Cal Poly Pomona’s College of Engineering gained a new group over summer 2019 dedicated to the construction of CubeSats, miniature cube–shaped satellites for space research to be launched into outer space.
This new group named BroncoSpace officially launched over this past summer, fulfilling plans for an on-campus dedicated space club that had been formed as early as January 2019. Their ultimate goal is to launch a CubeSat into outer space, which would achieve the first space launch in CPP’s history.
BroncoSpace is CPP’s dedicated space program birthed from the College of Engineering. Its president is second-year aerospace engineering student Michael Pham, and its vice president is fourth-year aerospace engineering student Jacob Harbuck.
The goal of the BroncoSpace club is to achieve successful launches into outer space. For the near future, the club is focusing on launching weather balloons into the atmosphere, which would get its foot in the door to official launches. The group hopes to have a weather balloon launch in January 2020.
The long-term goal is to have a CubeSat built from commercial off-the-shelf components for its circuitry and casing built within two years, and to develop the necessary infrastructure to build even more to be launched.
However, since BroncoSpace is a relatively new club, the goal with highest priority is to gain more members. Its official website, www.broncospace.org, currently counts its members at only eight. Also, the site states they are currently in search of a webmaster.
BroncoSpace is currently engaged in the Balloon Launch Assessment Directive for Engineers program (BLADE). The goal is, in the BroncoSpace official website’s own terms, “to generate interest in the CubeSat design process for prospective members of the club, which will be achieved by hosting a 1U CubeSat design competition starting at the beginning of each fall semester.” Check out: https://broncospace.org/portfolio/blade/.
CPP’s space program currently has no launches created or achieved, but there are plans to change that as early as next January. However, sister campus Cal Poly San Luis Obispo currently has 11 CubeSat launches recorded, nine of which successfully broke out of Earth’s atmosphere and reached outer space as planned.
According to Vice President Harbuck, BroncoSpace hopes to contribute to the union and cooperation of CPP and Cal Poly SLO. In addition to this, they are also considering doing cooperative missions with UCLA and Texas State.
First-year mechanical engineering student William McKinney is overseeing the construction of BroncoSpace’s weather balloons and CubeSats. BroncoSpace is likely to make him the lead of these projects.
Currently, BroncoSpace has no definite headquarters on campus. The club is officially listed under the College of Engineering, giving it official sanction as a campus club.
“Our goal is to bring a space vehicle to Cal Poly Pomona,” President Pham said.
BroncoSpace currently has no definite physical headquarters on campus, though the group is sponsored by the College of Engineering. Its main website is www.broncospace.org, and the club can be contacted by email at email@example.com or through the contact form that can be found on the site.
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