Faster. Higher. Further.
Purdue Orbital is redefining the orbital payload arena, offering just-in-time system launches for orbital deliveries.
The Pinnacle of Innovation
Purdue Orbital was founded in the autumn of 2015 (originally as the IEEE Purdue Rocket Team) with the purpose of providing launch services for small satellites aiming for low-Earth orbit. Project CYGNET, the mission charter underpinning our organizational vision, set out to design a low-cost, reusable orbital insertion system based on a ‘rockoon’ (rocket-balloon) design concept. This project greatly increases the accessibility of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to both collegiate programs and the public. Purdue Orbital’s work since 2015 has put us several steps closer to achieving this goal. Over the past four years, Orbital has achieved a number of significant milestones towards meeting the goals for Project CYGNET. Orbital conducted its first rocket test launch in April 2016. The following year, in November 2017, the first High Altitude Balloon test flight occurred, establishing the two essential components of our custom-designed rockoon system. The upcoming Hapsis missions (sub-targets of the larger Project CYGNET) during the winter of 2019 aim to continue Orbital’s progress with yet another giant leap. This mission will test the complete system at a launch altitude of 80,000 feet.
A Preeminent Collaborative Experience
Orbital is committed to providing people from all walks of life the opportunity to develop socially and professionally. We accomplish this goal through an inclusive environment for all students to engage in real-life design and complex problem solving. While the organization is focused on aerospace applications, we have 52.1 percent of students outside of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Thus, Orbital provides a unique multidisciplinary experience for students. Orbital has worked to attract a diverse group of students including 16.3% women and 5.8% traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups (i.e., Black, Latino, and Native American).
Orbital participates in both academic and outreach efforts. We have organized events to raise the aspiration of children, current students, and the public, fostering communal awareness of space exploration. For example, we participated in Purdue Space Day, offering activities for K-8 students producing replica rockets that offer insight into Orbital’s larger mission. These efforts are aligned to promote and expand public interest in space exploration. We also offer participatory events and space exploration activities, supporting STEM education through outreach initiatives.