Ready for launch; National rocketry competition taking off at Air Force museum

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FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) – The American Rocketry Challenge National 2021 Distributed Finals took flight June 12 through 13 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Usually, more than 3500 students gather in Virginia for the world’s largest rocket competition, but because of the pandemic, plans were changed.

“The finals were canceled last year because of the pandemic and the National Association of Rocketry and the Aerospace Industry Association felt that this would be safer, to distribute the finals across the country instead of everyone going to Virginia,” explained Scott Hala, competition organizer.

This year, there were 10 locations and the Miami Valley was chosen to accept students from across Ohio and Kentucky who had scored high enough in other competitions to compete in this national final.

The teams are challenged to launch their rockets to a certain altitude while taking into accounty the wind, weather and an egg placed on the inside. If the egg breaks when the rocket lands, the team is essentially disqualified.

“The hard part is anticipating what’s going to happen [like] the complications that come with launching and fixing and working around it so you can get to the correct altitude,” explained Srikar Koduru, a 10th grade finalist from Mason Ohio.

“This is the next generation of Space X, or Boeing…or even just an engineer here in Dayton working on machinery,” said Hala. “The things that they’re doing here are real world problem-solving issues.”

The winners of this weekend’s competition will be announced June 28.

For more information on the TARC competition, click here.

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