The Project Imua payload was successfully launched from a NASA facility by University of Hawaiʻi community college students Sunday, Aug. 13 at 5:30 a.m. EDT. It was the third payload launched by UH college students.
Community College mentor William Smith, the sounding rocket went about 96 miles high and returned down into the Atlantic about 80 miles from shore. It was fished out of the sea (recovered) by a contracted local fishing boat, as reported by UH.
The launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia was originally scheduled for Aug. 12, but was rescheduled Aug. 13 between due to weather conditions.
Smith and students Nick Herrmann, of Kaua‘i Community College, and Cale Mechler, of Windward Community College, were at Wallops in final preparations for the launch. Another mentor and other UH community college students traveled to Wallops in June to conduct preliminary tests on the payload.
Smartphone users can download the What’s Up at Wallops app, which contains information on the launch as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing.
Project Imua is a joint faculty-student enterprise of four UH community college campuses (Honolulu, Kapiʻolani, Kauaʻi and Windward). Its primary mission is to engage undergraduate students in project based STEM research with real-world development of small payloads for space flight. A NASA grant awarded to the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium has helped to fund the project.