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St. Croix Rocketry Association Inc. Advances to National Finals of The American Rocketry Challenge

Team Cygni and Team Aquila from The American Rocketry Association Inc. have both qualified to compete in the national finals of the 19th annual American Rocketry Challenge (TARC). The team is one of 100 teams from across the country competing to claim the title of national champion. The American Rocketry Challenge’s Final Fly-Offs will take place June 12-13 at Dyer Park, outside of West Palm Beach.

The final would typically take place on a single day/launch outside of Washington, DC, but regional launch sites have replaced a national one due to COVID-19. Steve Bullock, president of the St. Croix Rocketry Association, Inc. stated, "We are extremely proud of our students' accomplishments. They have worked so hard to for the entire year especially during a pandemic, so we were thrilled to know that their hard work paid off."

After a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The American Rocketry Challenge is back in 2021 with slightly modified rules and procedures. The pandemic, distancing, and virtual learning have presented unique challenges to all participating teams.

The American Rocketry Challenge is the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The competition challenges middle and high school students to design, build and fly a rocket that meets specific altitude and flight duration parameters.

This year's rules require teams to design, build and launch a model rocket that carries one raw egg to an altitude of 800 feet, stays airborne for 40-43 seconds, and return the rocket to the ground safely with the egg intact. At the National Finals, each team’s goal is to launch a rocket 775 feet and land within 39-42 seconds. The second flight goal is 825 feet and land within 41-44 seconds.

This is the twelfth time that the St. Croix Rocketry Association, Inc. has participated in The American Rocketry Challenge, and the ninth time qualifying for the finals. Both teams will compete for more than $100,000 in cash and prizes, along with the title of National Champion. The top 25 teams will be invited to next year’s NASA Student Launch workshop.

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and more than a dozen industry partners, The American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest rocket contest. Now in its 19th year, The American Rocketry Challenge has inspired more than 80,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in STEM fields. This year, 615 teams representing 43 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands designed and built model rockets in hopes of qualifying for the National Finals.