The Terrapin Rocket Team (TerpRockets) is a university-recognized and student-led engineering competition club composed of 65 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. Last year the team placed 2nd in the 10k SRAD category, which meant we were flying to 10k ft. on a student researched and developed solid rocket motor. The team also placed 5th overall out of the 119 international teams at SAC 2023. This year the team will be competing in the same category and attempting to place 1st overall in the entire competition.
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 sub-team 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 sub-team 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 sub-team is responsible for making a scientific payload to fly along with the rocket. The team is currently working to develop a releasable inner payload that has some control over its descent but also has the ability to hold and release a glider.
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 full scale motors soon.
Two-Stage: Two-stage rockets allow much more efficient flights to higher altitudes. This sub-team is currently building their second rocket ever, and is learning a lot about the methods used to launch multi-stage high powered rockets. The work they do 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. Minimum diameter rockets minimize the distance between the fins and the motor, which overall minimizes weight and size 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 sub-team is currently working on developing systems for commercial hybrid systems to develop the skills necessary to work with liquid oxidizers.
Liquids: This team is going to make the team's first ever liquid rocket engine. It involves a lot of in-house machining of components and will require a lot of testing and analysis before launch.
Active Vertical Stabilization: This team's goal is to design and integrate a device that will actively stabilize a rocket during flight. It requires completely custom flight computers and a lot of in-house machining.
Make sure to follow us on all of our platforms!
LinkedIn: Terrapin Rocket Team
Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details.