UC Rocket Club Take First Place

By: Nick Fagan

Photos By: Jacob Chesley

UC Rocket team takes home first place at the Battle of the Rockets Planetary Rover Competition. 

The University of Cincinnati Rocketry Club recently placed first in the Battle of the Rockets Planetary Rover Competition sponsored by Federation of Galaxy Explorers and Tripoli. The team consisting of 10 club members ranging from seniors to freshman faced stiff competition.

The objective of the event was to launch a rocket containing a rover to a minimum height of 1000 feet. Once the rocket began to descend it deployed its recovery parachutes and the rover. The rover has to then parachute to the ground safely. After landing, the rover has to sense it landed safely and release its parachute and begin to navigate and drop markers all on its own without being given any commands.

The rocket and rover design proved to be a very challenging and rewarding experience for the club members. In the process of preparing for the competitions the members were able to see, hands-on, the many assets of engineering that are taught in the classroom. Having less than 5 months to design, build, and test the system proved to be the hardest obstacle to overcome as most of the work was done after work or on the weekends. Despite weather delays, backordered parts, and limited time to work the team was able to stay on schedule and get the rocket and rover together before the competition.

Winning the competition didn’t come without some hiccups along the way. Heavy winds, rough terrain, and software issues were just a few of the issues encountered during the competition.  The team was resilient and able to work through all of the problems. Ultimately the club was the only team at the competition to complete all three launches safely without any catastrophic failures which ended other teams’ hopes of winning. This came as a result of the team’s incredible hard work throughout the whole process to make sure all potential issues and risks were mitigated.

Being a fairly new organization, the UC Rocketry club is very proud to have won the event against all the stiff competition from Cincinnati and Oklahoma and Yale senior design teams and hopes that this win will just be the start of a long run of success for the club teams at events all around the country. The club is already exploring other possible competitions for next year and hopes that club membership will continue to grow allowing for the club to have several teams participate in events throughout the year.

If you are interested in joining the UC Rocketry Club and gaining hands on engineering experience through competitions like these please feel free to email the club at ucrocket@gmail.com or check out our Facebook or Twitter page for more information on past and upcoming meetings and events.

For more information please visit UC Rocket Club Facebook and Twitter.