The Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) will sponsor the Spaceport America Cup competition in June 2022 at the Las Cruces, New Mexico Spaceport America facility. This event includes proposal submission, design reviews, technical paper evaluations, a full day technical conference, and three days of launches. The Spaceport America Cup event supports approximately 150 entries that includes flights to 10,000 and 30,000 feet with airframes powered by commercial- off-the-shelf (COTS) rocket motors, developmental solid rocket motors, developmental hybrids, and liquid fueled rockets. The rockets flown at this event are generally Level 3 models based on the impulse required to achieve the altitude requirements. Rockets powered by COTS motors comprise approximately 80 percent of the entries.
The teams participating in this event need mentors and flyers of record. Often, the mentor is also the flyer of record assuming that the mentor possesses the requisite high power certifications. For foreign teams having a flyer of record may be more problematic since the mentor may not possess the required high power certifications.
NAR Level 3 volunteers are requested to assist with team mentorships during the rocket design and construction phases. NAR Level 3 members are also asked to assist as flyers of record, especially for foreign teams that may not have Level 3 certified members or mentors. Student teams are highly encouraged to fully fund travel expenses for all Flyers of Record and Mentors. Finally, NAR Level 3 mentors are invited to assist in judging and range operations during the Spaceport America Cup event in June. Understandably, the developmental solid, hybrid, and liquid powered rockets are outside the NAR’s purview so NAR members would not participate in those activities (NAR members with Tripoli memberships may participate in supporting the other motor types as permitted by their Tripoli certifications). As indicated above the COTS participants represent approximately 80% of the Spaceport America Cup entries and NAR support could be a valuable asset to support teams flying COTS motors and the ESRA operations during the event.