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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: 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:  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, students must be registered and attending classes full-time. 

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, as well as Native American-Serving Non-Tribal Institution Programs.

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.


Q: What information do I need to provide in the “Notification of Intent to Compete” on the Rocket Competition NOI application?
A: Describe why your team would like to compete in this competition (i.e. Rocket Club, curriculum, student interest, community partnership, next step opportunity, etc.).  The NOI should also include a request to attend a rocket workshop if the advisor and/or team members would like to participate in the Launch 2 Learn program.

Q:  If we do not submit an NOI by the due date, can our team still apply to the competition?
A:  Early bird non-binding Notice of Intent to Compete will have first consideration for application acceptance.  Teams submitting an NOI after the non-binding Notice of Intent to Compete is due may submit an application.  The application will be considered 1) if there are less than 24 teams registered to compete or 2) be placed on a waitlist if a team is unable to remain in the competition.

Q: Do we have to submit a 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. Select both if you want to be considered for both launches. FNL will determine which competition the team will be placed based on experience.

Q:  When is the team’s proposal due?
A: Teams will submit the proposal on the due date listed on the FNL Calendar.  All documents shall be submitted by 11:59 pm (CST/CDT).

Q: What paperwork and reporting do we have to do if my team competes?
A: The team’s Faculty Advisor must register with WSGC and submit a Notice of Intent to Compete (NOI) and all team members must register with WSGC and apply for the First Nations Launch Rocket Competition on the WSGC website. Submitting all required documentation on time is imperative as each report will be factored into your score. Reports submitted after 11:59 pm (CST/CDT) on the due date will lose 20% of the score value for each day the report is late.  Refer to the Scoring Rubric page for templates and more information. Each team will be required to submit simulations created with the Rocksim software. Teams will give a virtual oral presentation. Teams 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.  The FNL team will provide written feedback one week before the next design review is due.


Q:  Which rocket kits can our team choose from for the Gateway Challenge? 
A:  Teams participating in the Gateway Challenge may choose from one of three kits:
LocPrecision 4” Fantom 438 -
LocPrecision 4” Patriot -
MadCow 4” Super DX3 -

Q:  Can our team select the Fiberglass 4” Super DX3 rocket? 
A:  No.  The fiberglass 4” Super DX3 rocket requires a different motor than the motors allowed for this challenge, which in turn will not meet the apogee requirement.

Q:  What motors are we allowed to use for our competition rocket? 
A:  Aerotech 38mm DMS (disposable motor).  Motor choices are limited to H550, H219, H283, I140, I500.


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:  Can we select a Cesaroni motor for our rocket instead of the Aerotech motors listed in the competition parameters?
A:  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.  Requests for motors must be submitted to Frank Nobile by the due date listed on the FNL Calendar.

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-particle applications, skin-effect, and boundary layer experiments, environmental applications such as habitat monitoring or invasive species detection.

Q: Can 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.  All RP parts must be approved by Tripoli Rocketry Association.

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: Is there anything else I should have for my rocket?
A: WSGC requires 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: Do I need to obtain an FCC license for my GPS Tracker?
A: The FCC has three primary frequency bands designated for unlicensed operation. Unlicensed means the operator of the radios does not need to file directly with the FCC to use the radio or frequencies. The three frequency bands used for this in the U.S. are the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz. Government rules and regulations may change year to year.

For introductory rocketry, it is recommended to use an electronic tracking device that does not require licensing. Check out this tracking device tip sheet for more information on tracking devices.


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 as outlined on the FNL Calendar.

Q: What if we don’t get our rocket done before we need to leave for the competition?
A: You should plan on having your rocket 95-100% done before you come to Wisconsin. Teams will be able to put finishing touches on their rocket Friday afternoon during the launch weekend. 

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 Friday (Welcome Breakfast and 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. Launch weekend kicks-off on Friday morning with a Welcome Breakfast.  Teams should arrive in Kenosha on Thursday.  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?
A:  Transportation From MKE to Kenosha:
Wisconsin Coach Lines/Coach USA Bus (ticket price = $153.00 USD) one way. This is the fastest and most convenient way to travel to Kenosha, WI.  Individuals can purchase (cash or credit) a ticket in person when boarding the bus. The bus will drop off at a restaurant called The Brat Stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is 8.7 miles from the Brat Stop to the Wyndham Garden Kenosha Harborside Hotel. 
Go Riteway Airport Shuttle (414) 570-5200
Kenosha Cab Co. (262) 654-3511
Yellow Cab Co. (262) 657-7111(Kenosha)
Checker Cab Co. (262) 657-3141(Kenosha)
Black & White Cab Co. (262) 694-1900 (Kenosha)
Transportation from ORD to Kenosha:

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