Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium hosts high-powered rocket competition this weekend
The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, based at Carthage College, will host the nation’s largest high-powered rocket competition for Native American college students this weekend at Richard Bong State Recreational Area in Kansasville.
A total of 19 teams from 13 schools and 10 states will gather on the Carthage campus April 30-May 2 for the First Nations Launch. They will present rocket design projects, participate in workshops, and prepare to launch their rockets. To help promote the program, representatives from Kennedy Space Center will be on campus to help the teams prepare for launch day.
See the rocket launch on Saturday
The rocket launch will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at the park, 26313 Burlington Road. Visitors need to purchase a daily parking sticker ($7 for Wisconsin vehicles, $10 out of state). The public is welcome to attend.
Check out a map with a highlighted route to the launch site.
Carthage students and faculty are also invited to attend the design presentations:
- 5:45 p.m. Thursday, April 30: First Nations Launch design presentations, Todd Wehr Center Jockey Room B
- 6 p.m. Friday, May 1: Collegiate Rocket Launch design presentations, Todd Wehr Center Jockey Room A
Record-breaking rocket on display
Among the returning schools is Northwest Indian College (NWIC) from Bellingham, Washington. Last year, NWIC became the first Native American team to break Mach 1, and the record-breaking rocket will be displayed at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington.
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the National Space Grant Foundation, and WSGC collaborate on First Nations Launch. Judges for the event are James Wood, KSC Launch Services Program chief engineer; Jeff Leismer, VibeTech Inc. founder and chief technology officer; and Karen Broitzman, Wisconsin Department of Transportation aviation education program manager.
Top-performing teams will be invited to tour launch facilities at the Kennedy Space Center this summer.
Collegiate Rocket Competition
Also scheduled this weekend is the WSGC Collegiate Rocket Competition. Led by WSGC Associate Director William Farrow from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, this event follows a similar format and is open to academic affiliate members of the consortium.
Eleven teams from eight schools will participate. Winning engineering and non-engineering teams will move on to the 2014-2015 Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition sponsored by Minnesota Space Grant Consortium in North Branch, Minnesota.
The Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium is part of a national network of consortia funded by NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Congress established the program in 1988 to contribute to the nation’s scientific enterprise through research, education, and public service projects. Carthage College became the lead institution for WSGC in August 2014.