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NASA’s Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition

Unique NASA Opportunity to Launch Rockets (2017-2018)

Informational Telecon:  September 26, 2017 @ 7:00 PM; January 18, 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Contact James Flaten,, for call-in information
                                      Call 605-475-5900 then enter 125345#
                                      Informational Telecon Slide Presentation
MnSGC Notice of Intent to Compete Deadline:  October 2, 2017
WSGC Notice of Intent to Compete Deadline:  October 16, 2017
WSGC Award Announcement:  October 30, 2017
Safety Meeting @EAA AirVenture Museum:  March 17, 2018 (10:00 am - 2:00 pm)
Launch Competition in North Branch, MN:  May 19-20, 2018 (Rain Date May 21, 2018)
“Roll-Orientable Single stage High-Power Rocket System”


Registration Fee:  $400 (Paid by WSGC Program Office)
Rocket Supply/Travel Award:  up to $2000 (Reimbursement provided through WSGC Program Office)
*Subject to the availability of funds

About the Program:  The Minnesota Space Grant (MnSGC) announces NASA’s Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Launch Competition. This competition is an opportunity for students to design and construct rockets to be launched at a competition in the spring of 2018 in North Branch, Minn.

WSGC Announcement of Opportunity
MnSGC Announcement of Opportunity
MnSGC Notice of Intent to Compete
MnSGC Competition Handbook

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) will sponsor up to three (3) teams with prior rocket experience to compete in the national competition. 

Note:  Teams selected to participate in the Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition may only receive funding for one WSGC sponsored rocket competition.  Individuals cannot compete on a Collegiate Rocket Launch team, but are encouraged to mentor a Collegiate Rocket Launch team.  

To Apply

A faculty advisor must complete the following steps:

If applying for both the Collegiate and Midwest Rocket Competition, please indicate in the Rocket Launch Team NOI which competition is the school’s preference.   

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

Individuals/teams may:

  • seek advice/mentorship from Industry, Tripoli, NAR, and others
  • include Graduate students* as long as they represent less than 50% of the team members

Competition Engineering Parameters

Student teams will design and construct a “roll-orientable” single stage high-power rocket system (dual deploy optional) that will fly twice on the same I-class or J-class motor and be recovered safely and in flyable condition. The students must implement a roll-control mechanism (without using canards) that can minimize roll (on the first flight) then follow a set of commands to roll to a series of specific orientation angles then hold each orientation for 1 second (on the second flight). Students must construct a non-commercial on-board data-logging sensor package that can log roll orientation (at least) at 10+ Hz, for comparison with orientation as documented by a downward looking video camera. Bonus challenge: Implement an XBEE-radio-based communication system so that the orientations requested can be reprogrammed at a distance and so that orientation data (and possibly other sensor data) can be sent down to a ground station by radio while the rocket is still in flight. More points for teams able to control roll and hold orientation effectively. More (bonus) points for teams able to send commands and data through their communications system quickly and reliably.

The competition will include two written reports about the design, analysis, simulation, build, and test flight results of the rocket, an oral presentation, plus a written assessment of competition flight data results. These will be scored by a panel of professional engineers 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. will be in the competition handbook – to be posted and discussed in the informational telecons.

Award Acceptance Components:  As part of the award acceptance, awardees will be asked to attend the Annual Wisconsin Space Conference as outlined in the award agreement and 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


  • Institutional W9
  • Invoice

Team Lead

  • Submit copies of all MnSGC documents to WSGC
  • 2-3 Project Photos
  • Final Team Roster

 All Team Members

  • Attend the WSGC Safety Review Meeting at EAA
  • Oral Design Presentation
  • Launch Competition
  • Present project at the 28th Annual Wisconsin Space Conference
  • Submit a proceedings paper for the 28th Annual Wisconsin Space Conference online journal

See more information about this year’s Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Launch Competition.
The WSGC Student Tools & Tips website is an excellent resource for all of your Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Launch Competition 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.  

Application questions may be directed to Dr. Farrow, or the WSGC Program Office.
Logistical questions may be directed to James Flaten, .
Technical questions may be directed to Gary Stroick, .

Please direct 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 the 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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