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Canadian Team Takes Home the 2nd Annual Spaceport America Cup

Spaceport America, NM– June 25, 2018Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport  and the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA), announced McGill University as the Champion of the 2nd Annual Spaceport America Cup. McGill University is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and was chosen from a group of notable category champions to receive the honor.

The Spaceport America Cup took southern New Mexico by storm as over 1,500 students housed in surrounding cities and traveled through multiple parts of the state to arrive to the competition destination, Spaceport America.

The event kicked off on June 19th at the Las Cruces Convention Center where students displayed their rockets for judges and the public to enjoy. The opening ceremony keynote speaker, George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, welcomed students to New Mexico and shared his excitement of being able to interact with some of the brightest university students from around the world. Top commercial space companies and recruiters spoke to students in the booth area throughout the day.

On June 20 – 23 students traveled to the Spaceport America Vertical Launch area for a week of rocket launching. 92 rockets launched from the launch pads with most reaching their intended altitude. For the first time in the competition history a liquid fuel, liquid oxidizer rocket was successfully launched by the University of Michigan.

“ESRA is very proud of the 102 teams that attended this year’s event. Especially the almost 60 schools that launched by the end of the first full launch day. It is very humbling to see the teams get better and better every year. By Friday morning we had launched every team that was prepared to fly, and we kept the range open and helped get every rocket that passed safety inspections a launch attempt,” said Dustin Koehler, ESRA Vice President.

After the final day of launching, students traveled back to the Las Cruces Convention center for the 2018 Spaceport America Cup award ceremony. Keynote speaker, Robert Meyerson, Blue Origin Senior Vice President, congratulated the students on their hard work and dedication and invited them to stay connected with the Blue Origin recruitment staff. The ESRA leadership then took the stage to kick off the awards phase of the evening’s festivities. Starting with a couple Spirit Awards, followed by the Payload Category Awards (sponsored by Space Dynamics Laboratory), the Honorary Awards and finishing with the six Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition Category Awards.   Thematic music played and students cheered as their schools were announced to receive their award. As the award ceremony came to a conclusion it was time to announce the winner of the 2018 Spaceport America Cup. Spaceport America CEO, Dan Hicks, had the honor of announcing the McGill University team as this year’s winner.

“Spaceport America is extremely proud to host to this international rocket engineering competition.  We congratulate each of the participants for their months of hard work and intense planning efforts leading up to this year’s Spaceport America Cup competition. It’s unprecedented and extremely exciting to have this many talented individuals from across the globe gather to competitively launch their rockets, collaboratively share and expand their knowledge, and initiate their careers with our space industry sponsors and partners. We look forward to continued success in the space industry as these future leaders are shown how welcoming and unique New Mexico is for space exploration and development, ” said Dan Hicks.

Competitors chose to compete in various technical categories of design, payload, and performance objectives.  The winner from each of the six categories then competed for the honor of the prestigious Spaceport America Cup – which demonstrates exceptional excellence of achieving their performance objectives.  A complete list of this years winners can be found below:

Spaceport America Cup Champion: Team 47 McGill University of Quebec, Canada

Category Awards for the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition:

10K Commercial Of The Shelf Components

First Place 10K COTS:  Team 47 McGill University

Second Place 10K COTS:  Team 84 Brigham Young University

30K Commercial Of The Shelf Components

First Place 30K COTS: Team 79 Concordia University

Second Place 30K COTS:  Team 111 Stanford University

10K Solid Rocket-Student Research and Developed Components

First Place 10K Solid SRAD: Team 60 The Ohio State University

Second Place 10K Solid SRAD:  Team 85 West Virginia University

30K Solid Rocket-Student Research and Developed Components

First Place 30K Solid SRAD:  Team 65 University of Illinois-Chicago

Second Place 30K Solid SRAD: Team 53 University of Minnesota

10K Hybrid/Liquid Rocket Student Research and Developed Components

First Place 10K Hybrid/Liquid SRAD:  Team 38 University of Waterloo

Second Place 10K Hybrid/Liquid SRAD: Team 108 University of California-Los Angeles

30K Hybrid/Liquid Rocket Student Research and Developed Components

First Place 30K Hybrid/Liquid:  Team 9 University of Washington

Second Place 30K Hybrid/Liquid: Team 105 AGH University of Science and Technology

 

SDL Payload Challenge Awards:

First Place: Team 79 Concordia University for their dynamic experiment. They also won first place in their overall category and were the runner-up for the overall Spaceport America Cup.

Second Place: Team 116 Ryerson University for their magnetic damping experiment.

Third Place: Team 83 University at Buffalo for their cubesat TLE demonstration. They will be at SmallSat 2018 to present their paper and findings.

 

SDL Payload Challenge Honorable mentions:

Team 117 University of Victoria for amazing science

Team 63 Union College for full cycle professionalism

Team 53 University of Minnesota – Duluth for complex engineering

Team 104 Colorado State University for their 4 chamber atmospheric sampler

Team 111 Stanford University for their software defined radio GPS demonstration

 

Honorary Awards:

Jim Barrowman Award: Team 40 University of Sheffield

Charles Hoult Award: Team 100 ETH Zurich

Jim Fufarro Award: Team 35 Ecole Polythechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Dr. Gil Moore Award: Team 59 Polytechnique Montreal

The Spirit Award: Team 123 Rutgers University

The Sportsmanship Award: Team 37 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

The Spaceport America Cup is an annual event that will be held each year during the third week of June. For more information visit spaceportamericacup.com

 

About Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA)

The Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) is a partner on the Spaceport America Cup and is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 for the purpose of fostering and promoting engineering knowledge and experience in the field of rocketry. ESRA’s current focus is in the field of experimental sounding rocketry, which they define as between “experimental” or “research” high-power rockets and sounding rockets capable of achieving space altitude, generally defined as 100 km. Visit http://www.soundingrocket.org/ for more information.

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is a FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico. This spaceport was intentionally built for commercial and industry and has a rocket friendly environment. Spaceport America currently hosts Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EnergeticX Pipeline2Space and EXOS Aerospace. Visit http://spaceportamerica.com for more information.

Spaceport America is #NewMexicoTRUE.

Follow Spaceport America on

Twitter: @Spaceport_NM

Facebook: @SpaceportNM

Instagram: @spaceport.america

 

Event photos: https://www.spaceportamericacup.com/media.html

 

Media Contact:

Rosa Banuelos, Spaceport America

1.575.202.4524

media@spaceportamerica.com

 

Driving Directions

*Click here to download the latest driving directions to Spaceport America.*

ADVISORY: Access from the south includes approximately 24 miles that is currently under construction.
Due to construction activities be very cautious as people, machinery, equipment and other vehicles will be sharing the road.

Southern Road Update and Guidance

Students with Princeton SpaceShot Team Launch from Spaceport America

The SpaceShot rocket launched from the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Area on May 27, 2018

Spaceport America, NM – May 29, 2018 – On Sunday, May 27 students with the SpaceShot project team of the Princeton Rocketry Club launched a two-stage, solid fuel rocket from Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. The launch marks the 102nd flight from Spaceport America’s vertical launch complex.

The launch took place at approximately 9:39 a.m. (MDT), which was within the dedicated launch window, and flight data indicates the rocket attained a maximum altitude of approximately 47,610 ft, falling short of the original mission objective of reaching suborbital space at the Karman Line (100 kilometers) due to a second stage ignition failure. The parachute recovery system successfully deployed, leading to a safe recovery.

SpaceShot team members, who are Princeton University students, and Spaceport America staff cheered as the rocket soared off the launch pad at the Vertical Launch Area. Viewers around the world were also joining in via Facebook Live on the Spaceport America channel with over four thousand views.

Saad Mirza, Princeton student and Project Manager said: “Even though we fell short of the Karman Line we had an incredible opportunity to work as a team, learning hands-on over the course of the year, and launch at Spaceport America.”

SpaceShot project team of the Princeton Rocketry Club as they recovered the rocket at the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Area

Luigi Martinelli, associate professor of Mechanical and Aerospace engineering at Princeton said: “The students’ rocket is, to my knowledge, the smallest rocket that has ever been built that is capable of reaching outer space. We are very proud of the students for this fantastic achievement. Building and flying a real rocket provides experience that cannot be duplicated in the classroom.”

Coleman Merchant, chief engineer and designer said: “We are pleased that this is the Princeton’s Rocketry Club’s highest performing flight thus far, and we look forward to building off of the lessons we learned from both the construction and launch phases of this project.”

Spaceport America CEO Dan Hicks said: “We are very pleased that Princeton SpaceShot selected Spaceport America to conduct their attempt to reach the Karman line. These students have a very bright future in the rapidly expanding space industry. I’m sure some of them will help take us to Mars and beyond.”

 

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EnergeticX Pipeline2Space and EXOS Aerospace. Visit http://spaceportamerica.com for more information.

 

About the Princeton Rocketry Club

The Princeton Rocketry Club is a hands-on space enthusiast club that designs, builds, and flies a large variety of aerospace projects. The club is a student organization registered with Princeton University’s Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students.

 

Media Contact for Spaceport America  

Rosa Banuelos
Spaceport America
+1.575.202.4524
media@spaceportamerica.com

Media Contact for Princeton SpaceShot                                                   

Saad Mirza
Project Manager, Princeton SpaceShot
+1.716.790.9229
smirza@princeton.edu

Coleman Merchant
Chief Engineer and Designer, Princeton SpaceShot
+1.908.500.7761
cbm5@princeton.edu

 

 

New Mexico Tech Students launch rocket through sound barrier and to 24,000 foot altitude

Spaceport America, NM – April 18, 2018 – On Sunday, April 15 at 7:05 AM MDT, The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT) Rocket Team launched the latest of its student rockets from the Spaceport America Vertical Launch Area. The rocket was developed jointly by NMT and White Sands Research and Developers (WSRDs), a Las Cruces certified Woman Owned Small Business specialized in aerospace R&D. The rocket, called the Mustang VI-B, is 10.9 feet long and 6.1 inches in diameter and used a commercial solid rocket motor to soar to 24,127 ft. The maximum speed during the launch, 1372 feet per second or Mach 1.27, was well into the supersonic range. The rocket is reusable and can be processed and reflown rapidly.

After reaching its apogee of 24,127 ft mean sea level the rocket deployed its recovery system, and landed very close to the predicted impact point. It was recovered intact. Promptly after recovery, the students downloaded the recorded performance data for verification of performance and comparison with pre-launch predictions, where it was discovered that the maximum speed differed from WSRDs’ AeroACES software prediction by just 4 feet per second.

Students working on the project consisted primarily of junior and senior students from NMT’s Design Clinic courses. NMT’s students have been building and flying rockets as part of the Design Clinic since 2012 and have partnered with WSRDs since 2014. These students developed most of the on-board systems including the separation, recovery, and data acquisition systems. WSRDs developed the aerodynamic components including the aero-shell, nosecone, and fins.

Mechanical Engineering Professor Dr. Michael Hargather, the New Mexico Tech faculty advisor, said, “It is gratifying to see the hard work of the students pay-off with such a spectacular success. We look forward to future launches. We greatly appreciate the support from Spaceport America and White Sands Research and Developers.”

Dan Hicks, CEO of Spaceport America, said, “I congratulate the Tech students and Dr. Hargather on their success. The partnership with Spaceport America has resulted in four launches with each being more ambitious than the previous. These students will be fine additions to America’s aerospace workforce.” Mechanical engineering student and rocket team co-lead Aaron Misla said, “It’s the culmination of everyone’s hard work and dedication to a common goal. To succeed with flying colors like this is the best possible scenario we could have asked for.” At the end of hot wash, Dr. Christina Lohn, President of WSRDs, thanked the NMT students, Dr. Hargather, and NMSA for their support and handed out a mission patch commemorating the Mustang 6B launch.

Mustang 6B Rocket Launch, April 15, 2018, Spaceport America New Mexico

(Photo: J. Perry, Launch Crew, White Sands Research and Developers, LLC)

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EnergeticX Pipeline2Space and EXOS Aerospace. Visit http://spaceportamerica.com for more information.

 

Media Contact for Spaceport America                                                       

Rosa Banuelos
Spaceport America
+1.575.202.4524
media@spaceportamerica.com

Media Contact for New Mexico Tech                                                          
David Lepre, Jr.
New Mexico Tech
+1.575.835.5091
dave.lepre@nmt.edu

EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc. announces Pathfinder Test Launch date at Spaceport America

Texas firm sets May 5th, 2018 for the Pathfinder flight of their Suborbital Autonomous  Rocket with GuidancE (SARGE)

Spaceport America, NM and Caddo Mills, TX – April 11, 2018 – Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport and EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of reusable space launch vehicles based in Caddo Mills, Texas, announce significant progress towards launch of their newest vehicle SARGE. The date and time target was selected in honor of Astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr’s Suborbital Mercury Redstone 3 launch on May 5, 1961 @ 09:34AM.

EXOS has completed the design, test and build of their latest launch vehicle, received their FAA launch license and completed their final integration and test hovering their rocket like it’s a “lunar lander” (See this amazing tech demo at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p36BZAw0_3g&feature=youtu.be).

A successful Pathfinder test flight of the SARGE reusable system will solidify the company’s plan to use this technology as the design basis of their reusable (first stage) launch vehicle capable of carrying 100kg to orbit (200-400km).

“We are excited about the technology EXOS is developing and the entrepreneurial spirit and capabilities of the commercial space industry as it takes shape at Spaceport America. We look forward to supporting the EXOS mission in its upcoming spaceflight,” said Daniel Hicks, Spaceport America CEO. “A successful Pathfinder flight test will bring them one step closer to regular commercial suborbital launches, and ultimately tenancy and planned O&M activities, that could possibly even support their Orbital development at Spaceport. Spaceport America wishes EXOS the best as they forge forward with the potential to create ever more new high tech jobs in New Mexico than initially expected under this contract.”

“We are excited to enter into the testing phase of our SARGE platform at Spaceport America, and even more excited to reveal our plans for our JAGUAR Reusable (first stage) LEO launcher ” said John Quinn EXOS COO. “We look forward to enabling space research, manufacturing, and educational opportunity for the world by providing frequent suborbital flights that provide fast and affordable access to Space. Since the 36-foot tall 20-inch diameter SARGE rocket is designed for reusability, it is proving to be an excellent risk mitigation platform for our orbital technology development program.  The software and technologies we have developed are key to development of the Reusable first stage of our planned JAGUAR vehicle”. SARGE and JAGUAR will use NASA’s Morpheus flight code (acquired through a Space Act Agreement) that was modified by a team of scientists from Exos, Intuitive Machine, C-Squared, Helios and XISP Inc.

  

What’s next for Exos? 

Orbital – “Once Exos achieves a successful test of the SARGE platform we will move to using the SARGE platform to develop live dynamic condition assessment and prognostics system evaluation programs that will help us predict vehicle RUL (Remaining Useful Life) as a feed forward to reduce risk in our orbital program” said John Quinn EXOS COO. “We have built SARGE to be overly robust (and heavy) until we have a flight data set to show us where we can shave off weight safely leaving plenty of margin for repeated reuse”. Quinn says Exos designed the rocket system to support up to 200 flights; however they propose to use the Lox Ethanol vehicle as long as its “safe” and ultimately desire to sell the liquid fired rockets to MDA as “hard to acquire” targets as they near end of their economically viable life. 

About EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc.

EXOS is a leading developer of reusable space launch vehicles and is based in Caddo Mills, Texas. EXOS provides affordable, repeatable, and reliable commercial spaceflight with accelerated turnaround. Our payload customers are those who want to “fly now,” rather than a year from now, need minutes of micro G time, and prompt access to their payload. EXOS is booking payloads now on its SARGE vehicle and has SPACE available… or, If you are interested in Wet Leasing a SARGE vehicle for an extended research campaign, contact us for more details via the contact us link at http://www.exosaero.com/. Exos is planning the JAGUAR reusable first stage Orbital launcher testing to commence by 2020.

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, UP Aerospace, EnergeticX Pipeline2Space and EXOS Aerospace. Visit http://spaceportamerica.com for more information.

 

Media Contact for Spaceport America                                       
Rosa Banuelos
Spaceport America
+1.575.202.4524
media@spaceportamerica.com

Media Contact for EXOS
Lizi Gregory
EXOS
+1.844.289.2773
LGregory@EXOSaero.com