The Spaceport America Cup brought to you by ESRA and Spaceport America is an intercollegiate engineering competition for rocket teams from all over the country and around the world. Student teams competing in the Spaceport America Cup Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition must design, build, and launch a rocket carrying no less than 8.8 lb. of payload to a target apogee either 10,000 ft. or 30,000 ft. above ground level (AGL).
Projects will be divided into one of the following six categories based on the type of project attempted – defined by the target apogee and selected propulsion system.
1) 10,000 ft. AGL apogee with commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) solid or hybrid rocket propulsion system
2) 30,000 ft. AGL apogee with COTS solid or hybrid propulsion system
3) 10,000 ft. AGL apogee with student researched and developed (SRAD) solid rocket propulsion system
4) 30,000 ft. AGL apogee with SRAD solid rocket propulsion system
5) 10,000 ft. AGL apogee with SRAD hybrid or liquid rocket propulsion system
6) 30, 000 ft. AGL apogee with SRAD hybrid or liquid rocket propulsion system
Multistage launch vehicles and all chemical propulsion types (solid, liquid, and hybrid) are allowed.
Regardless of the category in which a project is entered, ESRA encourages student research and development (including modification of COTS components) of other systems, such as airframes, fins, nosecones, and parachutes. Efforts in this regard will be positively reflected in scoring – regardless of whether fabrication is performed by students directly, or by a third party working to student-supplied specifications.