Skip to main content
Menu Icon



Q: What information do I need to provide in the “Notification of Intent to Compete” on the Rocket Competition NOI application?
Describe why your team would like to compete in this competition.  (i.e. Rocket Club, curriculum, student interest, community partnership, next step opportunity, etc.)

Q:  When are the proposal due?
Proposals and preliminary budgets are due November 25 at 11:59 pm CST.  Teams leads upload the proposals to their grant management page.

Q:  Can we select a Cesaroni motor for our rocket instead of the Aerotech motors listed in the competition parameters?
No.  Teams may only choose a rocket from the list of motors outlined in the competition handbook.  WSGC provides up to two (2) rockets per team.  Motor selections are due March 1. 

Q:  Can students launch a certification rocket during the competition weekend?
A:  Yes.  Certification launches will take place on Sunday.  A list of students and advisors seeking certification must be submitted to WSGC two weeks prior to launch weekend.

Q:  If we do not submit an NOI by the due date, can our team still apply to the competition?
A:  Yes.  Teams may submit a proposal and preliminary budget by the November 25th submission deadline even if they have not submitted a Notice of Intent to compete by the October 26th deadline.  Teams who do submit an NOI by October 26th  will be considered for early acceptance into the competition on November 2nd. 

Q:  Can students participate in the program if they will only be a registered student for the fall semester?
A:  In order to be considered a team member for the official roster submitted on March 1, students must be registered and attending classes full-time. 

Q:  Can we recycle our rocket from last year for this year’s competition?
A:  No.  Each team must build a new competition rocket each year.  The goal is that all students will learn to build, design, and fly a rocket.  Returning students will have the opportunity to hone their knowledge, skills, and abilities.


Q: Are there any parameters for team names?
A: No.

Q: Is it possible to have more than one team from our college to compete in the Mars and/or Moon Competition?

A: No, schools can only participate in one competition.  We suggest 4-6 students per team.

Q: Do we have to submit an Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Mars and Moon competition if we want to be considered to compete in both launches?
A: Teams may choose Mars, Moon or both competitions when submitting an NOI. Please select both if you want to be considered for both launches.

Q: Are we eligible to launch if we don’t have any experience launching rockets.?
A: Yes, you are eligible to launch. We will host virtual workshops, safety reviews, and inspections to help you prepare for launch day.

Q: If we are not a Tribal college, can we compete?
A: AISES chapters from private and public colleges and universities may compete in the First Nations Launch Competition.

Q: How can I book my hotel room?
A: You must submit your request to the WSGC Program Office (do not call the hotel) for hotel room(s)at the Wyndham Garden Kenosha Harborside in Kenosha, WI.  Indicate the number of rooms needed and who will be assigned to each room.  We recommend 3-4 people in each room.  WSGC will pay for up to 3 hotel rooms for 3 nights for each team.  Teams must submit their team’s lodging list prior to the deadline to be eligible.  WSGC books all FNL funded team lodging.

Q: Are any meals provided by the competition?

A:  WSGC provides meals at Carthage College Thursday (Welcome Dinner), Friday (Lunch), and Saturday (Banquet Dinner). The Wyndham Garden Kenosha Harborside offers breakfast each morning.  Lunch will be provided Saturday at the launch site (Subway). 

Q: When should I arrive in Kenosha, WI?
A: If you are making flight arrangements, the two closest airports are Milwaukee’s General Mitchell Airport and O’Hare International Airport. Safety inspections for your team’s rocket will take place from 3:00-5:00 PM CST April 16, 2020.  Teams may arrive at Carthage College at 1:00 pm for an optional rocket workday.  Both airports are within one hour from the hotel.  Teams are responsible for securing their own transportation to the hotel, Carthage College and Richard Bong Recreational Area.  Please make sure you have made shipping arrangements for your rocket to arrive at and be shipped from the hotel.

Q: What transportation options are there from the airport to the hotel?
Transportation From MKE to Kenosha:
Go Riteway Airport Shuttle (414) 570-5200
Kenosha Cab Co. (262) 654-3511
Yellow Cab Co. (262) 657-7111
Checker Cab Co. (262) 657-3141
Black & White Cab Co. (262) 694-1900
Coach USA Bus (ticket price = $13.00 USD) one way. This is the fastest and most convenient way to travel to Kenosha, WI You can purchase (cash or credit) a ticket in person when you board the bus. The bus will drop you off at a restaurant called The Brat Stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is approximately .3 miles from the Comfort Inn & Suites. 
Transportation from ORD to Kenosha:

Q: What paperwork and reporting do we have to do if my team competes?
A: An NOI must be submitted by the team’s Faculty Advisor, and all team members must register on the WSGC website. Getting your paperwork in on time is imperative as each report will be factored into your score and will affect your team’s eligibility for prizes. If you do not get your report in on time, you will lose 20% of your score for each day that your report is late.  Refer to the Scoring Rubric page for templates and more information. You can use OpenRocket or Rocksim software to help you with the reports. You will give a virtual oral presentation for each report. The day before the launch, you will be required to give a team oral report.

Q: What happens after we turn in our design reports?
A: A panel of three judges will review and score your design report.  Your team will participate in a virtual oral presentation of the design report, allowing judges the opportunity to ask questions and give real time feedback about your report.

Q: Is there anything else I should have for my rocket?

A: WSGC strongly suggests using a tracking device; it could be an audible alarm, ham radio wave, visual aid or perhaps real time 3D GPS. The rocket launch site is not very forgiving. Many, many rockets are not found.

Q: What if we don’t get our rocket done before we need to leave for the competition?
A: An optional work period will be available for teams at Carthage College on Thursday afternoon.  After the oral presentations Friday morning, teams will be given another work period in the afternoon to make any changes suggested through the safety inspection on Thursday or by the judges during the oral presentations.  You should plan on having your rocket 95-100% done before you come. 

Q: Any advice regarding the design as well as types of scientific experiments?
A: Science payloads are left up to the imagination of the team but some suggestions are offered here; atmospheric experiments, rocket force’s experiments, camera and photography experiments, nano-partical applications, skin-effect and boundary layer experiments, environmental applications such as habitat monitoring or invasive species detection.

Q: Would using parts from our RP [Rapid Prototyping] machine be considered as a science payload?
A: Yes, using specially designed rocket parts is a science payload. This is because once you launch them under the rocket stresses, i.e. 8 times the force of gravity, the parts then become flight tested hardware and can be used for high-powered rocketry marketing of your product, as an example. Not every part on a rocket always survives.

Q: Is the mile marker set above sea level or above ground level?
A: The mile marker is measured from ground level (AGL) and is approximately 750’ above sea level.

Q: Is the final height of the flight dependent only on the altimeter readings or is it standardized so that the length of the altimeter bay to nosecone is added making the tip of the nosecone the measured point of the flight?
A: When the rocket arcs over the apogee, it is at its highest point and that is what the altimeter will read. So plan your placement of the altimeter based on the arc.

Q: How do you measure the time it takes for the rocket to reach apogee? If it’s by stopwatch from ground, do you add in human reaction times as error or have multiple people taking time and take the average? Is it from button push or movement of rocket?
A: You could build a standard accelerometer based module that measures time from movement to apogee. It would work on a threshold for starting to measure before it starts timing and then as the rocket stops moving, it stops recording.

Q: How do you determine who wins each competition?
A: Winning teams are based upon how their report, presentation and/or flight performed.  Judges will score each part of the competition based upon a standard rubric.

Background Image of Earth