In RPL, we get to live out every rocketeer’s dream job, because, at it’s core, RPL was created with the original goal of being the first student organization to launch a rocket into space (we’re sooooo close). Since it’s creation, we have produced rockets composed of unique materials, created in record time, and that traveled at very high speeds. The group is set up that it is all student run with the older, more experienced group members teaching the new ones. The group creates the rocket from scratch essentially all on its own. Ideally we launch one rocket each semester: during the fall, at BALLS (see my other post http://viterbivoices.usc.edu/vlad/balls-20-a-roadtrip-to-space/) and then in the Mojave desert during the spring.
To make the rocket, we get to use a lot of cool machinery like the lathe and the mill. We also get to work with carbon fiber, fiber glass, and other composites. The best part is that whenever you’re in rocket lab, it’s always a good time. See, it’s not so much that we’re a student organization with presidents, vice presidents, or treasures, but it’s more of a group of kids who are unified by the desire to make things go boom…well, hopefully the rockets don’t go boom (except for the sonic boom it makes 😉 ). The atmosphere within lab is always lighthearted and everyone is always having a good time no matter what we’re working on. Outside of lab, we frequently hang out together in various social settings like tail gates or even beach days!