What is Project Odyssey?
Project Odyssey is ERPL's flagship hybrid rocket engine project. Designed to be a trust-vectoring hybrid, Odyssey is ultimately meant to end up in a flight vehicle capable of landing back on the ground. To begin this process, Odyssey has been integrated with project Atlas to help measure the operational characteristics of the engine. Following a successful hot fire, designs for a flight vehicle will begin.
What is a hybrid rocket motor?
Hybrid rocket motors consist of a solid fuel grain and a liquid or gaseous oxidizer which, when mixed, are ignited to produce thrust. This unique set up merges the "simplicity" of solid rockets with the versatility of liquid engines. Due to the minimal research and relative newness of hybrid rocket engines, not much is understood about the burn characteristics or patterns for these types of engines.
For Odyssey, a solid HTPB (Hydroxyl-Terminated Polybutadiene) fuel grain and liquid nitrous oxide are used for powering the engine. These materials are not only common in the industry, but provide the necessary burn and thrust characteristics desired for this project.
At the end of the Spring 2023 semester, Odyssey attempted a hotfire at Cecil Spaceport. However, due to a mistimed ignition, the rocket was unable to burn and instead performed a cold flow. Odyssey is currently planning to do another full hot fire attempt at the beginning of the Fall 2023 semester. This will provide crucial data for understanding more about hybrid rocketry and the odyssey flight vehicle. After a couple of successful hot fires, Project Odyssey plans to design a flight vehicle capable of successfully landing safely back on the ground.
Join us for a critical step in Odyssey's mission to make a throttleable hybrid rocket engine