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FAR-Mars Society Student Rocket Launch Contest Held in Mojave

7 May 2018, 21:53 UTC
FAR-Mars Society Student Rocket Launch Contest Held in Mojave
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Over the weekend the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) and the Mars Society held an exciting student rocket launch competition at the FAR launch site in California’s Mojave Desert. Announced last year, the rocket contest invited college engineering teams from around the world to compete for $100,000 in prizes, with the two $50,000 prizes award going to the student teams that get closest to an altitude of of 45,000 feet, with any liquid fueled rocket (for $50,000) and with a methane/oxygen liquid fueled rocket (for another $50,000). The prize’s goal of “closest to 45,000 feet,” rather than maximum altitude, puts a premium on control instead of just thrust. A minimum altitude of 30,000 feet is required to qualify.
While many teams entered the contest, only the UCLA student group was able to meet the May 5 deadline for this year’s launches. The UCLA rocket successfully launched from the desert site using a 650 lbs thrust ethanol/LOx rocket, but it unfortunately broke up when it hit the sound barrier at an altitude of 4,000 feet. As a result, the $100,000 in prize money remains on the table, with many more student team competitors expected to participate again next year.
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