The Argonia Cup Challenge

Competition Summary





Competition Summary

The goal for the 2022 Argonia Cup competition is to launch a rocket powered vehicle containing a golf ball payload to an altitude in excess of 8,000’ AGL and to recover the payload safely at a predetermined location on the rocket range.


1. There must be at least one (1) TRA certified Level 2 member per team. This team member must be present at the competition and will be considered the flyer of record of the rocket. All team members must currently be enrolled at the competing university or college. Multiple teams from the same university or college are permitted.
2. The maximum installed impulse for this competition will be one (1) commercially available 5,120 Newton Second motor (L Motor). Motor clusters, air starts, and multi-stage motor configurations are prohibited. Spark emitting motors (Skidmark type motors) are prohibited.
3. Any deployable payload shall limit the descent velocity to less than 30 FPS.
4. Any propulsion/steering system designed to recover the payload cannot be used to boost the payload to the target apogee.
5. A commercially available, altitude recording altimeter with onboard data storage shall be used for altitude determination and may be used for payload deployment and/or rocket recovery. If two or more altimeters are used, the averaged apogee height of each altimeter will be used for determination of rocket apogee.
6. Launch vehicles shall be launched at an elevation angle between 83 and 85 degrees (5 to 7 degrees off vertical). All flights will be angled away from the flight line regardless of wind direction.
7. All flights must have a minimum of a 5:1 thrust to weight ratio at liftoff.
8. Launch configuration flight stability shall be achieved by maintaining a minimum CP/CG static margin of no less than 1 body caliber during flight.
9. Apogee must occur at or above 8000’ AGL (field elevation is approximately 1249’ MSL). Any flight not reaching this altitude will be disqualified. Each team may make up to three flight attempts with the closest qualified landing score being their official flight.
10. All launch vehicle components must be recovered in a “re-flyable condition” after flight.

Launch Operations

1. TRA Research Safety Code will be followed for all launch activities.
2. The launch organizers will provide all launch pads, launch rails, and the launch control system. No other systems will be allowed. Both 1.5” x 1.5” (commonly known as 1515) and 1” x 1” (commonly known as 1010) rails will be available in 12’ lengths. A minimum of two (2) rail guides must be used.
3. All rockets will be subjected to a rocket safety inspection before the teams will be cleared to fly their projects. Any safety of flight issues noted in this inspection will be resolved before flight. These safety inspectors have the final say regarding any projects suitability for flight.


Each team will be required to produce a video four to eight minutes long, hosted on YouTube, that provides a detailed overview of the project including flight simulations. This video must be submitted on or before March 9, 2022. Not submitting a video will result in disqualification.


Prior to the start of any launch activities, the location of the landing target will be clearly marked and will be available for inspection by the competing teams. The landing target will be established by the launch organizers and will be within line-of-site and not more than 300’ from any launch pad location. At the completion of each flight, the distance from the center of the payload to the center of the target will be measured by the launch organizers before the teams are allowed to remove their payloads. The point of initial touchdown will be used if it can be determined in the event of the payload skipping across the surface. Closest distance to the target landing spot will determine the winner. In the event of a tie based upon distance, the team with the highest recorded apogee will be the winner.

Competition F.A.Q.s

What safety rules will be in effect during the Argonia Cup?

The Argonia Cup is conducted under the Tripoli Rocketry Association Research Safety Code. Each teams certified flyer must be a TRA member.

Will teams be allowed to fly using a non-team members (mentor) certification basis?

All teams must have at least one (1) student that is a Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA) member and is certified Level 2 by TRA. The certified flyer must bring a state issued ID and their TRA membership card to the launch.

Will non-certified team members be allowed to access the launch pads?

From the Tripoli research code: “Non-Tripoli Members age 18 and over that are students of an accredited educational institution may participate in joint projects with Tripoli members. These individuals are allowed in the High Power Launch Area if escorted by an HPR Flier or Model Rocket Launch Area if escorted by an Adult Flier. The maximum number of nonmember participants shall not exceed five (5) per supervising flier.”

Are aluminum rockets legal for the competition?

Rockets launched at the Argonia Cup may not be constructed of all aluminum or any other metals. Aluminum fin cans or nose cones will be permitted only if required to ensure structural integrity of the rocket during a high-performance launch. Absolutely no aluminum airframes or fins attached directly to motor cases will be permitted under any circumstances. Any metal structural components (i.e. nosecones, nosecone tips, fins, or fin cans) must be painted. NO EXCEPTIONS! Screws, rivets, nuts, washers, and other non-structural small components are exempt from this restriction.

Is the 30 FPS descent velocity just in the vertical plane?

Yes, if your recovery device flies forward at a speed above 30 FPS this is allowed. We only restrict vertical speed. A vertical dive onto the target at a speed greater than 30 FPS would be disqualifying.

Can I fly my drone at the competition to video my team?

You can fly your drone at the Argonia Cup as long as you follow the following rules:

1. You must keep your drone below 400’AGL at all times.
2. You cannot fly over the crowd or on the crowd side of the safety fence.
3. You must launch and recover your drone from the active range side of our safety fence and if your drone is equipped with a “return to home” capability the home waypoint must be on the active side of the safety fence.
4. Do not fly in close proximity to any team as they are preparing their rocket for flight. Drones can be a distraction and the noise they make may distract the teams at a very crucial time.


Sign up now and start competing!


Each team will be required to produce a video four to eight minutes long, hosted on YouTube, introducing each member of the team and providing a detailed overview of the project. This video must be submitted to the launch organizers a minimum of thirty (30) days before the launch. Not submitting a video will result in disqualification.

Now that you have joined the competition, please submit video here once you have completed your video!