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Team America Rocketry Challenge 2015


TARC 2014 Finals Results

President meets TARC team Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is an aerospace design and engineering event for teams of US secondary school students (7th through 12th grades) run by the NAR and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA). Teams can be sponsored by schools or by nonprofit youth organizations such as Scouts, 4-H, or Civil Air Patrol (but not the NAR or other rocketry organizations). The goal of TARC is to motivate students to pursue aerospace as an exciting career field, and it is co-sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers, Estes Industries, the Department of Defense, and NASA. The event involves designing and building a model rocket (650 grams or less in weight, 650 millimeters or more in length using NAR-certified model rocket motors totaling 80 N-sec or less of total impulse) that carries a payload of one Grade A Large egg for a flight duration of 46-48 seconds, and to an altitude of exactly 800 feet (measured by an onboard altimeter), and that then returns the egg to earth uncracked using a parachute as a recovery device. Onboard timers are allowed; radio-control and pyrotechnic charges are not.

High-school rocketeers The first twelve Team America Rocketry Challenges, held in 2003 through 2014, were the largest model rocket contests ever held. Co-sponsored by the NAR and the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the eight events together attracted 8,260 high-school teams made up of a total of over 65,000 students from all 50 states. These students had a serious interest in learning about aerospace design and engineering through model rocketry. The top 100 teams each year came to a final fly-off competition in mid May near Washington, DC, to compete for $60,000 in prizes and a free trip to either the Paris or the Farnborough air show in Europe. These teams were selected based on the scores reported from qualification flights that they conducted locally throughout the US.

Team America Rocketry Challenge 2015's target flight duration of 46-48 seconds is measured from the moment of rocket liftoff until the part of the rocket with the egg payload lands. The target flight altitude of 800 feet is measured by an onboard electronic altimeter. The top 100 teams from among all those who have entered will meet in a final fly-off competition on May 9, 2015 at Great Meadow, The Plains, VA. These top 100 teams will be selected based on the sum of duration and altitude scores reported from two local qualification flights that they conduct in front of an NAR Senior (adult) member observer at their choice of time up until the flight deadline of March 30, 2015

The entry forms, contestant handbook, and other details about TARC 2015 will be posted on the AIA's website. Registration is open from September 2 until December 12, 2104. The rules for TARC 2015 were released in May 10, 2014

NAR Support for Team America

The NAR asks all of its Senior (adult) members and its Sections to take an active role in suporting TARC. This event offers a tremendously rewarding opportunity to teach rocketry skills to bright and enthusiastic young people and to "pay forward" to a new generation of rocketeers for the support that we once received from others when we were starting out in the hobby. Please use the attached publicity handout to get the word out about TARC. Individual NAR Senior (adult) members can help by being a "mentor" or a "qualification flight observer" (or both). Details of the duties of a mentor or flight observer are available in our Mentor Guide.

Mentors are adult (age 21 and above) members of the NAR who volunteer to serve as technical advisors and instructors or coaches to TARC teams. Each TARC team has a school teacher as an advisor; not all of them know much about such rocketry skills as staging and clustering. The role of the mentor is to get teams over the initial learning hump of mastering basic rocketry skills; they are not allowed to help teams with their final contest designs. Mentors may also serve as "qualification flight observers."

TARC team members can obtain a current list of NAR Mentor volunteers.

If you want to volunteer as a NAR Mentor, contact NAR TARC Manager Trip Barber.

Qualification flight observers are adult members of the NAR who watch a team's official "qualification flight" attempt at a mutually convenient time and place sometime before March 30, 2014. The observer verifies that the flight is conducted within event rules and that the egg payload is uncracked after flight, serves as one of the two stopwatch-equipped timers for the flight, and then records the flight duration and altimeter-reported altitude post-flight. He or she signs the official flight-report form, which is then sent in to the AIA. Qualification flight observers are under no obligation to also serve as a mentor to a team, although they may do so. Observers must be impartial; they cannot be related to any member of the team they observe, be employed by the team's school, or be a member of the team's sponsoring non-profit organization. Impartial adults may join the NAR (online if desired) simply for the purpose of being an observer, if a team is not otherwise able to locate an NAR adult member.

NAR Sections can help by listing all of their launches on the NAR
"Launch Windows" web page and by providing free access to these launches and use of Section or personal launch equipment for any TARC team that needs to do a test or qualification flight. For a current list of NAR rocket launches, see our "Launch Windows" web page.

Only certain NAR-certified model rocket motors of total impulse class “F” and below are approved for flight use in TARC 2015. They are enumerated in this list.

NAR Site Owner Insurance

TARC teams that need "site owner insurance" (insurance which protects the owner of the land used for a rocket launch) in order to gain access to a flying site for their local test and qualification flights may get this through the NAR, just like NAR Sections (clubs) can do. This insurance is available only for actual landowners (including schools and school boards), not for school officials who are concerned about personal liability. It is available for $15, but only to teams whose teacher supervisor is a member of the NAR, and which have at least three student team members who are members of the NAR. You can apply for site insurance using this printable form.

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