Rocket Competition for Beginners


Sponsored by the Florida Space Grant Consortium, Florida Space Institute and the
North East Florida Association of Rocketry (NEFAR)

The objective of the competition is to build and launch an amateur rocket. There are two categories of competition to choose from.  The first will be won by the team that reaches the maximum altitude.  The second category challenges the teams to fly their rocket as close to 1000 feet in altitude as possible.  There must be at least two teams competing in each category.  If there is only one team, it will be asked to move to the other category.

NOTE: The intention of this competition is for beginners to learn about rocketry and start rocketry clubs at their schools. However, one member of the team or the team advisor may have some experience to help guide the team. Preference for the awards will be given to teams with no experience in rocketry.

  • The rocket is to be built from a kit and can be modified.
  • The engine must be a G80-7T and will be provided. NOTE: The engine can not be modified in any way.
  • Points will be awarded for the competition. The points for each part are as follows:
    Points for Flight

    1. 100 pts for highest or closest to altitude
    2. 90 pts for 2nd highest or closest to altitude
    3. 80 pts or 3rd highest or closest to altitude
    4. 70 pts for 4th highest or closest to altitude
  • The program manger or their alternate representative from each team will be required every month to submit a “progress and accomplishment report” of no more then 1 page for text plus photos of your work. Reports should include work done, parts lists, etc.  The report will be uploaded to the competition Wiki page. NOTE: There are no points awarded for submitting the Progress Reports; however, points will be deducted for lateness and non-submittal.

This competition is open to any university and community college team in Florida, both public and private.

Part I – Proposal

University teams with faculty advisor must submit a 2 page proposal with a budget of up to $500.00. The proposal will include the team name, team members with experience level and their email addresses, project manager name and email address, the name and email address of the program manager alternate, and the category or categories the team plans to compete in.

All teams that submit a proposal will be able to take part in the competition and compete for the prizes. At least 6 teams (from both categories) will be selected and awarded up to $500 to build the rocket. The funds will be provided as a cost reimbursable grant to the faculty advisor.  The grant can be used for supplies, motors, kits and travel.  Salary and capital expenditure is not allowed.  Indirect costs are also not allowed

Part II – Flight

Teams will then build and test their rockets for flight.

Teams will have their rockets and motors inspected for safety by a NEFAR representative just before launch.  NEFAR will sponsor the launch in at the club site in Bunnell.  Launch must take place before 2:30pm on the day of the launch.  To be awarded points for flight you must have a successful flight i.e. Launch, deployment of recovery system, and controlled landing.  All other flights will be judged on a case by case base.  NOTE: rockets deemed unsafe will not be allowed to fly in the competition until fixed and approved.

Part III – Altitude Determination

A recording barometric altimeter must be used to record data for competition. While it is the duty of the Contest Director to provide the flier with the launch site specifications so the altimeter may be calibrated to the correct base altitude, it is up to flier to provide proof of a properly calibrated altimeter to the Contest Director upon request.

The actual flight profile will be determined by the competition judges. The graph or other flight profile display provided by a recording device will be examined for accuracy. If it is shown that a sudden peak in altitude is attributable to the ejection charge, that peak will be not be used to determine the recorded altitude. The altitude just prior to or just after that sudden peak will be the official recorded altitude.

Altimeters with altitude sensors other than barometric sensors, such as accelerometers or magnetic apogee detection, may be used to deploy the recovery systems.  However, they are prohibited from use in determining the actual altitude.

Part IV – Prizes

The winning teams from each category will receive prize money according to the following chart.

Place Maximum Altitude Category Closest to 2000 ft. Category
1st Place $500.00 $750.00
2nd Place $300.00 $450.00
3rd Place $100.00 $200.00

The decision of the judges is final.


  • Sept. 18th: Deadline for Proposal with Budget
  • Oct. 2rd: Announcement of winners and grant awarded to faculty advisor
  • Oct. 16th: First of the every month report due.
  • Apr. 10th: Launch (May 8th: alternate date)

Submit Proposal and Questions to:

Robert Eppig
321-452-9834 ext 218
Mail Stop: FSGC
Center for Space Education
Bldg. M6-306, Room 7010
Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

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