Hello Potential 2019 IREC Teams,
It is the time of year when it is starting to get cold outside, which means it is time to start thinking about launching rockets in the desert. The 2019 Spaceport America Cup will be held June 18th-22nd and there is lots to do to prepare. ESRA wants to let you know about the important dates for deliverables from students’ teams to participate in this year's competition.
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The schedule for this year's pre-event milestones is as follows:
•Friday, November 16, 2018 - Applications for Entry Due
•Monday, December 3, 2018 - Teams Accepted for Competition Announced
•Friday, January 25, 2019 - First Progress Report Due
•Friday, February 15, 2019 - Entry Deposit Due
•Friday, March 8th, 2019 - Second Progress Report Due
•Friday, March 29, 2019 - Deadline for Timely Payment of full competition fees
•Friday, May 17, 2019 - Third Progress Report, Project Technical Report, and other final deliverables Due
•Monday, June 17, 2019 - Competition Check-in in Las Cruces
Updates to Entry Process
There are a few differences in this year's pre-event milestones compared to previous years. As IREC has grown, ESRA is continually looking for ways to manage the expanding event and ensure a good competition and range experience for all teams. To this end, ESRA has changed the entry process from the Entry Form and Deposit being due on the same day, to one where all interested teams are invited to submit an Application for Entry, with the Entry Deposit due at a later date from the teams ESRA has accepted to the competition. The list of teams accepted will be announced two weeks after the Applications for Entry have been submitted.
The Application for Entry form will be very familiar for teams; it is identical to the Project Entry Form used in years past. Teams desiring to enter the 2019 IREC are simply expected to fill out the form with a complete description of their rocket project. This means ALL fields must be filled-out at ALL times, starting at the very beginning with the Entry Form and every submission thereafter. We understand all these details are in flux, and some more than others. That's OK. We expect information to change overtime. Early reporting allows you to demonstrate what has been decided, what you consider reasonable in a first design iteration, your comprehension of ESRA guidance/rules constraining various details, and what analyses/trade-offs you're considering for any completely undecided criteria. This is your opportunity to give ESRA confidence each of you understand the respective challenge you've selected this year and have prepared to take it on. The "additional information" section especially should be thought of as the cover letter to your project's metaphorical resume. ESRA will use this information to plan for the 2019 IREC and assemble the list of teams accepted to compete. Expect the updated schedule, forms, and rules to be available on the website in a week.
As you may have questions about this new process, here are a few pre-answered to get you started:
•Why are you doing this application process?
-Interest in IREC and the Spaceport America Cup increases each year, and ESRA wants to ensure a high-quality event for all participants. Allowing teams to enter without a deposit due will give ESRA the opportunity to see how many teams desire to enter and plan accordingly; accepting teams allows ESRA to manage competition growth to a level where infrastructure and resources can be guaranteed to be sufficient for all participating teams.
•How many teams are you going to accept?
-ESRA intends to have the number of competing teams in the 2019 IREC approximately the same as the number in the 2018 IREC.
•What if my team isn't accepted?
-ESRA will do its best to accept a variety of teams from a variety of schools. If your team isn't accepted for the 2019 IREC, consider supporting another team from your school.
•My school had one project accepted and one project not accepted. As we approached the first progress report, we decided the accepted project shouldn't proceed, and we want to replace it with the other non-accepted project. Is this acceptable?
-Such situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of allowing students to present their best engineering.
Best of Luck,
(NOTE: Alumni and Faculty Advisers receiving this post, PLEASE forward to your successors and students respectively. Similarly, feel free to disseminate to any other schools you know to be interested but may be new to the community. We have limited means of reaching all the new student leaders each year before applications are received, and we don't want anyone to fall through the cracks.)