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Central Illinois Aerospace


GARLO 2015

DC-X Landing

Happy Landings

The Great Annual Rocket Launch of 2015

The 26th Annual Launch-and-Lunch

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 27, 2015
Dodds Park
north and west of the intersection of Bradley and Mattis, in Champaign, IL

Print out a GARLO 2014 Flier (PDF - 523 KB) and pass it along to your friends.

Contest Rules for GARLO 2015

Happiest Landing

The idea of this theme is to celebrate rockets that make unconventional (and relatively controlled), upright landings, inspired by the recent Rosetta/Philae (bouncey!) comet probe mission and SpaceX's experiments with vertical recovery of its booster stages.

As usual, our main informal contest will be tied to this theme. The judging will be subjective, but the idea is to make the most impressive, graceful or realistic upright or controlled landing you can. Rockets that come down on legs, like the Estes Mars Lander, its Semroc clone, the similar Outlander, or the new Apogee Star Lift Mega Lander, are possible contenders by themselves or as jumping-off points for your own upscales, downscales or original designs. But many conventional rockets can also "stick" an upright landing with the right combination of fin configuration and parachutes. My "Cow" rocket has done this several times. You could also try something like an Apollo-style water landing (Heritage Lake, maybe?), air bags, balloons, retro rockets, flex-wings, or X-15 or Space Shuttle-style gliding recovery with a smooth horizontal landing like an airplane. (The R/C glider enthusiasts might want to go for this option.) Not all parts of the rocket have to make an upright landing; you can eject the lander from a conventional rocket or drop off some pieces with parachutes, streamers and so forth, so even a standard pop-pod boost glider could qualify as long as it comes down realistically.

Now what we're NOT talking about is creating an intentional "lawn dart" that sticks its landings because it literally pokes a hole in the earth with a heavy, lethal spike in the nose. Light weight and a controlled, stable descent are the keys to making this work, and will rate more highly in the judges' evaluation.

Use your creativity and imagination to the max on this challenge. Just be careful about adding sharp ground-anchoring harpoons or other features that might present a safety hazard.

For more information send a message to:



CIA web pages are maintained by webmaster@ciarocketry.org, last update May 27, 2015