Open Source Spaceflight Hardware

Mach 30’s largest areas of focus is Open Source Spaceflight Hardware.  Mach 30 is currently working on two hardware projects, the Shepard Test Stand, and the Ground Sphere CubeSat Ground Station.

Shepard Test Stand The Mach 30 Shepard Test Stand is a test stand for Estes rocket motors. It is named after Alan Shepard, America’s first astronaut, as it is our first test stand. We anticipate using an Arduino board to provide the physical interface between the data collecting computer and the required sensors. This project is the first in a series of projects to develop the required skills for the practice of safe rocket engine operation, and to develop the capability to measure and record data about a rocket engine’s performance. The use of Estes class motors provides a relatively safe environment to learn in before moving to higher powered motors and engines. The ultimate vision is to develop test stands for full scale liquid rocket engines for use in orbital launch systems.

Ground Sphere CubeSat Ground Station


The Ground Sphere CubeSat ground station is the first project undertaken by Mach 30 to enable communications with space bound systems.  The Ground Sphere takes the first step in this: enabling ground based reception of messages sent from an orbiting satellite.  Mach 30 is working in conjunction with Southern Stars for their SkyCube project to provide some of the backers of the SkyCube Kickstarter project with their own ground station so they can receive the signals broadcast by SkyCube.  The design of Ground Sphere allows for omnidirectional reception of a 915Mhz signal, allowing anyone with this iteration of Ground Sphere to receive SkyCube’s tweets.