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NASA’s Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition

Announcement of Opportunity

Unique NASA Opportunity to Launch Rockets (2023-2024)

Informational Telecon: September 18, 2023 @ 7:00 PM; January 11, 2024 @ 7:00 PM
Contact James Flaten,, for call-in information

MnSGC Notice of Intent to Compete Deadline: October 1, 2023
WSGC Notice of Intent to Compete Deadline: October 20, 2023
WSGC Award Announcement: October 27, 2023
$400 Registration Fee Due: January 31, 2023
Safety Meeting @Fox Valley Technical College*: March 25, 2023 (10:00 am - 2:00 pm)
Launch Competition in North Branch, MN: May 18-19, 2024 (Rain Date May 20, 2024)
“In-Flight Characterization Challenge”


Awards:* $2,400
*Subject to the availability of funds


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 2024 in North Branch, Minn.

WSGC Announcement of Opportunity
MnSGC Announcement of Opportunity
MnSGC Notice of Intent to Compete
MnSGC Competition Handbook
MnSGC Competition Handbook v. 2

Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) will sponsor up to two (2) 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:

The faculty advisor must first register with WSGC before students/team members register. One exception to the order of registration exists. If the student team lead has never registered with WSGC, he/she must register before the advisor begins the Notice of Intent (NOI).

  • A faculty advisor/co-advisor must complete the following steps:
  1. CREATE a NASA STEM GATEWAY account (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
  2. CREATE a WSGC account (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
  • A faculty advisor must complete the following step:
  1. Sign into your WSGC account and submit an application/supporting documents to the ROCKET LAUNCH TEAM (CREATE NOI) application site

Once the faculty advisor completes the Notice of Intent (NOI), identifies the team name, lists the co-advisor(s) (if applicable), mentor, team lead and student participants, and chooses which competition the team will compete in, the team lead and each team member will need to:

    1. CREATE a NASA STEM GATEWAY account (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
    2. CREATE a WSGC account (applicants will be required to update profile information annually).
    3. Sign into your WSGC account and submit an application/supporting documents to the MIDWEST ROCKET COMPETITION application site

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.

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 prior rocket experience
  • submit a preliminary budget
  • 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
  • include Graduate students* as long as they represent less than 50% of the team members

*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 the competition rocket at Tripoli events. The mentor must be certified at or above the level of motor the team wishes to fly AND be experienced in the type of construction, propulsion, and recovery the team uses.

See a list of current and past award recipients


2023-2024 “In-Flight Characterization Challenge” (summary description):

College/university student teams will design and construct a single motor, single stage, high-power rocket that will fly twice during the competition. The challenges are:

(A) minimize roll during the middle 50% of the coast with no moving parts (roll will be documented using a look-down camera, backed up with gyro sensor(s)), and

(B) carry a “non-commercial” (i.e. not sold for rocketry) data-logging sensor suite to monitor vehicle performance so as to make an in-flight estimate of peak altitude [and time to reach peak altitude] (AKA apogee) within 3 seconds of motor burnout (i.e. before the rocket reaches apogee). Sensors should be selected to deduce the actual air friction on the vehicle (to replace the estimated air friction value used by simulation software) and the actual total impulse of the motor (which might vary from the total impulse reported by the motor manufacturer by up to 10%).

All rockets will fly first on a Cesaroni 273-H-225-14A “White Thunder” motor, followed by a second flight which can be on any Cesaroni or AeroTech I-class motor. Both flights must reach at least 1000 ft AGL (above ground level), but not exceed 3000 ft AGL. Internal modifications (parachute, ballast, etc.) are allowed between flights, but not external modifications. Bonus points will be given to (1) teams whose member(s) increase their certification level using individually-built rockets (in parallel with the (team-built) competition rocket), (2) teams that can make a full 3D prediction of apogee location [and time to reach apogee] (including relative lateral position with respect to the launch site and/or absolute position (gps) – this will require additional sensors), not just estimating altitude of [and time to] apogee) within 3 seconds of motor burnout, and (3) teams that can transmit their estimate(s), and other performance data, to a ground station using a “non-commercial” radio telemetry system before the rocket reaches apogee. Note: All fabrication work on the rocket(s), except for possibly machining of fiberglass, carbon fiber, and/or metal parts, must be performed by students.

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
  • Quarterly Invoice

Team Lead

  • Submit all MNSGC documents to Gary Stroick with Minnesota Tripoli Rocketry Association by due date
  • Upload copies of all MnSGC documents to WSGC Grant Management page
  • 2-3 Project Photos
  • Final Team Roster

All Team Members

  • Attend the virtual WSGC Safety Review Meeting
  • Oral Design Presentation
  • Launch Competition
  • Present project at the 34th Annual Wisconsin Space Conference
  • Submit a proceedings paper for the 34th Annual Wisconsin Space Conference online journal

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  
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