24 • AUGUST 2017
Rock It is
Photos by Elva K. Österreich
Spaceport America Cup 2017 U
p to 2,000 rocketeers, family, friends, judges, sponsors and volunteers gathered for the Spaceport America Cup June 20-24, also known as the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC). The Cup, conceived in 2016 by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) and Spaceport America, is already the world’s largest rocket engineering competition. Students from six continents attended this year. Student teams were required to design, build and launch a rocket carrying at least 8.8 pounds of payload to a target apogee either 10,000 feet or 30,000 feet above ground level (AGL). After three days of non-stop launches and intense judging, the results were announced at the Spaceport America Cup Awards Banquet June 24.
IREC Team Conduct Awards: • Team Spirit – Rowan University • Team Sportsmanship – Oregon State University IREC Technical Excellence and Innovation Awards: • Charles Hoult Award for Modeling & Simulation – Texas A & M University • James Barrowman Award for Flight Dynamics – Missouri University of Science and Technology • Dr. Gil Moore Award for Innovation – École de
Technologie Supérieure Montreal • Jim Furfaro Award for Technical Excellence – Waterloo University • Space Dynamics Laboratory Payload Challenge – University of Victoria
Category winners: • 10,000-foot AGL apogee with commercial-offthe-shelf (COTS) solid or hybrid propulsion system – (1) University of British Columbia; (2) Massachusetts Institute of Technology • 30,000-foot AGL apogee with COTS solid or hybrid propulsion system – Stanford University; Ryerson University • 10,000-foot AGL apogee with student researched and developed (SRAD) solid propulsion system – West Virginia University; Missouri University of Science and Technology • 30,000-foot AGL apogee with SRAD solid propulsion system – Ohio State University; University of Arizona AIAA • 10,000-foot AGL apogee with SRAD hybrid or liquid propulsion system – University of Waterloo; Texas A&M University • 30,000-foot AGL apogee with SRAD hybrid or liquid propulsion system – University of Michigan; University of Washington.
A team makes last-minute adjustments to their entry. Teams from Egypt examine their returned payload. Other teams came from the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Brazil and Canada. IREC teams and spectators search the sky for a recently launched rocket. For safety, everyone scans for rockets, chutes and payloads as they approach the ground, then point as items are spotted. A rocket blasts off.