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Team America Rocketry Contest

By Amy Nguyen and Sidney Boakye


Governor's School @ Innovation Park

Dr. Psaker



Abstract (Summary)

Space and astronomy alike contain many vast unknowns that spark the curiosities of

minds from all walks of life. The only way to really find the answers to these unknowns is by

rockets, the vehicle astronomers use to get to these mysteries. Although the technology for space

has existed since 1898 and the technology for rockets has existed since 1232, there is still a lot of

room for improvements regarding safety and propulsion.

The Team America Rocketry Challenge has given students from middle to high

school a chance to explore these concepts of astronomical technology. In this project, a rocket

will be built using materials approved by the AIA, Aerospace Industries Association, as well as

the Federal Laws of Aviation and the Model Rocket Safety Code of the National Association of


The rocket will propel a regular hen’s egg to the highest altitude possible, then the

rocket will safely land in tact, with the egg undamaged. This project will explore various

concepts related to physics including thrust, propulsion, vehicle and rocket safety, as well as

inertia and various gravitational concepts.



Materials and Methods

The parameters of the rules of the Team America Rocketry Contest state that “the rocket

must not exceed 650 grams gross weight at liftoff. They must use body tubes of two different

diameters for their exterior structure. The smaller-diameter of the two must be used for the lower

(motor and fin) end of the rocket and must not be greater than 42 millimeters (1.65 inches,

corresponding to body tubes generally called BT-60) in diameter, and the larger one must be

large enough to contain the egg (which may be up to 45 millimeters) plus padding and altimeter.

Each tube must have no less than 150 millimeters (5.91 inches) of exposed length, and the

overall length of the rocket must be no less than 650 millimeters (25.6 inches) as measured from

the lowest to the highest points of the airframe structure in launch configuration. Rockets may

not be commercially-made kits designed to carry egg payloads with the only modification being

the addition of an altimeter compartment. They must have only one stage. They must be powered

only by commercially-made model rocket motors of “F” or lower power class that are listed on

the TARC Certified Engine List posted on the TARC website and provided in the TARC


The materials needed include balsa wood, a nose cone, rocket engines, a rocket igniter, a

model launch pad, a 12 inch parachute made out of plastic, a body tube, foam, bubble wrap,

streamers, a firefly altimeter, and a motor mount.

Here are the current technical drawings:



ROCKET CONTEST 4 Fig. 1 We are planning to make the rocket as small as can

Fig. 1

We are planning to make the rocket as small as can be and made of the most lightweight

material, while still able to meet the requirements of safely holding an egg and lifting off with

the highest altitude possible. We have also looked into many different resources and tutorials to

build the strongest and most compact rocket possible.




Because rocketry is the basis of our project, knowing the specifics of what goes

on at an atomic and physical level will aid us in our research. We believe that this opportunity

can help to improve safety and technology within the rocketry world and maximize the potential

of model rockets in their contribution to science and research. With the materials able to be

found in everyday stores, we believe that they are readily available for our usage. All we need to

do is build a rocket following the plan we have so far while keeping our minds open for new

ideas that would greatly improve the project. We will then need to test to make sure that it flies

as high as possible and lands as safely as possible. We may need to conduct multiple trials.

Finally on the day of the contest, we will launch our rocket and hope that it would be one of the

safest with the highest altitude possible.




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