Rockets to the Stars | Cochrane Times-Post


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Alongside the six-day Stardust Festival was the inaugural launch of the Launch Canada Rocket Challenge.

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Led by Adam Trumpour, President of Launch Canada and Vice President of Stardust Alliance, the event took place in Mistango, about a half hour east of Cochrane.

He was impressed with the number of teams participating in the event, especially for his first time. 10 teams from across the country converged on the community to test their rockets against others in a grassroots challenge and a tech development challenge for cash and prizes and the honor of being the first team to win the first event.

“We currently have 20 university teams across the country that have these sophisticated rocket programs. All of these teams initially started participating in the competition that takes place every year in the United States – the Spaceport America Cup – which has been going on for eight or nine years so far,” he noted. “Canadian teams consistently dominate the competition and become very well known in the United States. »

However, Trumpour noted that members of American teams could be sought by major aerospace companies for future job opportunities while Canadian members are overlooked due to international security concerns.

“I come from an aerospace industry as a designer working on gas turbine engines myself. Much of my background is in rocket propulsion. I build and design liquid rocket engines.
It creates a mindset that was not common in Canada. I found myself mentoring many of these teams, especially the more advanced ones, because I wanted to make sure they had the knowledge to do it safely. After a few years I was reaching the limits of what I could do and Launch Canada was started a few years ago to do this on a larger scale.

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“This event was something that we set up to be the first-ever Canadian college rocketry competition and finally give these students the chance to do it in Canada and make them visible,” he noted.

He said that unfortunately these students are returning to Canada from another country after a competition, there are not many opportunities for them to work on things they are currently passionate about.

“We are trying to change that,” he added. “We try to show that to Canadians. We can actually do it. It is something that you find interesting and inspiring. There is a way to engage with it. »

Trumpour said that for the past three years the pandemic has forced competitions to be canceled but “finally, here we are. We were able to work closely with Transport Canada to get permission to use the airspace,” he said, “and MNR was tremendously supportive in making that happen.
“We have teams that launch from two altitudes: 10,000 feet and 30,000 feet. These are pretty serious rockets. They all have parachutes. We don’t want to launch missiles into the countryside for them to slowly parachute and safely. We have teams that find the rockets after they are launched.

Trumpour said all flammable materials burned on launch, so there was no fire hazard on landing. But, the team ensured that during the challenge all safety precautions were taken.

Those interested in viewing the event were also kept at a safe distance.

Overall, the experiment promised to fuel future competitions for science students.


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