Rock On was a workshop presented by NASA at their Wallops Island Facilities in Virginia. The faculty and students worked on three woman/man teams to build a payload for a Terrier-improved Orion sounding Rocket that flew into space, 74 miles off the surface of the Earth. The payload was powered by an Arduino Mega board that was equipped with a microSD card reader, geiger counter, pressure, humidity, and temperature sensors along with two gyroscopes measuring the movement on the rocket’s x and y axis’ and one measuring the z axis.
Each team was given a kit with all the parts, tools, and equipment needed to complete the project. The teams all started from scratch beginning with a bare circuit board that they would then have to place and solder all the electronics into place by themselves. Once the electronics were complete they then had to code the Arduino board to control all the sensors onboard. When the code was uploaded to the Arduino they then had to attach the electronics to the plate that would be fastened into a payload canister. Each plate also carried a small box that everyone, either as a team or individually, could send a small object of their choosing into space as a souvenir. After everything was completed and inside the payload canisters they were brought to the NASA engineers that would then load the canisters and prepare the rocket for launch.
The entire flight time for the rocket from take off to landing took less than 20 minutes. The Navy retrieved the rocket from the ocean, where it had landed, so it could be brought back to the NASA facilities where the teams then got their payloads and souvenirs, downloaded the data from all the sensors off the MicroSD card that was onboard, and graphed the data to be turned into the project leader, Chris Koehler.