Sydney University competes in Spaceport America Cup

Image credit: The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney’s Rocketry Team is the first Australia team to attend and compete in the 2019 Spaceport America Cup, an annual university competition held from 18 to 23 June in New Mexico, United States.

This year’s competition has attracted more than 100 university teams from around the world, with each launching their student-built and designed rockets in a race for the sky.

Spaceport America Cup comprises several categories that allows students to compete on varying altitude targets and a range of propulsion systems.

The University of Sydney’s team has entered its custom-built rocket Silvereye into the 10,000 feet commercial off-the-shelf category, where the team’s rocket will be launched with a commercial solid rocket motor with a target altitude exceeding three kilometres.

The 23-kilogram rocket reaches maximum speed of more than 1000 kilometres per hour while carrying a miniature satellite.

“Silvereye is able to fly any standard two-unit sized CubeSat allowing us to achieve a variety of missions such as test flying student-built satellites or even performing low gravity experiments,” said Mitchell Galletly, chief engineer and Aerospace Engineering student.

“We have used a system engineering approach to design our rocket from the group up in order for it to be safe, reliable, and customisable.”

Silvereye is the second high-powered rocket to be fully designed, built, and launched by the University of Sydney’s Rocketry team following the launch of its first high-powered rocket, Wedgetail, in 2017.

First place is awarded to the highest scoring team in each six categories. They will also receive the Genesis Cup. The judging panel is made up of aerospace, science, technology, engineering, and maths experts.