At the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Launch Canada and Stardust Technologies announced a new partnership and set the dates for the long awaited first ever major rocket competition in Canada, the Rocket Innovation Challenge.
Launch Canada president and founder Adam Trumpour has been attempting to get this competition “off the ground” for several years with the original competition planned for August 2020. The pandemic however delayed the competition until now.
Launch Canada said the competition will now take place between August 1-6 in the small northern Ontario community of Cochrane, home of new partner Stardust Technologies. The competition will coincide with the Stardust Festival organized by a new organization formed by Stardust, called the Stardust Alliance.
According to Launch Canada the competition is meant to be an annual event designed to help “Canada’s highly motivated and rapidly growing student rocketry community to take their activities to the next level, while providing them with an unprecedented learning opportunity, harnessing the excitement of rocketry and space to promote STEM education, and generating public awareness of Canada’s space industry and talent.”
Launch Canada is expecting over 20 universities to participate and will engage over 1000 students. Registration to the competition is now closed.
Trumpour said “we have a unique opportunity to harness the challenge and excitement of rocketry to foster hands-on learning opportunities that will cultivate a new generation of highly skilled, multidisciplinary aerospace talent that is second to none. It’s high time that Canadian students from diverse backgrounds and regions had the opportunities they need to pursue cutting-edge aerospace projects and achieve success, even in a field as complex as ‘rocket science’. This has already begun, and I’m thrilled to be partnering with Stardust and the town of Cochrane to carry this to new heights.”
The competition has “two major categories for advanced sounding rocket launches – one for vehicles using commercial solid rocket motors, and one for vehicles employing advanced student-developed liquid and hybrid propulsion systems – as well as a technology development challenge to promote innovation in rocket-related subsystem and component technologies.”
“The Stardust Festival will include an extensive line up of activities with space and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) as their overarching theme, including public events, a tradeshow, symposium, gala, and mental health workshops, as well as a spotlight on indigenous culture. Launch Canada is particularly excited to be able to foster connections between Canada’s rocketry community, First Nations and northern communities through our participation in the Stardust Alliance.”