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Collegiate Rocket Competition

COVID-19 Response:  The Collegiate Rocket Launch competition hosted by NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium scheduled for April 25-27, 2020, is postponed until September 18-20, 2020.  We continue to actively monitor national and local conditions and are taking appropriate action to protect and care for all students and those supporting the event. Each team may proceed with the rocket build at the discretion of the university administration and the team advisor after receiving a no-cost extension to their current award.  Any design changes must be approved by Frank Nobile. Please submit all invoices and supporting documentation digitally to the WSGC program office,, no later than May 11, 2020.  Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium will provide regular updates on the competition status. Please direct all inquiries to

Unique NASA Opportunity to Launch Rockets (2019-2020)

Informational Telecon: October 3, 2019 @ 7 pm CDT (262.551.2124)
Notice of Intent to Compete Deadline: October 15, 2019
Selection Announcement: November 1, 2019
Advisor Award Acceptance Due:  November 8, 2019
Virtual Kick-off Meeting*:  November 7, 2019 @ 7-8 pm CST Number:  992 115 680     Password: design
Audio Connection:  414-221-8000 (WebEx)     Access Code: 992 115 680
Safety Meeting @EAA AirVenture Museum-Founder’s Wing*:  March 28, 2020 (10:00 am - 2:00 pm) 
The Collegiate Rocket Launch, Midwest Rocket Launch, and IREC safety meeting hosted by Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium and scheduled for March 28, 2020, will take place virtually instead of at the EAA facility. We continue to actively monitor national and local conditions and are taking appropriate action to protect and care for all students and those scheduled to attend the event.  In lieu of an in-person safety meeting, we will schedule virtual safety meetings with each team via GoToMeeting between 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m on Saturday, March 28, 2020. We realize that COVID-19 closures and delays may make it impossible to complete the construction of your rocket prior to the safety meeting.  We still ask that teams nominate one or more persons to be online for the meeting to share updates and report the status of your build. We will be flexible and will resume normal operations only after it is safe and convenient for all to do so.
Number: +1 (408) 650-3123 Access Code: 413-589-853
Oral Presentation @Carthage College*: April 17, 2020 April 25, 2020  September 18, 2020
Launch Competition - “Boosted Dart)”  @Richard Bong Recreational Park*: April 18, 2020 April 26, 2020   September 19, 2020
Rain Date: April 19, 2020  April 27, 2020    September 20, 2020 
*Mandatory Meetings
A calendar of events fully detailing program due dates is included in the competition handbook.

Announcement of Opportunity 2020
Competition Handbook 2020 (See Student Tools & Tips)

Congratulations to last year’s Collegiate Rocket Launch Competition Winners!

First Place: Pioneer Rocketry II, University of Wisconsin - Platteville
Second Place: Wombat Rocketry, University of Wisconsin - Sheboygan
Third Place: Rocketeers, University of Wisconsin - Fox Valley

See a list of current and past award recipients

Awards*: Mission Grand Champion - $3000**; 2nd Place - $2000; 3rd Place - $1000
Team Funding*:  up to $775 rocket supplies and equipment, flight competition motor and flight data recorder
Travel Funding*:  based upon round trip travel to and from competition (see chart below)

* Subject to availability of funds.
**Awarded to highest scoring team that successfully completes the mission and all aspects of the competition.

Pioneer Rocketry, University of Wisconsin-Platteville 1st Place - 2019

Pioneer Rocketry, University of Wisconsin-Platteville 1st Place - 2019


Purpose:  The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium’s (WSGC) Collegiate Rocket Competition is intended to supply teams of affiliated university students with the opportunity to demonstrate engineering and design skills through direct application.  It allows the teams to conceive, design, fabricate and compete with high powered rockets.  The restrictions on rocket motors and dimensions are limited so that knowledge, creativity and imagination of the students are challenged.  The end result is a great aerospace experience for students that would not otherwise be available in the region.

It is the purpose of this Announcement of Opportunity to support the innovative, visionary projects that are student-led and designed to fully realize WSGC’s goal of assisting in training the next generation of aerospace professionals.

About the Program:  The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) announces the Annual Collegiate Rocket Launch Design Competition. This competition is an opportunity for students to design and construct rockets to be launched at a competition in the spring from Richard Bong State Recreational Area, Kansasville, WI. 

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) will sponsor up to twelve (12) teams - one team per academic institution.  To qualify for the competition, interested teams of 4-6 students will be required to submit a Notice of Intent to Compete, in which they name their team members and committed faculty mentor. Teams are allowed to seek advice from Industry, Tripoli, NAR, and others. Teams do not need to have prior rocket experience.  

Note: Teams selected to participate in the Collegiate Rocket Launch Competition may only receive funding for one WSGC sponsored rocket competition. Individuals selected to compete in the Collegiate Competition cannot compete on a Midwest High-Power Rocket Launch team, but are encouraged to shadow a Midwest High-Power Rocket Launch team.  Only six (6) students can register per collegiate team on the WSGC registration site.
Rocketeers, UW-Fox Valley, 3rd Place - 2019


Competition Engineering Parameters:

Student teams will be required to design, construct and fly a high-power, “boosted dart” (essentially a 2-stage rocket with no motor in the upper stage which drag-separates after motor burn-out) that will be recovered safely and in flyable condition, predict its flight performance, collect down-looking on-board video from the dart and construct a non-commercial on-board data collection package that will characterize dart rotation in the X, Y, and Z axes over time.  Additional rocket parameters include the use of a specific motor and dual-deploy, electronic recovery with motor-charge backup. The rocket is required to use motor deployment of the recovery parachute but in addition,  teams may also use electronic deployment for more control of the flight. A downed rocket location aid must be included in both the dart and booster. All structural components and materials for the rocket must be obtained from reputable high-powered rocketry vendors or an engineering analysis demonstrating their suitability must be included with the design. The winner of the flight portion of the competition will be the team whose rocket completes a safe, successful flight with full separation of the dart before apogee and whose dart achieves the highest altitude.

The competition will include three written reports about the design, analysis, simulation, build, and test flight results of the rocket, an oral presentation, plus assessment of competition flight data results.  A panel of professionals will score these from both academia and industry.  Scoring of the pre-competition reports and the post-flight report will focus on the system design and its performance.  More details about the competition motor, reports, deadlines, etc. are available in the competition handbook.

Equipment/Reimbursable funds provided by WSGC:

Required Competition
Rocket Motor


Aerotech Consumer Aerospace:
        I435bt   38mm

Thrust curve data can be found at:

Competition Flight Data Recorder

Raven III Featherweight Altimeters
Raven III Manual
Raven III QuickStart Guide

1.80” long x 0.8” wide x 0.55” thick  (~7 gm)
Powered by a 9V battery  (~45 gm)

This recorder is separate from the team’s electronic deployment system and will be inserted at time of launch to record acceleration & altitude vs. time.

Rocket Supplies and Equipment


Reimbursed up to $775.  Submit a Team Reimbursement Form accompanied with original receipts to:
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
2001 Alford Park Drive
Kenosha, WI  53140
ATTN:  Lisa Crumble

NOTE:  Final reimbursement deadline is May 4, 2020 May 11, 2020

WSGC Team Expense Reimbursement Instructions

Travel Award

Teams are eligible for lodging reimbursements based upon one-way mileage from Richard Bong Recreational Area to the team’s college/university.  Travel budgets must be included with the preliminary budget submission. Rooms reservations are available at the Hampton Inn & Suites, 7300 125th Avenue Kenosha, WI 53142 under the WSGC Block rate ($99/night) 262.358.9800 through March 17, 2020.

Booking Link

  • <50 miles = no lodging
  • >50 miles<100miles = 1 night hotel (maximum 2 rooms)
  • >100 miles = 2 night hotel (maximum 2 rooms)

    *NOTE:  Only one travel reimbursement per team for competition weekend

The reimbursable mileage rate is $.58/mile.  4 member teams are eligible for up to 2 competition mileage reimbursements.  5-6 member teams are eligible for up to 3 competition mileage reimbursements.  All teams are eligible for one EAA Safety Meeting mileage reimbursement.

All travel reimbursement requests must be signed and submitted by the Faculty Advisor.  


EAA Safety Meeting

To Apply:  A faculty advisor must complete the following steps:

Once the faculty advisor completes the Notice of Intent (NOI), identifies the team name, lists the known student participants, and chooses which competition the team will compete in, each student will need to:

Application Requirements: Team/Individual applicants who meet the following requirements can apply for this grant by registering and applying online at

  • be US citizens
  • attend any WSGC Academic Affiliate Institution full-time
  • have a committed faculty mentor 
  • be comprised of 4-6 team members
  • select a team leader

Individuals/teams may:

  • seek advice/mentorship from Industry, Tripoli, NAR, and others
  • compete without experience (Teams will be given the basic training and information required)

*Note from Tripoli:  Without exception, university teams must involve an experienced mentor, preferably a TAP or L3CC, during the design and construction phases of their rocketry projects if they expect to fly them at Tripoli events. The mentor must be certified at or above the level of motor the team wishes to fly AND experienced in the type of construction, propulsion, and recovery the team uses. 

Although it is ultimately up to the judgment of the RSO and Launch Director, University teams who build a rocket that requires a motor higher than their member cert levels, and then as an afterthought contact a club hoping to fly (without ever involving an experienced mentor) should be told no.  

Groups of students wishing to be paired up with like-minded students at other affiliate institutions should contact the WSGC Institutional Representative for their campus. Members of groups underrepresented in aerospace disciplines are particularly encouraged to participate.

*Individual students cannot participate in more than four WI Collegiate Rocket Competitions.

See a list of current and past award recipients

Award Acceptance Components:  As part of the award acceptance, 1st-3rd place awardees will be asked to attend and present at the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference as outlined in the award agreement and all participants will submit the following documents on the WSGC application website under Program Applications/Your Applications:

All Advisors/Participants

  • Award Agreement Letter
  • Media Release Form
  • One-Paragraph Biography
  • Professional Photo

 All Team Members

  • Attend the Online Kick-off Meeting
  • Attend the Online Design Review Meetings
  • Attend the Safety Review Meeting
  • Oral Design Presentation
  • Launch Competition
  • Submit Student Stories

 Team Lead

  • Preliminary Design Report
  • Preliminary Budget
  • Demo Flight
  • Interim Progress Report
  • Final Team Roster
  • Final Design Report
  • Education Outreach Form
  • Post Flight Performance Report
  • 2-3 Photos

 Winning Teams

  • Present project at the 30th Annual Wisconsin Space Conference
  • Submit a proceedings paper for the 30th Annual Wisconsin Space Conference online journal
  • Individual W9

The WSGC Student Tools & Tips website is an excellent resource for all of your Collegiate Rocket Launch needs. If you cannot find your answer here, questions can be sent to the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium at ,  Questions will be answered on an individual basis, and duplicate questions will be posted on WSGC’s Facebook Page.  

Please direct your questions about the Student Satellite Initiatives Program to:

Dr. William Farrow Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium
Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium Carthage College
Associate Director for Student Satellite Initiatives 2001 Alford Park Drive, Kenosha, WI 53140
Milwaukee School of Engineering Phone: 262-551-6054
Phone: 414-229-3951 Phone: 262-551-6054


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This funding opportunity is made available for the pursuit of space-related research and/or activities through the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program: NASA Training Grant #NNX15AJ12H. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number for this award is 43.008.

All awards are fully competitive awards of opportunity in which applications are reviewed by a WSGC Technical Advisory Panel and other experts as needed. Awards are made by the Assistant Director based on recommendations from the Associate Director.


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