Our Projects

STOODIS

Stoodis, meaning “Let’s Do This!” is Thunderbird Aerospace’s first solid-fueled rocket. 

K1103 motor.   7.5" diameter.   2.1 meters tall.   Mach 1+ Ascent.

NASA's First Nations Launch in Wisconsin this April 26th, 2024.

Avionics Bay

The avionics system of the Stoodis rocket is a sophisticated assembly, central to the rocket's performance and safety. The core of this system is the two fully redundant Blue Raven flight computers, known for their reliability and advanced features, paired with two sets of EAGLE CO2 cartridges for redundancy for the deployment of the ballute and main parachute.  For enhanced navigational accuracy, the Stoodis utilizes the Dragonlink system coupled with the Neo M9N GPS module, providing precise location tracking throughout the mission. 

Airframe and Internals

From assembly to flight, Stoodis is optimized for speed. Its boattail fin can and fins minimize aerodynamic drag, even allowing super-Mach 1 velocities, and its G12 Fibreglass 7.5" body can withstand the immense tensile load of such a propulsive flight. Its motor mount is easily swappable, allowing upgrades on a whim. Through a series of twist-lock interfaces and friction fits, the rocket's body and internals are designed with the target design goal of complete assembly in under 10 minutes.



MOON Challenge Lander

Sitting just below the nosecone is a trackable, camera-equipped, deployable payload ready to make its landing on the moon. As CO2 ejection canisters pressurize the volume below, the lander blasts the nose cone off of its shearing pins and exits the rocket at apogee. 

Immediately, its drogue is deployed, barely slowing the initial descent until it comes closer to its target area. 200 feet above the landing zone, the main parachute and damped lander legs deploy and the descent is slowed to 15 ft/s. Its three lander legs prime its landing; each leg is designed to take the impact on its own. Due to its intentionally made low centre of gravity and pressure, the Moon Lander reliably lands right-side up, and its legs prevent bounceback while remaining structurally sound. 



Parachutes

As its glorious ascent stops, Stoodis prioritizes deploying its payload, and its dual separation, dual deployment recovery system is delayed until the descent of the rocket. The unique geometry of the 60" ballute slows the descent to 40 ft/s and creates little force in its deployment. This primes Stoodis for its main 72" parachute, and as it deploys, the kevlar harness has no problem taking its harrowing plummet to Earth to a gentle glide – rated for 6000 lbs, it has generous safety margins, even in entanglement. Securing the entire system are M10 titanium eyenuts – lightweight and extremely strong. This low-risk, proven recovery process will reliably take Stoodis from apogee to Earth in just 30 seconds.

SKODEN

Sitting at the frontier of our development for liquid rocketry, Skoden is a blow-down, self-pressurizing nitrous and ethanol liquid bipropellant rocket 8 inches in diameter and 3 meters tall.


A relatively lightweight vehicle that, with current designs, comes out to 56kg, Skoden is a light but powerful vehicle, it is armed with a 5kN, 4.85MPa 4:1O/F engine specced for sea level operation, giving a projected thrust-to-weight ratio of 9.1. Given these key specifications, we address the development of this engine as 5KN4.85MPA4_1OF, and future engines developed by us will follow similar names as well. 



The 5KN4.85MPA4_1OF engine is lined with a carbon throat, and an ablative material in the combustion chamber and nozzle, all of which will be milled from a lathe. Heat simulations and hand calculations approximate the rate of heat flux to the ablative walls, which allow for adjustments in the design of the engine’s combustion chamber, throat, and nozzle to achieve the target burn time of 20 seconds. Above which, sits our triplet impinging injector plate, which has gone through extensive proof testing through cold flows, high fidelity fluid simulations, and dimensionless characterization of toleranced resin 3D printed parts has allowed us to optimize the impingement angle, diametric ratio between oxidizer and fuel streams, and the impingement distance for the highest reasonable mixing efficiency given manufacturing constraints and the heat flux delivered to the face plate. 

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