Mechanical Engineering student makes Malaysia proud, leads UK rocket team to beat existing record

PETALING JAYA: Vishan Nair Birakasan, a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Sheffield was part of a team that managed to beat the existing United Kingdom altitude record for amateur high power rockets.

He led the rocket team of Sheffield University Nova Rocket Innovation Design Engineering (SunrIde) in launching its “Helen” rocket at Spaceport America Cup, New Mexico.

The rocket managed to reach a height of 11.056km (36,274ft) at the world’s largest rocket engineering competition held in New Mexico, United States.

Helen’s attitude beats the previous record held by Project MARS’ rocket in 2000 – the record then was at 10.539km (34,579ft).

Vishan, whom hails from Puchong, Selangor said that prior to leading SunrIde, he was one of the seven students who represented the United Kingdom in the 2018 competition and participated in the 10,000ft (3.048km) category.

The record was confirmed by the United Kingdom Rocketry Association (Ukra). Ukra also noted that the rocket reached a maximum speed of Mach 2.67 and an acceleration of 29 G-force.

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