Durham College’s welding program collaborates on world’s most powerful student-built rocket

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Durham College’s welding program helped achieve a milestone in the pursuit of space exploration with Space Concordia.

Members of the welding faculty worked collaboratively for a year to design, test, build and weld the fuel propulsion system for a Base 11 challenge rocket named Starsailor. The space-capable rocket was transported and assembled at Concordia’s Loyola campus and was successfully mounted and raised on the launch tower, making it Canada’s largest and the world’s most powerful student-built rocket.

durham rocket“DC’s welding program has an excellent reputation, which is why Space Concordia initially contacted me in 2019 about this project,” said Gregg Peel, Durham’s welding professor, who facilitated the project. “We met every standard the Concordia engineers set for us, and the rocket set an amateur record for producing 35kN of thrust during a test fire, making it the most powerful student-built rocket ever created.”

Space Concordia is now planning to test the rocket to validate its engine control systems, ground control systems, telecommunications and propulsion system and preparing Starsailor for flight this summer as it continues its journey toward the stars.

“The welding industry is advancing with the use of robotics and computer automation, which is why we use innovative equipment and current procedures. We also have strong industry partnerships that help teach and prepare students with what they need to be career-ready post-graduation.”


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