By Dveen Hagopian
One of Granada Hills Charter’s (GHC) most hands-on and educational clubs is the Space Program Club, which is made up of students who are passionate about space and dedicated to promoting its exploration. They meet regularly to share their interest in space exploration with the GHC student body and others in the Granada Hills community.
Earlier this month, the Space Program Club achieved great success at their Granada Mission 2 launch, which involved launching a rocket into the air twice. One launch was on a G80 motor and the other on a G79 motor.
The launch took place at the El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, east of Lancaster. This location provided a perfect outdoor area for team members to gather and safely move forward with the launch while maintaining social distancing. The launch required an immense amount of preparation, which proved difficult due to the fact that the meetings were held virtually. Nonetheless, the team adapted to the unusual circumstances and worked together to achieve its goal despite the challenge.
“Ideally, we would like to run multiple ground tests to ensure that our vehicles are ready for flight. However, with most of the work going digital, we had to transfer to relying on our simulations. We ran our vehicle through test flights on digital softwares,” junior Enzo Celis, president of the Space Program Club, said.
The team ran a variety of tests including tests for stability, motor selection, and recovery in order to ensure that their vehicle was fully prepared on launch day. They focused primarily on the planning and designing phase, as this determined how efficiently the vehicle would fly in the field. In addition to collaborating as a team, the members also worked individually within the club’s different departments.
“In the club, we have eight different departments that all specialize in one part of the vehicle, from stability, to recovery, to thrust control, to designing the mission patch and paint job. With so many different groups of people doing so many different things, I have to always check in on everyone, look over progress in each group to see if things are moving effectively and up to speed, and keep everyone motivated,” Celis explained about the club dynamic and his role as president.
Overall, the team is very happy with the results of their successful launch. Their time, hard work, and energy has paid off.
Currently, they are working on designing and building two new projects: Granada Mission 3 and Granada Mission 4. Granada Mission 3 will involve a rocket with a body tube change, which will put the team’s abilities to make a stable rocket to the test. Granada Mission 4, on the other hand, will be a high altitude weather balloon that will be sent up to photograph the edge of space, which will be a major accomplishment for the team.
It is clear that the team is extremely driven, focused, and excited about reaching their goals.
“All in all, if I had to sum it up, I would say that we live by our club motto: ‘To Explore and Inspire,’” Celis said.