Home New mexico united Australian teams flew to the Spaceport America Cup

Australian teams flew to the Spaceport America Cup

  • The Intercollegiate Rocket Competition has drawn international rocket teams to New Mexico since 2017.
  • New Mexico State University wins local Chile Cup award for first time.
  • The University of Sydney won three awards, including overall champion.

LAS CRUCES ‒ After a three-week delay due to technical problems last month, the winners of the Spaceport America Cup rocket contest were announced last weekend during a live awards ceremony.

New Mexico’s Spaceport America, which has hosted the annual competition since 2017, said more than 1,300 entrants participated, mostly college students and their mentors, from 95 institutions in 16 countries. The competition begins and ends with presentations at the Las Cruces Convention Center, while launches take place over a few days at the Spaceport Vertical Launch Facility in Sierra County.

When competitors gathered for the closing ceremonies in Las Cruces on June 25, they learned that most of the winners would not be announced that evening, due to problems collecting flight data from all launches. rockets. The judges, volunteers who reside across the United States, ultimately took three weeks to process the data and score the teams accurately.

A total of 14 prizes were awarded in addition to three cash prizes from Space Dynamics Laboratory research payloads piloted by teams from the University of Queensland, the University of West Virginia and the University of Sidney.

Once the winners were announced, it was clear that 2022 – the first Spaceport America Cup competition to take place in person since 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic – was a big year for Australian teams.

The competition’s overall prize, the Cup itself, went to the University of Sydney, whose team launched a rocket named Bluewren to 30,000 feet with a research payload designed to help collect space debris.

Sydney also won first place in SDL’s payload competition and achieved the highest score for 30,000ft flights by “off-the-shelf” commercial rockets, while three other Australian teams also took home prizes. : The University of Queensland took third place in the payload competition, while the Charles Hoult Prize for Modeling and Simulation was won by the University of Melbourne, with the Monash University team as runners-up .

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The Chilean Cup, a prize for teams based in New Mexico or Texas, was first won by New Mexico State University’s Atomic Aggies, who prevailed over teams from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico Tech and University of Texas at El Paso.

Winners of the Spaceport America Cup 2022


  • Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Brigham Young University (finalist)

Nancy Squires Team Spirit Award

  • Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (finalist)

Charles Hoult Award for Modeling and Simulation

  • University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Monash University, Australia (finalist)

Dr. Gil Moore Award for Innovation

  • University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • Chulalongkorn University, Thailand (finalist)
  • Cornell University (finalist)
  • University of Leeds, UK (finalist)

Jim Furfaro Award for Technical Excellence

  • University of Akron
  • University of Waterloo, Canada (finalist)

James Barrowman Award for Flight Dynamics

  • Boston University
  • Brigham Young University (finalist)

10,000 foot COTS (commercial standard)

  • Case Western Reserve University
  • The Citadel, South Carolina (finalist)

10,000 foot SRAD (student researched and designed), solid fuel

  • Kent State University
  • Iowa State University of Science and Technology (finalist)

10,000ft SRAD Hybrid/Liquid Fuel

  • Polytechnique Montreal, Canada
  • Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland (finalist)

30,000 foot COTS

  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (finalist)

30,000ft Solid Fuel SRAD

  • West Virginia University
  • Oregon State University (finalist)

30,000 ft SRAD Hybrid/Liquid Fuel

  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland (finalist)

Spaceport America Chile Cup

Spaceport America Cup (overall winner)

  • University of Sydney, Australia
  • Case Western Reserve University (finalist)

The competition was founded in 2006 by the non-profit organization Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC), which continues to run the event in partnership with the spaceport. Sponsors include aerospace companies that meet and recruit talent at the competition, including title sponsor Sierra Space, anchor spaceport tenant Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, among others.

In a statement, Spaceport Director Scott McLaughlin said, “We’ve seen many thrusters return to Spaceport America once they graduate and join the aerospace workforce.”

The competition was canceled in 2020 due to pandemic conditions and was held as a virtual event last summer.

Algernon D’Ammassa can be reached at 575-541-5451, [email protected] Where @AlgernonWrites on Twitter.

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