Team members cleaning the lab

Lab cleanout

Alongside working on actual rockets, we’ve also been hard at work cleaning and renovating our lab! Here’s a quick snapshot from our most recent lab cleanout session.

Water-flow test of the Pyralis  engine injector

Injector v2 test

We conducted a water-flow test of our version 2 injector design. The injector uses a triplet impinging jet design to mix and atomize the propellants. This water-flow test video shows the injector producing a finely misted spray of water, validation the impinging jet design.

Cross section of the Pyralis engine, showing the revised spike support design.

Spike support redesign

James, Matt and Connie have re-designed the supports that hold the nozzle spike into the combustion chamber of the Pyralis engine. The new support design will be more resilient to thermal expansion, vibration, and machining tolerances. Using this design will better control the nozzle’s throat area, leading to more consistent and predicable thrust.

preburner test still

Preburner Test

We successfully tested the preburner for Pyralis today! The pre-burner acts like a pilot light during the engine start up sequence – the flames from the preburner will heat the combustion chamber, and will cause the main propellants to burn when they are flowed into the chamber. The pre-burner runs on propane and compressed air,…

Injector plates delivered by MIT Central Machine shop

Injector parts machined

Two of the three plates of our new injector design have been finished. The 24 fine holes of our triple impinging design can be seen on the bottom plate. The injector will be water flow tested in the coming weeks to make sure the design and manufacturing have correctly produced the desired fluid flow.


New spark igniter

Zach B. and Jack E. have gotton our new spark igniter working, and it looks powerful! The spark will light propane and air in our preburner pilot light, and the preburner flame will in turn light the main propellants. The new spark electronics are much safer, simpler, and lighter than the previous designs.

Components of the Pyralis engine

Pyralis engine redesign

Over the past months, the team has been re-designing the Pyralis engine. The new revision includes a pre-burner which will heat the engine before ignition; we expect this change to resolve engine start-up issues experienced on the first engine design. We have also modified the injector to include better seals and orifices which can be…

Injector Test

We tested the injector of our Pyralis rocket engine by flowing water into it at 1200 psi (8.3 MPa). The test qualitatively shows good mixing and atomization of the propellant streams.

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Hot Fire Test Stand

Connie Liu and Matt Vernacchia have been building the test stand which we will mount the propulsion system to during static firing tests. The stand must support the thrust produced by the engine, and provides mounting points for the propellant tanks, plumbing, valves and sensors used in the tests. The stand is made from Super-Strut…


Injector finished

We have finished machining the injector for the Pyralis rocket engine. The injector is the most mechanically complex part of the engine. Fuel and oxidizer pipes tap into the injector, and channels within the injector route the propellants to a ring of six injector heads. Within each injector head, the propellants are mixed together and…