PROJECT KARMAN: 1 Launch, 10 Months, 100 Kilometers to Space!
"Help us be the first college group in history to launch a rocket into space by donating today!"
- Space Enterprise at Berkeley
NEW STRETCH GOAL: $30,000!
Our organization's mission is to enable access to space by becoming the first college team to launch payloads past the 100-km (62 mile) Karman Line, the internationally recognized boundary of space. PROJECT KARMAN will allow for unparalleled, cost-effective access to space and the high atmosphere for both student groups and industrial partners.
In homage to our Californian home and the spirit of joy and discovery that motivates us to do the difficult, exacting work of rocket science, we named our vehicle after the one word that describes our goals best- "Eureka".
Eureka-1 is designed to reach farther and fly faster than any college rocket before it. Delivering nearly 3,000 lbs of thrust, Eureka's engine combines incredible performance with 100% renewable propellants- a first for space-capable rockets.
While the technical know-how to send payloads to space has existed for over 60 years, the requisite technology has remained incredibly expensive, failure-prone, and dangerous to use.
Recent advances in materials science coupled with proprietary cost-saving technologies have allowed Space Enterprise at Berkeley to entirely eliminate the turbo pump, the single most expensive and delicate element of modern rocket engines.
This innovation has allowed us to reduce the typical $2.8 million price tag of a suborbital launch to less than $150,000. In addition, in-development recovery systems will allow for a fly-land-fly turnaround for Eureka-1. With full implementation of this system, Eureka could fly multiple times per week, with only a short refurbishment and refueling period between launches. This would reduce total launch cost to less than $10,000.
While our systems are drastically less expensive than comparable technologies, they still carry a hefty price tag. Project Karman is aims to raise a quarter of a million dollars through a combination of crowdfunding, grants, and sponsorships. Even though our goal for fundraising is $25,000, this is only the first milestone of a longer journey towards $150,000- half of our total fundraising goal. That's why we hope to take this campaign global- inspiring as many people as possible to join us on this mission.
With PROJECT KARMAN, we will also be spearheading a global initiative to spark international inspiration and enthusiasm for space. This global initiative will be adopting the core elements of competition and achieving historical feats from the mid-twentieth century Space Race that piqued youth interest in space.
Using the international platform offered to us by the UN-backed World Space Week Association in October of 2017, we will not only be globally announcing PROJECT KARMAN, but also challenging university groups across the world to join us in the race to space. The first milestone igniting the excitement will be declared as passing the Karman Line. However, to sustain enthusiasm, we will present the grander feat to being successfully able to launch a recoverable payload into suborbital flight. We will propose that the feats be met by the 50th anniversary of the humanity’s first manned moon landing: July 20th, 2019.
By developing an international scene of university student groups competing to make history reaching space, we hope to inspire the current younger generations of students on pursuing space. Noting the status quo of the aerospace/space industry, we also believe this global initiative will have significant effects on alleviating the industry struggles of attracting talent and replacing an aging workforce to drive innovative developments.
Overall, PROJECT KARMAN and our global initiative provide UC Berkeley students with industry-relevant, practical, hands-on experience as the future pioneers in the ever-developing space industry. The success of this initiative would not only mean a historical feat for UC Berkeley, but also demonstrate the capabilities and reignited drive into space amongst the youth of this generation.
As of now, we have a design model for EUREKA-1 that if we built tomorrow, it would fly. However, we're aiming to make this rocket not just something that reaches space, but something that truly pushes the frontiers of safety, efficiency, and reliability, achieving our goal in a way we can be proud of. That's why we're spending the next several months really refining EUREKA-1, minimizing our waste and maximizing our performance, before we enter our production phase up until June. By July, we'll be up in the sky!
Space Enterprise at Berkeley doesn't follow the traditional mold of a college space organization. While most others tend to get an enclave of engineers and scientists on their team, we highly value the additional perspective that students of nontechnical majors can bring -- pre-law, biology, business, environmental policy, you name it! With our three branches of Design, Business, and Production, we are able to efficiently manage the massive list of tasks of funding, designing, and building EUREKA-1.
Not only do the branch divisions optimize task completion by delegating responsibilities to the most capable members, but also allow for tight accountability and understanding of significance for both technical and non-technical members on the team. The mindset that every member directly contributes significant progress to the success of the mission is very apparent in SEB’s culture. Ask any member, sending a rocket into space involves so much more than rocket science.
"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants"- Isaac Newton
Textbooks, simulations, and theoretical models can only take you so far. Space Enterprise at Berkeley is proud to partner with industry leaders, scientific pioneers, and world-renowned aerospace organizations to help make the dream of collegiate spaceflight a reality. Without the support and guidance provided by our affiliates, EUREKA-1 would have collapsed before it even hit the drawing board, and PROJECT KARMAN would never have seen the light of day.
Our affiliates help make our mission possible through their generous support, both financial and technical. Space Enterprise at Berkeley would like to thank the following partners for their assistance in making EUREKA-1 a reality:
Big or small, any help means so much to us! So to show you how much the support means to us, this is our way of saying THANK YOU!