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By Press Release
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

UMD rocket takes second in worldwide competition

Moose Lake graduate engineers rocket with fellow students


August 8, 2019

Provided Photo

The Bulldog Rocketry team stands with their rocket; Moose Lake graduate, Courtney Laine, is second in from the left.

Courtney Laine, Moose Lake graduate and current University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) student, competed for the second time in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) at Spaceport America in Las Cruces, New Mexico along with her team, Bulldog Rocketry. The team, made up of science and engineering students from UMD, spent two semesters designing, manufacturing, and testing a high-power rocket to launch in the competition that took place earlier this summer.

The rocket, which was 14 feet tall and weighed 150 pounds, consisted of a student researched and developed solid rocket motor, student built and coded avionics systems, student manufactured nose cone, rocket body, fins, parachute system, and housed an autonomous paragliding system. The paraglider was designed to be deployed from a split in the rocket at peak altitude and was controlled both autonomously and manually from the ground. It was equipped with a variety of sensors and cameras including an infrared camera that was able to survey the ground as the paragliding system descended, which the team designed for military reconnaissance applications.

Despite having a small budget, Bulldog Rocketry placed second in the world in their category at the IREC competition with a perfect flight that reached 31,400 feet above ground level, and a perfect rocket recovery. The team competed against 122 other teams, many of which were international teams from countries such as South Korea, Switzerland, Brazil, the UK, and Israel.

To learn more or to support Courtney and her team, visit the Bulldog Rocketry Facebook page. A short documentary starring members of the team is also in the works and will be viewable on the UMD website coming this fall.


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