Project Prometheus: Students get to fly code on a vertical takeoff and landing rocket

Masten Space Systems in Mojave, CA is offering students an opportunity to fly code on a vertical takeoff and landing rocket (such as Xombie) on Project Prometheus.

In summary, there is a Raspberry Pi computer on board that is connected to a sensor suite that will be defined and provided by Masten.

Send Masten some code you want to run during a flight that processes inputs from the sensors during the flight.  The project is for the rapid, streamlined development of tools relating to visual navigation, landing detection, mass estimation and position/attitude estimation.  One will need embedded systems experience (working with Arduino or Raspberry Pi will suffice) and be able to program in C or Python.

Masten has developed this program to be open exclusively to high school and college students.  They seek to encourage them to be involved in engineering and in the commercial space industry. Therefore, student members are the target audience.  If you wish to enter, you will be required to involve high school and/or college students in the design, code, fly process of your code development project.

You can reach them at with questions about the program.

Quote from Project Description:

The Masten Team has also been thinking about ways we could engage the broader community and increase accessibility to our VTVL vehicles. One of the largest barriers to entry for any technology developer seeking to conduct aerospace flight testing is access to a vehicle. Limited access to an integrated GPS/IMU navigation system, flight-rated computing platforms, and sensors present additional challenges to innovators. In the spirit of broadening access to aerospace resources, we have had a project cooking in the background called Prometheus.

Project Prometheus is a Masten program designed to foster the development of flight-test ready technologies by innovators in academic and research settings. By implementing a standardized interface between Masten vehicles and experimental software and hardware tools, Prometheus will provide a streamlined, efficient path for technology maturation throughout the course of tool conception, development and flight test. Access to uniform, flight-tested hardware and software development framework for innovators will ultimately reduce integration, development and other flight test costs.

Many thanks to Ethan Chew of Mojave Makers for passing this along!

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