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Collegiate Rocket Competition

Announcement of Opportunity

Collegiate Rocket Competition
Announcement of Opportunity
“Capture Detailed Image of a Designated Ground Target”
April 26-28, 2024

Applications Open: August 11, 2023
Informational Meeting:
October 2, 2023 @ 6 p.m.
Notice of Intent to Compete Deadline: October 20, 2023
Award Announcements: October 27, 2023

LAUNCH 2 LEARN (L2L) Level 1 High-Power Virtual Rocket Certification Workshop: NOVEMBER 10-11, 2023
L2L Application Deadline: October 20, 2023

Collegiate Rocket Launch Zoom Meetings:
A calendar of events fully detailing program due dates is included in the competition handbook.

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 ten (10) 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 by a faculty member, in which the team lead and team members are listed. Teams are encouraged 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.

* The material contained in this document is based upon work supported by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) grant or cooperative agreement. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASA.


Mission Grand Champion - $3000* and VIP Tour at Sierra Space in North Freedom, WI
2nd Place - $2000
3rd Place - $1000
Team Funding**: up to $1000 for rocket supplies and equipment
Travel Funding***: based upon round trip travel to and from the competition (see chart below)
Competition Rocket Motor: (One competition motor)
Altimeter: Jolly Logic Altimeter Two

*Awarded to the highest-scoring team that successfully completes the mission and all aspects of the competition.
**Subject to availability of funds.
Teams whose schools are outside the following radius measured from their institution to Richard Bong State Park in Kansasville, Wisconsin, are eligible to request additional travel funds at the time the preliminary budget is submitted: 1) <50 miles = no lodging; 2) >50 miles < 100 miles = 1-night hotel (maximum 2 rooms); 3) >100 miles = 2-night hotel (maximum 2 rooms). The reimbursable mileage rate is $.655/mile. Four-member teams are eligible for up to two competition mileage reimbursements (Advisor/team). 5-6 member teams are eligible for up to 3 competition mileage reimbursements (Advisor/team). All teams are eligible for one Safety Meeting mileage reimbursement.
NOTE: Only one travel reimbursement per team for competition weekend.

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.


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, hand-on, aerospace experience for students that would not otherwise be available in the region.



Student teams will be required to design, construct, and fly a high-power, one-stage rocket that, following apogee, will be recovered safely and in flyable condition, predict the rocket’s flight performance, collect down-looking on-board video during the flight up, and after apogee, capture a detailed image of a designated ground target. Additional rocket parameters include the use of a rocket motor from a specified list, and dual-deploy, electronic recovery with motor-charge backup. The rocket is required to use electronic deployment of the recovery parachute and must include motor deployment as a backup. A downed rocket location aid must be included. 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 a combination of best apogee as well as accuracy of their predicted apogee.

The competition will include a series of written reports about the design, analysis, simulation, build, and test flight results of the rocket, an oral presentation, plus an 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.

Work Period

October 27, 2023 - May 31, 2024

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 COLLEGIATE ROCKET COMPETITION application site

Application Requirements:

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

To qualify for the competition, individuals/teams must:

    • attend any WSGC Academic Affiliate Institution full-time
    • be US citizens
    • have a committed faculty mentor
    • have a committed Industry, Tripoli, and/or National Association of Rocketry mentor
    • select a team leader


    • may be comprised of 4-6 team members
    • can compete without experience (teams will be given the basic training and information required)
    • shall seek advice/mentorship from Industry, Tripoli Rocketry Association, National Association of Rocketry, and others
    • shall obtain membership through Tripoli Rocketry Association and/or the National Association of Rocketry
    • are encouraged to obtain Level I, II, and/or III high-powered rocket certification through Tripoli Rocketry Association or National Association of Rocketry.

*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

Award Acceptance Components:

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

All Advisors/Participant

    • Award Agreement Letter
    • One-Paragraph Biography
    • PI Professional Photo
    • Institutional W-9

All Team Members

    • W-9
    • Attend the Online Kick-off Meeting
    • Attend the Online Design Review Meetings
    • Attend the Virtual Safety Review Meeting
    • Attend Oral Design Presentation @ Carthage College
    • Attend the Launch Competition
    • Submit Student Stories

Winning Teams

Team Lead

    • Preliminary Design Review Report
    • RockSim model file of Preliminary Design
    • Preliminary Budget
    • Demo Flight
    • Critical Design Review ReportFinal Team Roster
    • Flight Readiness Review Report
    • Team Bio
    • Team Photo
    • Education Outreach Form
    • Post Flight Performance Report
    • 2-3 Project Photos Featuring Team Members


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: 414-277-2241  
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