June 22, 2018

UK university No. 1 at Tarleton-sponsored international rocket contest

STEPHENVILLE (June 11, 2018) — The United Kingdom’s University of Manchester earned the top prize at the 14th annual American Astronautical Society (AAS) CanSat Competition at Tarleton State University.

More than 40 college and university teams from around the world vied for honors June 8-10 in Stephenville.

Teams from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Mexico, India, Iran, Italy, Turkey and Poland competed to launch a space probe into the sky. Each probe carried a large hen’s egg, which had to survive the flight.

Probes were launched inside rockets, which flew 670 to 725 meters. The probes included sensors for tracking altitude using air pressure, external temperature, battery voltage and GPS position.

CanSat required teams to work on a complex engineering project, allowing them to experience — on a small scale — a typical aerospace program, from preliminary design to a post-mission debriefing. The hands-on competition fosters creativity and teamwork.

From top: Students from the University of Manchester (UK) conduct final pre-flight checks on their CanSat module; a rocket blasts off from the launch pads at the Tarleton Agriculture Center during Saturday afternoon’s competition; a student from the University of Alabama in Huntsville makes adjustments to his team’s CanSat before final check-in; several teams from Turkey gather for a group photo; teammates from a Turkish university peer towards the sky as they track their rocket’s payload descending from the sky with the aid of a parachute recovery system.

The top five teams were:

1. University of Manchester, United Kingdom
2. Bulent Ecevit University, Turkey
3. Istanbul Technical University, Turkey
4. Hacettepe University, Turkey
5. Arizona State University

In addition to Tarleton and AAS, this year’s CanSat competition was sponsored by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, NASA, Siemens, Kratos and Praxis Inc.

As host for this year’s AAS CanSat contest, Tarleton’s internationally recognized aeronautical team did not compete.

Tarleton’s aeronautical team was created in 2011 to compete in the international CanSat competition and has participated in a NASA-based contest every year, bringing home third-place honors in the 2016 Student Launch Centennial Challenge and winning second place in 2015.

Tarleton, founding member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience, marked by academic innovation and a dedication to transform today’s scholars into tomorrow’s leaders. Offering degree programs in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online to more than 13,000 students, Tarleton engages with communities through real-world learning experiences to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.

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