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2022-2023 Space Grant (in-the-) Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition - the "Precision Landing Challenge"

A general announcement and a competition handbook are posted below. More details were provided at the informational / kick-off videocon at 7 p.m. Central Time on 9/19/22 (and at the repeated videocon at 7 p.m. Central Time on 1/12/2023). 

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: As announced by e-mail in December, lead time for Cesaroni motors has increased so motors need to be ordered asap. Do not wait till February (as mentioned in the handbook and in the videocon slides). All teams will need at least one Cesaroni H225 motor (for the first flight at the competition), at possibly more than one (if you plan to use that same motor for test flight(s)), so this applies to all teams, including teams planning to use an AeroTech motor for their second competition flight. Contact Gary Stroick to order competition-day motors. Contact your local launch site vendor (that might also be Gary), to order test motors. ASAP!

The Minnesota Space Grant Consortium (MnSGC) announces its intention to run the Space Grant (in-the-) Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition. The fly-off will be held in Minnesota, but this competition is open to college/university student teams from across the nation during the 2021-2022 academic year. This competition is an opportunity for students to design and construct high-power rockets to be launched in May 2022 from a Tripoli high-power rocket club launch site just north of Minneapolis.

2022-2023 “Precision Landing Challenge” (summary description - highlighted parts are clarifications from original posting): College/university student teams will design and construct a single motor, single stage, high-power rocket that will fly twice during the competition. The challenge is (A) to use a steerable parachute during a totally-unpowered descent to guide the rocket booster to land as close as possible to a specified ground target, probably about 1000 ft from the launch pad, and (B) to land the booster so that it remains upright. For the purposes of this competition, the “booster” is defined to be the section of a rocket that fully contains the motor and also has the main stabilization fins and an up/down camera system on it. (Aside: The booster is allowed to separate from, and descend independently from, the upper section of the rocket, as long as all parts of the rocket land at safe speeds and are recovered in re-flyable condition.) If the booster is separated from other sections of the rocket in flight, all independent sections must contain tracking devices unless the separation occurs at or just prior to landing so that all the sections of the rocket land within 100 ft of one another.) Rockets will fly first on a Cesaroni 273H225-14A “White Thunder” (2-grain, 38 mm diameter) motor, and must exceed 1000 ft AGL (Above Ground Level). The second flight will have a target apogee as close as possible to, but not exceeding, 3000 ft AGL, and can be on any Cesaroni or AeroTech I-class or J-class 54 mm diameter motor. The rocket must carry a “non-commercial” (i.e. not sold for rocketry) data-logging sensor suite to characterize flight performance, including logging (at least once a second) GPS, av-bay pressure, 3-axis acceleration, and 3-axis rotation. The intent of the gps part of sensor suite is to track the booster. Thus, the sensor suite must be within the booster, or at least in a part of the rocket that is tied to (i.e. descends with) the booster, at least until landing (or very near landing). Do not separate the gps (at least) from the booster section at apogee, and have them descend separately (possibly landing far apart). The booster must also contain a look-up and look-down camera system, to collect video of the rocket motor boosting, the rocket separating, the steerable parachute in action, and the rocket landing. Bonus points will be given to teams whose members increase their certification level using individually-built rockets (which will be unrelated to the (team-built) competition rocket described above). Additional details about the competition will be included in a handbook. Note that all fabrication work on the rocket(s), except for possibly machining of plastic and/or metal parts, must be performed by students.

Logistical questions may be directed to James Flaten, MN Space Grant, U of MN,
Technical questions may be directed to Gary Stroick, Tripoli MN,



·         Kick-off/informational telecon: Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 (repeated Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023) from 7 to 8 p.m. CST (contact James Flaten,, for call-in information)

·         Garner your state’s Space Grant sponsorship and submit a (Non-binding) “Notice of Intent to Compete” by Oct. 1, 2022

·         $400 Registration Fee is due by Jan. 31, 2023, of which up to $100 will be applied toward purchase of competition motors

·         In-person Competition dates: Presentations & Safety Checks on Saturday, 5/13/23* (mid-afternoon & evening) then flights on Sunday, 5/14/23* (all day, plus an evening banquet)

·         Alternate (Weather-delay) flight date: Monday, 5/15/23* (as long as needed)


Schools that entered teams in the COVID-aborted 2019-2020 Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition that did not compete in 2021-2022 may elect to have their previous registration applied to this new competition, but may not extend registration credit beyond 2022-2023.

* If Minnesota has a particularly wet spring and the launch site clearly will not be useable by mid-May, the competition dates might need to shift. This will be announced in as far in advance as is practical. See details in handbook.

    - Announcement of Competition (circulated August 31, 2022):
    - Handbook for Competition (v5 posted 2/13/23 - minor edits on page 42 (and 31 and 32)):
    - Slides and link to recording from Informational / Kick-off Videocon
    - Non-binding "Notice of Intent to Compete" Form (due Oct. 1, 2022 - send form by e-mail to James Flaten, MN Space Grant,

   - Reports by a past year's winning team (UMD) - optional reading

   - Instructions for paying the $400 registration fee (if your team isn't using a pre-paid fee from 2019) - due Jan. 31, 2023

   - "Declaration of Competition Attendance" Template (due Feb. 10, 2023) - submit by e-mail to James Flaten

   - Information about hotels and camping options, plus stores (like hardware stores) and other "local attractions"

Last Modified: 2023-04-26 at 21:23:20 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation