“Ball Pit” Rocket Recovery System with Precision Guided Parafoil Delivery System


Cody Hedberg

This research will focus on novel rocket recovery methods. The growing space industry uses rocket recovery and reuse to decrease costs. At present, reusable rockets are either retrieved at sea or burn more fuel to be recovered for refurbishment. The proposed recovery system will use a guided parafoil, also known as a ram air parachute, to deliver a rocket motor into a ballasted ball recovery pit for retrieval. This research will primarily test the physics of decelerating a rocket through a “ball pit” recovery system. The goal of this research is to use this data to develop a cost-effective recovery pit facility for catching and retrieving reusable rockets delivered by a guided ram air parachute.


Name: Cody Hedberg, Undergraduate Student

Institution: University of Alaska Anchorage

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Mentor: James Pantaleone, jtpantaleone@alaska.edu

Award: Summer Apprenticeship

Funding Period: 2021