Team America Challenge at LUNAR

The Team America Challenge is alive and well at LUNAR as five bay area high schools use our launch facilities to prepare and qualify their entries for the challenge. During the last few weeks of the challenge, LUNAR has made its launch facilities and volunteers available to any teams who need to test and certify their creations.

The Team America Challenge is a competition for high school rocketry teams nation wide. The object is to design and build a two stage rocket that launches two raw eggs to exactly 1500 feet and returns them to the ground unbroken. They must do all of this in about 6 months. This would be a challenge for experienced rocketeers but these teams are building such a rocket as their first rocket.

The challenge is sponsored by the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). The challenge has a total of about $50,000 in prizes for the winning schools. See the NAR Team America Challenge page or the AIA Team America Challenge page for complete information.

The list of qualifiers for 2001-2002 is available on the ATA pages.

NASA also has a Team America Challenge page with some additional prizes for the winners.

Start planning for the 2002-2003 challenge.

LUNAR is supporting any team in the area who would like to try to qualify. For the last few weeks of the challenge, LUNAR has scheduled 4 launches a week at our launch facilities for teams to test their systems. LUNAR volunteers have used up a lot of their vacation time to be on hand to run the launches and help with the testing. LUNAR has paid the usage fees for Robertson park and obtained all the licenses and permits necessary for these special launches at no cost to the teams.

Teams Flying at LUNAR

AHS - Aptos High School
ARHS - Alum Rock High School
ECHS - El Cerrito High School
FHS - Folsom High School
LCHS - Laguna Creek High School
LGHS - Los Gatos High School
NMHS - Newark Memorial High School
SHP - Sacred Heart Prep, Atherton
SVHS - Scotts Valley High School
DHS - Davis High School
DHS/EJH - Emerson Jr. High School

Launch Days

Anyone with writeups of what happened on each of the launch days, please send it to the webmaster and I will include it here. If you can identify which group is which in the pictures or have interesting captions for any of them, send them as well. I am also looking for more pictures, videos, and results for each of the teams.
Datewhat happened


Some of these pictures are from 3/6 and some are from 3/9.

Laguna Creek High School ^

Program Managers observe as a technician tries to stuff two batteries, an altimeter, and a G-Whiz into a cramped electronics bay.

Lee Teicheira explains the ramifications of the Homeland Security Act to the SF Chronicle reporter.

Robert Briody shows the launch manager which way he will have to run to recover the payload.

From Lee Teicheira

The Team America Challenge is alive and well in LUNAR Land! Today was
near perfect weather for a launch and the TAC teams used it to good
advantage. Although I failed to take an accurate count, I am pretty sure
that all of the teams on the list showed up and flew. Also present were
a number of LUNAR members, both advising and flying. Thanks to all!

Today, there were 4 or 5 official qualifying flights that I know of. I
signed off on 2 for Laguna Creek High School and 1 for  Newark Memorial
High School. Charles Winter signed for flights from one of the schools
he is working with. More info coming.

The scoring for these flights is pretty straight forward. The score is
the sum of 1 point per foot that the 1500 foot target altitude was
missed by (in 5 point increments, the resolution of the official
altimeter) plus 50 points for a cracked egg (not leaking) and/or 100
points for a leaking or broken egg. Lower is better with "0" being 

Newark Memorial High School has 2 teams with 2 very different approaches
to this task. One team is lead by Brent Williams and Matt Chapmen. 
Their rocket , which stages a single D-12 to an E-9 launched and staged
successfully, but appears to suffer from marginal thrust and velocity at
liftoff resulting in a rather low trajectory and scrambled eggs. The
second NMHS team is lead by Aaron Bence, Allison Baumann, and Louela
Arzadon. Their rocket, which flys with composite motors in both stages,
launched and staged successfully! Good Job team! Today, they achieved an
official score of 385. Their altitude of 1315 was an excellent effort,
but unfortunately, deployment problems resulted in both eggs being
returned broken.

Laguna Creek High School has one team that logged 2 qualifying flights
today. Team members are Heiesung (James) Kim, Jessica Handcock,
Hoi-Leong (Thomas)Wong, Jashua Michael Hanson, Kyle Jewhurst, and Laine
Walker-Avina. Their rocket, which stages a 4 motor D-12 cluster to a
single E-9 sustainer, had several successful flights today, including
the 2 official qualifying flights. This team has really done their
homework, so to speak, with lots of trial flights and the data to go
with them, right down to weighing the motors in an attempt to get
consistent total impulse from the 5 black powder motors. They were
rewarded with a best official flight of 1490' and 2 unbroken eggs for a
total score of 10. This flight will probably earn the team an invitation
to the fly-offs in Virginia. Way to Go!! This flight was their second
official attempt of the day, following a first attempt that went to
1615'. After the first flight, one of the team members entered the
flight data into a hand held computer, performed a regression analysis
on all of their data and determined that another 25 grams of weight was
necessary to hit the target altitude of 1500'. They achieved 1490'.
NASA, are you paying attention? I have some Flight Engineer candidates
for you!

GOOD JOB! to all the teams that participated today. This is not a simple
engineering task, even for an experienced rocketeer. These kids, err,
rocket engineers are a part of our future, and it's looking good!!!



Laguna Creek High School ^

Rained Out
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