The TARC rules for 2018-2019 have been announced (see www.rocketcontest.org). In honor of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, this TARC season will have some interesting requirements. Major items include:
- Rocket must carry three eggs. (Apollo 11 had three astronauts.)
- Target altitude is 856 feet. (Neil Armstrong stepped on moon at 8:56 PM Houston time.)
- Target duration is 43-46 seconds.
- Rocket length must be 650 mm (25.6”) or greater.
- No requirements on body tube diameter.
- Rocket mass at liftoff (including motor) must be 650 grams (22.9 ounces) or less.
- Motor maximum total impulse = 80 N-sec (F motor).
- Upper portion (eggs & altimeter) must land separately and use two or more parachutes.
- Lower section must land safely (any safe recovery device).
For the 2017-2018 season, the major requirements were two eggs, 800 feet, and 41-43 seconds.
Due to the larger payload (three eggs) and higher altitude (856 feet), TARC models next year will likely be larger and heavier than ever before. Safe operations are our top priority at Fiesta Island. Requirements for flying TARC models at Fiesta Island include:
- Rail launch (6’ or longer) or other rigid launch guidance is required. 1/4″ launch rods are not acceptable.
- Positive motor retention is required. Taping motors or friction fit is not allowed. [Note: this is already a TARC requirement, and we will enforce this requirement.]
- Minimum average thrust of motor = 30 N. Use of low thrust motors such as Estes F15 is not permitted.
- Minimum stability margin of 1.5 diameters required. Inadequate fin size can lead to roll-yaw coupling that adversely affects performance and trajectory. We saw this on several models during the 2017-2018 season carrying two eggs. With three eggs, the temptation will be to use even smaller fins to achieve 1-caliber stability.
- Fabric parachutes for strength. Plastic “garbage bag” parachutes are not permitted.
- Simulation report (Rocksim, OpenRocket, or similar) should be presented documenting mass, CG, CP, max altitude, and time to apogee (i.e., make sure motor has appropriate delay).
- Safety check – demonstrate motor retention, shock cord attachment/strength, etc.
Please contact DART for additional information regarding our support for TARC teams.