized for the vehicle's 0.7 Mach ascent. The nose cone was 3D printed out of Nylon 12 at University of Louisville's Rapid Prototyping Center.
Pegasus UAV Payload
The UAV payload mounts on a custom slide and retention system that allows it to deploy at 2000' during its decent from apogee. Upon exiting the air frame, the UAV falls under parachute and deploys spring loaded wings while performing pre-flight checks. After finishing checks, the UAV powers it's propellers and detaches from its parachute.
Justify features a 13' modified custom ringsail parachute which changes its diameter during decent by using a reefing line. The parachute deployed with a smaller constricted opening to fall at the perfect speed for payload deployment before unfurling and landing the launch vehicle safely.
Learning from the teams prior anomalies, the booster and couplers of Justify do not utilize permanent epoxy, but instead utilize threaded attachments like all-thread, bolts, and screws to hold the airframe structure together. This leads to a more salvageable rocket overall in the case of an accident and the ability to easily swap out parts to fit a different class motor if necessary.