Thing 1 and Thing 2 (2020-2021)

In a year impacted heavily by COVID-19 restrictions that were put in place by the University, Duke AERO took a great leap forward with the development, construction, and successful launch of a two-stage rocket affectionately dubbed “Thing 1 and Thing 2”.

“Thing 1 and Thing 2” Accelerates off the pad

In a typical year, the group would focus on development of a competition rocket intended for launch as part of the Spaceport America Cup during the summer. However, the event was cancelled and the team instead took on this experimental project. Before the sustainer reached an apogee of 8,037 feet AGL out at Bayboro, NC, the booster achieved a maximum acceleration of 20.1 G. Stage separation, and both recovery deployment events functioned flawlessly, and both stages of the rocket were recovered with absolutely no structural damage.



Watch a video of the launch, or read more from Duke’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science here.


Duke AERO’s 2021 Travel Team with ‘Thing 1 and Thing 2″