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OSU rocketry team wins first place in Argonia Cup Competition

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


An OSU rocketry team earned first place honors when its rocket successfully outperformed those from colleges in Mississippi and Missouri at the first-ever Argonia Cup competition in Argonia, Kansas in late April.  The event was hosted by two clubs of high-power rocketry enthusiasts known as Kloudbusters and the Tripoli Rocketry Association.

The OSU American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics High-Power Rocketry Team took the win by coming closest to the goal of sending a payload of golf balls 8,000 feet up, and returning it as close as possible to the launch site.

The team developed a rocket-deployed autonomous unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) that separated from the rocket upon descent, and flew itself back toward the launch site via GPS.

“With our program still in its infancy, having only been founded eight months ago, we are tremendously excited to have come this far and performed as well as we did,” said OSU team member Lucas Utley.

St. Louis University placed second in the contest and Mississippi State University was third.

Dr. Jamey Jacob, mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, and director of the OSU Unmanned Systems Research Institute, secured funding for the team to construct the rocket, and its autonomous drone payload hardware. The majority of the parts were 3D printed at OSU.

With the help and support of Dr. Andy Arena, mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, and a sponsorship from the NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium, the team plans to compete at the Spaceport America Cup in June in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The sponsorship will cover almost all costs associated with the contest, including rocket hardware, motors, registration and travel.


CUTLINE: The OSU Rocketry team with its winning rocket. Team members (l-r) are Zhong Thai, Brandon Whitney, Tim Runnels, Andrew Walsh, Lucas Utley, Nicholas George, Bret Valenzuela, Samantha Huckabay, Hunter Billen, and Nicholas Foster. Jim Cooper served as the team’s safety monitor throughout the competition.

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