Texas Tech rocket team to travel to Kennedy Space Center for rocket challenge

Texas Tech rocket team to travel to Kennedy Space Center for rocket challenge
Four students with Texas Tech's Pi Tau Sigma are competing in the Bayer Alka Rocket Challenge. (Source: Bayer, Facebook)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A rocket team from Texas Tech is one of five teams from different universities around the country competing in the Bayer Alka-Rocket challenge with the hopes of winning $30,000 and the chance to break a Guinness World Record.

The team, which is part of Tech’s Pi Tau Sigma, has spent months designing an Alka-Rocket and will travel to the Kennedy Space in Florida on Dec. 12 to launch its rocket, according to a Bayer news release. The other teams are from Brigham Young University, University of Minnesota, University of Georgia and California Polytechnic State University.

Tech was able to earn a spot in this challenge after an earlier competition in mid-October in which a team was supposed to gather the most Facebook likes on a photo. The other four finalists were picked by a panel of judges who made their choices based on design, execution and creativity of their Alka-Rockets.

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The official Guinness record the teams will fight for is the highest launch of an effervescent tablet rocket. The current record stands at 430 feet, which was set by the University of Minnesota during last year’s competition.

“The ingenuity and effort of the teams were clearly present in both their design strategies and launch operations,” Mae Jemison, former NASA astronaut and the first woman of color in space, said in the news release. “This year’s Alka-Rocket Challenge represents some of the country’s most promising college engineering talent. We certainly look forward to meeting them in December and seeing which school takes the title and perhaps breaks the world record.”

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