Intercollegiate Rocketry Engineering Competition

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The Intercollegiate Rocketry Engineering Competition (IREC) is hosted annually in June by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) at Spaceport America in New Mexico. The competition requirements are to build a rocket with solid, hybrid, or liquid propulsion capable of delivering an 8.8 pound payload to either 10,000 or 30,000 feet. SSI has competed in the competition three times, with IREC 2017, IREC 2018, and Olympus 2019 competed in the 30,000 foot Comercial Off the Shelf category. This year, Olympus 2020 is hoping to launch SSI's first liquid motor in the 30,000 foot Liquid/Hybrid Category.


The competition is split into six different categories across the two altitude targets and three motor types: commercial off-the-shelf solid motors (COTS), student researched and developed solid motors (SRAD), and student researched and developed hybrid or liquid motors (hybrid/liquid). Teams are judged on their performance in a number of categories:

  • Poster and podium presentations at a conference day
  • Technical report on the project
  • Quality and construction of the rocket
  • Quantity of student researched and developed components
  • Flight performance and closeness to the altitude target
  • Payload design and originality