FATHOM II was a 6 inch diameter vehicle launched in the spring of 2017 out of Spaceport America. The vehicle reached an apogee on 144,000 ft, claiming the record for highest altitude ever reach by a student built and designed vehicle in the world. The ultimate goal of FATHOM II was to qualify the aerodynamics of a space shot vehicle. FATHOM II, being the success it was, provided a path for USCRPL to move forward with their goal of sending a rocket to space.
The vehicle was recovered a short drive from the launch site. The paint of the rocket had completely burned off, and excessive heating was seen on the fin's leading edges. Additionally, the airframe had been punctured upon landing. Due to an unknown cause, the avionics system entered an unknown state during flight leading to deployment of the drogue parachute, but not to the main chute. This resulted in the rocket impacting the ground with a larger velocity than expected, puncturing the case toward the top of the motor stack.
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