The Terrapin Rocket Team (TerpRockets) is a university- recognized and student-led engineering competition club composed of 50 cross-discipline undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Maryland. We are dedicated to spreading the hobby of high-power model rocketry to everyone and pushing our limits to develop ever-increasing complex projects. The main competition we participate in is the Spaceport America Cup (SAC), the largest intercollegiate rocket competition in the world.
Spaceport America Cup:
The Spaceport America Cup (SAC) is the worlds largest intercollegiate rocketry competition that takes place in New Mexico every June. The goal of the competition is to carry a scientific payload of 8.8 pounds to a specific altitude. In the past, the team has competed in the 10k COTS category, which meant we were flying to 10k ft. on a commercial solid rocket motor. This year the team will compete in the 10k SRAD category with a student made and developed solid rocket motor, a first for the team.
In order to compete in the competition, the team needs to travel across the country to New Mexico, a 30 hour drive. This is a very large portion of our yearly budget as we need to pay for rental cars, gas, and hotels for around 15 people.
Why Should you Support the Terrapin Rocket Team?
TerpRockets is a diverse group full of members passionate about rocketry. We have majors ranging from aerospace engineering to physics and electrical engineering. Your support will help the team compete to the fullest extent at the Spaceport America Cup by providing funds for materials, rocket motors, certification rockets, and travel for the team.
Aerostructure: This subteam is responsible for manufacturing the structure of the rocket. This includes making custom fiberglass and carbon fiber tubes, cutting out fins, and doing structural analysis on the rocket.
Airbrake: Since the Spaceport America Cup is is a competition based on altitude precision, the team is working on a system that will be able to slow the rocket down to precisely hit the altitude target of 10,000 ft.
Avionics: This subteam is working on making an avionics system to fly along with the rocket and collect flight data and relay it to the ground.
Payload: The payload team is responsible for making a scientific payload to fly along with the rocket. The team is currently working on a deployable payload that will act as a radio relay for our rocket and attempt to control its flight with its parachute.
Solids: This team designs and mixes the motor for the competition rocket. The team has characterized the propellant formulation for this year and will be test firing its first full scale motors soon.
2 Stage: This team is learning the important skills necessary to safely light solid rocket motors mid air. 2 stage rockets allow much more efficient flights to higher altitudes and the work this team does will be used in future high performance projects by the team.
Minimum Diameter: This team is responsible for developing a high performance rocket capable of supersonic flight. This is done by minimizing size and mass to optimize altitude and minimize drag.
Hybrid: This team is working on developing a hybrid propulsion system. Hybrid rocket motors are special because they have a solid fuel and a liquid oxidizer which provides many challenges. The subteam is currently working on developing systems for commercial hybrid systems to develop the skills necessary to work with liquid oxidizers.
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