Erath County Teams Blasts into Top 10 at Rocket Competition

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Tarleton’s athletic program isn’t the only one winning awards and titles on campus. The Tarleton Aeronautical Team placed sixth out of 41 teams at the International Collegiate CanSat Competition. The competition was held near Cross Plains Texas and only one other U.S. teams ranked higher than Tarleton.

CanSat is a design-build-launch rocket competition just for students and is open to teams from around the world. This unique event involves the design of a planetary lander and carrier that contains a biological payload. The teams were judged based on their preliminary design, a critical review of that design, and the actual launch plus a post-flight review.

By participating in the competition, students learned a great deal about real world engineering, science and mathematics. Tarleton placed higher than even some of the top aeronautical schools in the world, including Embry-Riddle, California State Polytechnic, Virginia Tech, University of Alabama at Birmingham and even Academic Research from the United Arab Emirates. The only U.S. team ranking higher than Tarleton was the University of Michigan.

The team is the brainchild of sophomore engineering physics major Dustin Neighbors. He formed it last October and it’s made up of an interdisciplinary group of students with a passion for solving intricate scientific and mathematical challenges.

With their recent success, the Tarleton team is already making plans for an even more ambitious project. They will participate in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative next spring. The requirements are a little more challenging – the students will need to design and build a reusable rocket and launch a scientific or engineering payload to one mile above ground level.

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Original Source: Stepenville Empire Tribune

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