High Powered Rocketry


The American Rocketry Challenge

NCSSM Rocketry's High Powered Rocketry (HPR) team is a student-led rocketry team that annually designs, develops, constructs, and launches high-powered rockets from Bayboro, NC. HPR's rockets measure six to nine feet in height and typically carry payloads that feature cameras and data recording devices. In recent years, HPR has launched two rockets to altitudes of ~12,000 feet and velocities of Mach 1. What’s more, HPR designed and constructed a UAV vehicle to be an HPR rocket. 

NCSSM Rocketry's The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) team is a student-led rocketry team that designs, constructs, and launches small scale model rockets. In TARC, groups of 2-3 students will work together to develop small-scale model rockets to take to The American Rocketry Challenge -- a rocketry competition designed to reward students based on their design and construction skills. 

HPR 2022-2023:

TARC 2022-2023:


TARC Heads to Nationals!

Earlier this year, two NCSSM Rocketry TARC teams qualified for the 2023 American Rocketry Challenge National Finals in Manassas, Virginia. 

The two teams, named "Boiing" and "Aurora," traveled to Virginia with their national-qualifying rockets and launched them in front of a crowd of hundreds at the national competition. Unfortunately, issues with both of the rockets would lead to both teams not advancing to the finals. Nonetheless, it is still an incredible accomplishment for these teams to qualify for the national competition!

Congratulations to Team Boiing and Team Aurora!

HPR Launches OneStone!

On April 23, 2023, NCSSM Rocketry's HPR team launched their OneStone two-stage rocket from the Bayboro launch site in eastern NC. 

OneStone is NCSSM Rocketry's first two-stage rocket, which means that during the launch, OneStone would ignite two separate high-powered rocket motors -- the first on the launch pad and the second mid-flight. 

Our HPR team successfully prepared OneStone for flight and loaded the rocket onto the launch stand. Finally, after months of planning, designing, construction, and preparation, OneStone launched and pierced the bright blue Bayboro sky.

The first stage motor performed perfectly -- fully burning through the solid propellant and giving OneStone a nice kick off of the launch pad. Following the burnout of the first stage motor, the first and second stages successfully separated. 

Unfortunately, an issue with the igniter in the second stage motor led to the motor not igniting. This means that OneStone did not reach the expected speed or altitude values we expected before the launch. 

Though the issue with OneStone's second stage is very unfortunate, our HPR team could not be happier with OneStone's construction and launch day. Though things may not always go the way we plan in rocketry, we are still extremely proud of everything we've accomplished and are excited to take on our next challenge. 

OneStone Construction = Complete!

OneStone is complete!

After LOTS of work, our HPR team officially finished constructing their OneStone two-stage rocket on Monday. With the launch scheduled for Saturday, April 22, the team will complete ejection charge testing later this week, as well as other small tests to prepare the rocket for its big day on Saturday.

Stay tuned for more updates as we prepare to launch OneStone!

OneStone Construction Nearly Complete

Over the last several weeks, our HPR team has been working diligently to construct OneStone. After many long days and late nights, OneStone is nearly complete, with the lower stage being completed in mid-March and the upper stage set to be finished this week. Furthermore, the team performed some parachute tests in March.

A massive thank you to Mr. Joe Hill for coming in each week and helping the team construct OneStone and providing valuable insight for future rocketry projects!

The launch of OneStone is currently set for April 22. Stay tuned as we prepare for the launch of NCSSM’s first two-stage rocket!

Introducing OneStone

Following the successful launch of BRRDS in November, the HPR team is gearing up for their next project -- OneStone! 

OneStone will be NCSSM Rocketry's first-ever two-stage rocket. Though OneStone will not travel at the speeds or heights that BRRDS achieved, building a two-stage rocket system will be a challenge for our team. 

Stay tuned for updates on construction and launch in the coming months!


On November 19, 2022, NCSSM Rocketry's HPR team successfully launched their Best Rocketry Research Demonstration System (BRRDS) rocket from the Bayboro launch site in eastern NC. 

BRRDS launched for the first time in November 2021 and successfully achieved all of its flight goals — surpassing 10,000 feet in altitude and reaching supersonic speeds. For the 2022 flight, BRRDS’s primary flight goals were to surpass the altitude and velocity record set by BRRDS’s 2021 flight and capture clean footage of the rocket's ascent.

BRRDS successfully launched on November 19, 2022, and successfully achieved all of its flight goals — reaching an altitude of approximately 12,100 feet and traveling at a speed of around Mach 1.25. Furthermore, BRRDS's onboard cameras captured stunning footage of the sky above eastern NC as it shot into the atmosphere. 

With BRRDS's flight complete, HPR is shifting its focus to a new, exciting project that is currently slated for launch in April 2023. Stay tuned! 

BRRDS 2022 flight vertical (C1) 3.mov

TARC Launches Rockets!

At the end of 2022, NCSSM Rocketry's TARC teams headed out to the launch field and launched their rockets!

Our TARC teams spent much of their fall semester preparing these rockets for launch. While out in the field, each team prepared their rockets and assisted our mentors in the launch preparation process, all before watching their hard work take to the skies!

As 2023 and NCSSM's spring semester begins, our TARC teams will continue to work on their rockets with hopes of qualifying for TARC nationals later this year.

HPR Prepares to Launch BRRDS

As the TARC teams begin constructing their rockets, our HPR team has been hard at work preparing our Best Rocketry Research Demonstration System, or BRRDS, rocket for its upcoming flight in November. BRRDS was originally constructed by the 2019-2020 NCSSM Rocketry team and was launched for the first time in November 2021 by the 2021-2022 team after many delays due to COVID. During BRRDS's first flight, it reached an altitude of approximately 11,900 feet and a velocity of around Mach 1.2 -- becoming NCSSM's first supersonic rocket. However, the cameras on BRRDS's first flight failed, and no video was captured by the rocket during its ascent to ~11,900 feet. 

With this in mind, our 2022-2023 has been working to prepare BRRDS for a re-launch in November. The primary objectives of this flight are:

Not only will a re-launch of BRRDS be an awesome spectacle, but the launch will also serve as a learning experience for new club members that did not participate in rocketry last year. 

TARC Learns About Rocket Motors

This week, NCSSM Rocketry's sponsor and NCSSM Engineering Department Chair, Dr. Garrett Love, visited the TARC team to talk about model rocket motors -- specifically TARC motors. Dr. Love and the TARC captains spoke about the different characteristics of TARC motors and then took the team outside to fire some motors! During the motor firings, TARC team members collected thrust data, which the team then analyzed once all the motors had been fired. 

Thank you, Dr. Love, for coming out to one of our TARC meetings and talking to our team about these awesome rocket motors!

Rocketry Begins! 

Over the last few weeks, NCSSM Rocketry's new captains have been working to promote the club, host interest meetings, and talk with the new juniors about the awesome activities rocketry does each year. After weeks of assembling a team, the 2022-2023 rocketry team met for the first time this week. 

We're looking forward to a great year of rocket building and launching! 

2022-2023 NCSSM Rocketry Captains:


Nico Martinez 

Garrett Wight


Joey Banchik

Colton King


Connor Bost


Haygen Warren

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