The Missile Knows Where it is, But Does the Rocket Know Where It Came From? Examining the Origins and Politics of Early Military Rocketry

Lothrop, Connor, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Forelle, MC, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia
Dong, Haibo, EN-Mech & Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia

My technical capstone project was to create the propulsion system for a recoverable rocket with an apex of 5,000 feet. My STS capstone was to study the history and politics of the Mysorean Rocket—the first effective anti-personnel rocket in military history—and its descendants. Both projects are heavily concerned with propellants and pressure vessels, the core of rocketry. My original job within the technical capstone was to formulate, manufacture, and test the ideal propellant for our rocket. However, my role later evolved into hydrostatic testing of the motor pressure vessel to determine its ability to withstand the requisite internal pressures. Advances in both propellant and pressure vessels were among the main reasons the Mysorean rockets were so successful. The intertwined nature of politics and rocketry technology are the throughline of my technical and STS capstones.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Rockets, Mysore, British East India Company, Politics of Artifacts

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Technical Advisor: MC Forelle

STS Advisor: Haibo Dong

Technical Team Members: Ardan Abraham, Andy Delgado, Duraan Miskinyar, Dylan Tran, Jake Bales, Tim Edinger, Miriam Morse, Jack Vietmeyer, Alexandria Barnard-Davignon, Noah Hassett, Jason Nguyen, Beth Westfall, Leo Bashaw, Jordyn Hicks, Aiden Ogle, Peter Zappia, Tucker Benton, Niklas Holle, Thomas Ortega ,Marc Brightwell, Dylan House, Aaron Osborne, Joe Burton, Claire Kent, Johannes Quapil, Christopher Camacho, Connor Lothrop, Shane Sawyer, Aymon Daud, Olivia Lyall, Daniel Tohti

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