NASA Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition

Home Team Design Documentation

Welcome to the Illinois Space Society's Space Grant Page!

If you are interested in joining this project, please contact Shivani Ganesh at

Project Overview

Organized by the Minnesota Space Grant Consortium, each year the Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocketry Competition brings together university teams from across the country to compete in the design, construction, and launch of custom high-power rockets. The Illinois Space Society has been an active participant in Space Grant for the last several years, with recent designs incorporating everything from boosted darts to active drag systems. Membership in the ISS Space Grant project is also unique within the society, as the team is purposely composed of solely first-year students.

To fulfill the requirements for the 2016-2017 Space Grant competition, the team’s goal this year is to construct an “adaptable”, single-stage rocket capable of utilizing an active drag system to reach the same altitude on two different motors. Adding to the challenge, the rocket must collect video for the duration of the flight, directly verify parachute deployment via onboard sensors, and include a custom-built velocity measurement device. The team launched four subscale rockets this past December in preparation for their final rocket design, and progress continues on refining and prototyping the rocket’s custom velocity sensor. In addition to an upperclassman acting in an advising role, this year’s team is composed of 15 first-year students including the team lead. Being exclusive to first-year students, the ISS Space Grant team has proven to be a fantastic way to encourage freshmen leadership in the society and foster comradery amongst new arrivals to the university. The project gives new students an extra-curricular experience they often can’t find elsewhere, offering them a chance to applying knowledge from their first classes to a challenging and exciting competition.