Neil Armstrong, Commander of Apollo 11, the first manned mission to land on the moon, visited The BLOODHOUND Project HQ in Bristol on Sunday (28th November). During a visit that lasted several hours he got a full tour and briefing from the engineering and education teams.
Having travelled on thirteen rocket powered vehicles himself, Mr Armstrong was particularly interested in the design and development of our bespoke hybrid rocket, and spoke at length with its creator, Daniel Jubb.
"It's no surprise that he has a great knowledge of the subject, " said Daniel. "Mr Armstrong emphasised the need to to respect hydrogen peroxide (the oxidiser pumped at high pressure into BLOODHOUND's rocket). He asked a great many questions and clearly liked the bold nature of the project - it struck a chord."
Picture right: Neil Armstrong meets
BLOODHOUND SSC's rocket man, Daniel Jubb
In conversation with Mark Chapman, the Project's Chief Engineer, Armstrong returned to BLOODHOUND's core objective of inspiring young people about science and engineering.
"He said this was just as much of an issue in the US as it was here, " Mark recalled. "He was passionate about the education mission and wanted to know all about our work in schools."
At the end of his visit, Mr Armstrong addressed the team and shared some of his experiences of working with prototypes. He made two points in particular: the need to have as many instruments on the car as possible in order to swap theoretic values for real data as soon as possible; and the importance of finding the practical solution rather than chasing perfection.
"This is very much the approach we're taking but it is still pretty special having Neil Armstrong say you're on the right course!" said Chapman. "I expected he'd 'get' the Project and take an interest in the technology we were using - for example, we talked at length about our aero-research, use of CFD and current issues with the design of the car's air-brakes. What I hadn't expected is how friendly he was and Neil's enthusiasm for the Project as a whole. He said he's looking forward to coming again and seeing the finished car. We'd be glad to welcome him back."