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Battle of the Rockets - Planetary Rover Competition

  • Mission
  • 2016
  • 2014
  • 2012

The Battle of the Rockets Competition is held every year in late March or early April. The current location is Culpeper, Virginia. It is sponsored by AIAA, and Praxis Inc. The Battle of the Rockets Competition is actually 3 seperate events on 1 day. There is the Planetary Rover Event, the Egg Saucer Event and the Target Altitude Event. Current the Space Hardware Club only participates in the Planetary Rover Event.

Markus and Blake preparing the rocket for flight

The objective of the Planetary Rover Event is to conceptualize, design, build, test, and fly a rocket and planetary rocket system. The rocket must bring the rover to above 1000ft and then deploy it. After being deployed, the planetary rover must safely return to the ground. Once landed, the planetary rover shall release a marker that can be easily found. Then the rover must then travel 10 feet and release a second marker. Finally the rover then must turn 90 degrees in either direction and travel 10 feet. All of this must be done autonomously.

To learn more about this competition, check out the competition website:

Mars Rover 2016

Team Omega Supreme Won Second Place at Competition!

In 2016 the competition team won second place!

The team sent to the 2016 Battle of the Rockets competition was composed mostly of sophomores and below. In the Mars Rover event, the team’s rocket was the only one recovered undamaged and capable of flying multiple times. However, the Rover got its parachute tangled in the Rocket fairing during the first flight, and experienced electrical issues during the second and third flights. The team learned valuable engineering skills and knowledge from the Mars Rover event.

Mars Rover 2014

Team Rocket City Rover Won First Place at Competition!

Mars Rover 2012

Competition Pictures

In 2012 the Space Hardware Club sent a first year team to compete in the Planetary Rover Event. With its unique foam square wheels, the Mark II rover was the only rover at the competition that year that could move. Even though the team's two rocket flights were disqualified both times due to the payload fairings coming down uncontrolled, the team learned a lot about engineering and design.