This page logs competition registration emails as received on the mailing list ARocket, in the order they were received, for the Carmack 100kft Micro Prize. Inclusion here is for the sake of thoroughness and does not endorse or certify them as probable or complete.

  1. Proteus 7
  2. Black Streak
  3. FourCarbYen
  4. Renegade 1
  5. Qu8k
  6. Extreme 4-inch
  7. Project High Jump
  8. TYR 3
  9. Come to Daddy
  10. Traveler
  11. Hybriddyne
  12. $99
  13. Team 9.99

Proteus 7

In "[AR] Proteus 7 team declares for Carmack 100K prize." on 13 July 2011, Jeff Taylor, jeff at, wrote:

Curt Newport and Jeff Taylor plan to fly our "Proteus 7" sounding rocket over 100,000 feet and hopefully win the Carmack prize if it is still unclaimed.

Flight data from earlier flights of Proteus 6 and Proteus 6.5 have been posted to this list (see for Proteus 6.5 video).

When: 9/30/11-10/2/11 (TRA's BALLS event)
Where: Black Rock Desert, NV
Length: 15' 9"
Diameter: 6"
Unloaded Weight: 90.5 lbs.
Loaded Weight: 191.0 lbs.
Materials: 6061 aluminum (motor case and airframe), 7075 aluminum (fins), 2024 aluminum (fin mounts), and laminated birch wood with composite covering (nosecone).
Propellant: Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP)
Total Impulse: Approximately 95K Newton-Seconds
Initial Thrust: 1,736 lbs.
Maximum Thrust: 2,149 lbs.
Burn time: 13.0 sec
Avionics and Recovery:
Ozark Aerospace Electronic Altimeters (two)
Ozark Aerospace Telemetry System: Garmin GPS receiver integrated with a one watt 900 MHz RF down link transmitter
Rouse-Tech CO2 Ejection System using two 38 gram cartridges
Adept Rocketry UHF RF transmitter
Walston UHF RF transmitter
Ballistic Drogue Parachute, 73" X-Form
Aiptek digital HD camera

-Jeff Taylor & Curt Newport

In "[AR] Proteus 7 and 100K Micro X-Prize" on 13 July 2011, CN, mr1956 at, replied:

Jeff Taylor did not consult with me before posting this message but given that the Proteus is my design, I will confirm this "announcement."

The responsibilities over the past few years have typically been divided up as follows:

Curt Newport: sRLV design, fabrication, simulation, and launch operations

Dr. Jeff Taylor: Propulsion system, motor assembly (2011), and vehicle tracking

The vehicle we will be flying is generally identical to what has been flown before, except for a more powerful motor, and redesigned fin structure. The previous versions of this vehicle had the fin mounts attached directly to the motor case. The new design uses a machined fin can developed by the Invena Corp. in Kansas and integrates my existing fin mount design and structure.

I feel this is more than enough information regarding this design and the launch date is either October 1st or 2nd at the Black Rocket Desert during the annual Balls event.

C. Newport

Black Streak

In "[AR] Black Streak declares for the Carmack Prize, just in case" on 1 August 2011, Robin Hague, robinhague at, wrote:

I should like to declare that the Black Streak project will be flying on the 1st of September (weather permitting) from the Mull of Galloway. I don't actually expect it will break 100k, but some predictions from a new simulator suggest there's the outside chance it might depending on how it is affected by supersonic drag correction.

Imagine if the unlikely did happen and we hadn't posted a declaration, and in the event it would enable us to fund the schools payload competition that is intended to follow a successful recovery!

Black Streak is a twin N2000w two stager
4 metres long by 104mm diameter
37Kg AUW

It employs two stage recovery controlled by an AED RDAS and a relatively high descent rate for a splash down in coastal waters. The Mull is a very spindly peninsular and the most southerly part of Scotland, highly suited to this profile.

The commercial GPS/Telemetry system incorporated in the RDAS will be backed up by a wholly separate, bespoke mBed driven system featuring 6dof inertial measurement, GPS and telemetry.

Construction is from carbon fibre epoxy filament wound tube with high temperature resin reinforcing the leading edges.

Floatation by water sensitive life jackets.
Which reminds me, I must update the webpage...

In the also extremely unlikely event nobody wins the prize this autumn I hope we will be able to enhance the vehicle in the new year such that we could make a more confident attempt.
Still should be fun.


In "[AR] Regarding Carmack contest to reach 100,000 feet" on 2 August 2011, Jim Jarvis, Jim_Jarvis at, wrote:

Folks, please excuse the interruption from an arocket lurker. According to the rules of this contest, one has to announce an intention to enter the contest here, so I'm doing that now. I should say right away that my plan is not to actually reach this altitude, but it could happen by accident.

My rocket doesn't offer much in the way of cutting edge technology. It's just a Class II rocket on commercial motors, but I don't see anything in the rules that would exclude this. There's something of a build thread here:

The rocket is a two-stager which I plan to fly at Balls on a CTI N5800 to CTI N1100. The rocket is 4.1 inches in diameter and about 15 feet tall. The stage weights (without motors) are 15 and 17 pounds for the booster and sustainer, respectively. The booster has two MAWD's and a radio tracker. The sustainer has two ARTS II's, three timers, a radio tracker, a high-power (hopefully) beeline logging gps and a video camera. Deployment is by CO2 with a black powder backup charge of my own design.

The projected altitude is 93K. This projection includes a delay between staging that is sufficient to allow the sustainer speed to drop to Mach 0.75 before the sustainer lights (my normal two-stage profile). I have reasonable confidence in projecting the altitude of two-stage flights up to about 60K, but 93K is a bit of a stretch (thus, my just-in-case entry to the contest).


Renegade 1

In "[AR] Team Prometheus attempt at the Carmack Prize" on 7 August 2011, monroe, monroe at, wrote:

Here the registration for the Team Prometheus attempt at the Carmack Prize

March,10 2012
Renegade I
An air launched 2 stage N to N rocket and spacecraft launched at 100,000ft from a zero pressure balloon.
This attempt will exceed 100,000ft from the launch altitude of 100,000ft

Launch site Matagorda Peninsula, Texas

Rocket mass: (including propellant) 128 lbs.
Length: 12 ft
Diameter: 4 inches
6061-T5 & carbon fiber

Spacecraft: fiberglass and aluminum
mass: 2.5 lbs
Mission: Experimental Data and Video recording

Splash down recovery of booster:
Drouge and main via Featherweight Altimeters Raven 2
Splash down recovery of spacecraft:
Drouge and main via Featherweight Altimeters Raven 2

Search aircraft and boat recovery.

2 Big Red Bee HP 2-Meter APRS Transmitters with integrated GPS high altitude Trimble Lassen IQ GPS chipset 5 watts of transmission power on 144.390 Mhz

2 Big Red Bee HP 2-Meter APRS Transmitters with integrated GPS with Greg Clark "Bee Sting" Ignition System and programming.
4 Featherweight Raven II Altimeters for staging and accelerometer data with Adrian Adamson programing. 2 Gopro HD video cameras and 2 gumstix 720p cameras

Rocket motors:
Cesironi Technologies PRO-X High Power Rocket Motors CTI N5800
Total impulse: 40kns

Raven Industries Zero Pressure (Mark Caviezel Strato-X)
Polyethylene monolayer
Balloon volume 170,000 cft
Lifting gas: Hydrogen

Launch platform:
Launch rail: Aluminum 20ft antenna section
900 Mhz 20 watt video transmitter for live video
Thomas Scherrer (Copenhagen Suborbitals) Long Range UHF remote control 7 watts
Wheel antenna 900 Mhz video and data downlink
Omni whip for remote downlink

Mission control:
Location: Matagorda Peninsula, Texas
3 meter parabolic tracking antenna (Stewart Lilley) uplink
DIY Drones ground station with on screen display of logistics and tracking of the balloon platform
2 Gopro HD video cameras
100ft J pole 2 Meter antenna

Additional tracking:
Launched 45 min. after main event
800g Kaymont weather balloon
Argent Data systems (Scott Miller) tracker II digipeater
J pole antenna (Roger Harkiss)

The build up will be as we go on


In "100k prize" on 25 August 2011, Derek Deville, ddeville at, wrote:

Derek Deville declares intention to attempt to win Carmack 100k prize at Balls 2011

Vehicle Name: Qu8k (pronounced "Quake" in homage to Id software title, Q class motor and 8 inch diameter)
Motor classification: Q-17,000 ( 143kNs, 75% Q)
Peak Thrust: 5,300 lbs
Motor dimensions: 8" OD x 96" long
Propellant weight: 148lbs
Burn Time: 7 sec full thrust with 6 sec tail
Motor design: Case Bonded FinOcyl
Propellant: APCP (78% solids, 8% metals)
Fin Can: Welded Aluminum 6061
Recovery: Dual timers, pneumatic cylinder, shear pins
Electronics: RDAS (GPS and telemetry), GPS Flight with telemetry, Walston tracker
Video: Dual GoPro and Flip HD
Vehicle Dimensions: 8.375" max OD x 173.5" long
GLOW: 318lbs
Parachute: 48" ballistic drogue
Launcher: Tower

Extreme 4-inch

In "Re: [AR] Fwd: 100k prize" on 25 August 2011, John DeMar, jsdemar at, wrote:

Please add one more entry to the contest page. This is an
announcement from Robert DeHate and John DeMar with our intent to
enter the Carmack 100K prize at BALLS this year. It is a reflight of
Robert's 2009 BALLS launch (no sustainer ignition) and has a larger
booster motor compared to his successful 83K flight in 2008.

Rocket Name: Extreme 4-inch
Motors: APCP 6" P10000 (65,875 N-sec) staged to a 4" N4000 (15,392 N-sec)
Overall Length: 214 inches
Weight: 43.1 pounds unloaded, 183 pounds with propellant
Airframe and fin can: composite construction,
Recovery: booster->BP charge and 20fps parachute, sustainer->CO2 and 80fps parachute
Avionics: accelerometer-based deployment with timer backup, both stages
Tracking: 70cm APRS 5W transmitter and data logger
Payload: backup GPS logger with Video overlay and recorder

-John DeMar
Tripoli Las Cruces

Project High Jump

In "[AR] 100k Prize Entry (Project High Jump)" on 26 August 2011, Geoff Huber, ghuber at, wrote:

I guess I need to make a formal entry into the contest so I will announce my intention to do so now. I still have a lot of work between now and the end of the month but here is what I plan to fly:

Project High Jump

Boosted Dart configuration
4" dia 36,000ns Booster
Case bonded
Double Taper Core
Booster 7' 4" Overall length
Welded Fin Can

Dart Configuration
1.5" dia
40" Length
Fins Welded to tube

Raven Altimeters in booster and Dart
Big Red Bee 2 meter high power GPS telemetry

I'll get more photos of the project posted here as things come together over the next few weeks.

Geoff Huber

PS... this is planned for an attempt at Balls.


In "[AR] MIT Rocket team declares for 100k' Carmack Micro prize" on 28 August 2011, Andrew Wimmer, awimmer at, wrote:

The MIT rocket team would like to announce their intentions to compete for John Carmack's 100k' Micro Prize at BALLS 2011 .

Rocket Name: TYR 3
Stages: 3
Total Length: 183"
Dry Weight: 29 pounds
Sustainer Dry Weight: 8.1 pounds
2nd Stage Dry Weight: 6.7 pounds
1st Stage Dry Weight: 14.2 pounds
GLOW: 92.75 pounds

Sustainer: CTI 75mm 6 Grain M2020 IMAX 8430ns, 4349 grams propellant
2nd Stage: CTI 75mm 6 Grain M2020 IMAX 8430ns, 4349 grams propellant
1 Stage: CTI 98mm 6xl N5800 C-Star 20146ns, 9021 grams propellant
Total: 37,006 ns, 17,719 grams propellant (39 pounds)
Stage separation at burnout, 7 seconds between stages to coast.
Redundant Raven2's for staging. Will check altitude and velocity to ensure upward flight before staging.

Commercial carbon tubes
G10 fins with carbon laminate and carbon tip to tip
Upper stage motors are used as staging couplers

Sustainer: Streamer at apogee via Cd3 and backup black powder charge via ARTS2 and Raven2
Rocketman R6 via Fruity Chutes Tender Descender at 1000-2000'
2nd Stage: Rocketman R4 or R6 via ARTS2 and Raven2 at apogee with black powder charge
1st Stage: Rocketman R8 via MAWD and Adept 22 at apogee with black powder charge

Boostervision Gearcam on sustainer looking out sideways
Beeline 70cm GPS and Beeline 2m GPS in nose cone, with standard Beeline 70cm trackers in 1st and 2nd stages
Arduino data acquisition system recording data from various thermocouples in nose cone

Sustainer should get to around 120,000', 2nd stage to 30,000' and booster to 12,000'.

The team heading to Balls consists of Andrew Wimmer, Christian Valledor, Julian Lemus and Jed Storey. There are about a half dozen or so others here that have also contributed. As we understand it, since we are all 22 or under, this places another $250 at stake.

We will be doing a test flight to about 30,000' at LDRS on an N4100 to an L1355 to an I540.


Andrew Wimmer
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Class of 2012
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Come to Daddy

In "[AR] Carmack 100kft Micro Prize" on 30 August 2011, Louis Goldring, lougoldring at, wrote:

I apologize to all for this interruption to the arocket list. According to the rules of the Carmack 100kft Micro Prize, I must post this email.

I am throwing my name, and my rocket, into the mix attempting to claim the Carmack 100kft Micro Prize. I don't think the rocket will achieve the goal of 100kft, but the sims I've run say it will. If everything goes perfectly, it may. I'm hoping for a safe, successful flight and recovery. Achieving the altitude of 100,000 feet would be a huge bonus. So would being the first person to claim the prize. So, here is the information.

Rocket Name Come to Daddy
Launch information
Date September 30- October 2, 2011
Location Black Rock Desert, Nevada (Balls 20)
Diameter 3.96"
Length 9'10"
Loaded weight <60 lbs.
Propellant weight 21 lbs.
Body 6061 Aluminum
Fins 7075 Aluminum
Nosecone Fiberglass
The fins are being held on by nine 8-32 screws (each) inserted and countersunk through the airframe. There are epoxy fillets to increase adhesion and smooth airflow.

The motor to be used is an experimental O5400 with ten 6" grains and about 28,000 Ns. Initial thrust is 3,200 lbs and burn time is 5.2 seconds.
Altimeter Marsa 54 (two)
GPS Big Red Bee Beeline 70cm GPS with 100mw transmitter
Tracker Beeline Transmitter

There will be four Apogee ejection charges. Three will be black powder charges and the forth will be a 2600psi Nitrogen canister. The black powder charges have been successfully tested in a pressure chamber to over 100,000 feet. The Nitrogen canister has yet to be tested, but it will be tested before launch.

After inputting the data as accurately as possible into Open Rocket and RASAero both say this rocket will exceed 100,000 feet. Just in case this happens, I have received permission from the Tripoli Rocketry Association's Board of Directors to exceed the 75% rule concerning experimental motors and waiver altitude.

That appears to be all of the pertinent information about the rocket. We'll see how it flies. As indicated by the name of the rocket, I just want to see it again after the flight. Good luck to everyone else entering this contest and thank you to the contributors.

I apologize for the interruption. You may now feel free to resume your normal activities.

Best regards,

Lou Goldring


In "[AR] USC RPL declares eligibility to Carmack Prize" on 30 August 2011, Sarah Hester, shester at, wrote:

For those of you who have never heard of us, USC RPL (University of Southern California Rocket Propulsion Lab), is an undergraduate student group dedicated to building large amateur rockets and exposing college engineers to hands on work.

As such, we are eligible for the additional $750 prize for having members as young as 17. To see some of our past projects, please visit our website at

Like so many other competitors for this prize, we plan on flying "Traveler", named after our university mascot, on the first weekend of October at Black Rock, NV. This will be a single stage, composite vehicle designed to surpass 100k ft.

The overall rocket is 8" OD and 160" long.

Motor case: carbon fiber, 8" OD, 120" long
Nose cone: S-glass with a titanium tip, 40" long
Fins: Carbon fiber, with carbon tip-to-tip retention

Propellant weight: 211 lbm
Peak Thrust: 4050 lbf
Configuration: 7.61" OD Bates Grains
Formula: Composite AP/Al formula, 82% solids, (10% metals)

Primary avionics: Featherweight Raven Recording Altimeter
Secondary avionics: Custom built DAQ/Telemetry package, consisting of
  • PIC microcontroller
  • 80g accelerometer
  • Lassen IQ GPS module
  • 1W 900MHz telemetry
  • Custom-made cylindrical Nearson patch antenna
Custom Kevlar and Nylon streamer measuring 180" long with an average width of 12", deployed at apogee.
We do not expect it to be a soft landing, by any means.

This rocket is undergraduate student designed and student built. We thank USC Viterbi School of Engineering and our industry affiliates for their support. We hope to have a chance at the prize, but if others beat us that weekend, we'll still be happy to have a chance to fly hardware that high at such an early stage in our careers.

Thank you for this opportunity to show that young people are just as interested and enthusiastic about space and rocketry as ever before.

Flight On!

USC Rocket Lab


In "[AR] Carmack Challenge" on 31 August 2011, Rick Maschek, rickmaschek at, wrote:

We'd like to register for the Carmack Challenge. We are flying Jeff Jakob's HYBRIDDYNE R-10,000 hybrid. The vehicle is 8" in diameter, 23' long with HTPB fuel and 200 pounds of nitrous oxide. The aluminum/carbon fiber/fiberglass rocket will carry a Big Red Bee GPS in addition to our other avionics. The launch will be at the Tripoli BALLS event next month at Black Rock, Nevada.


In "Re: [AR] Carmack Challenge "Last Minute Entries"" on 1 September 2011, Rick Maschek, rickmaschek at, followed up with:

For some, "entering" the contest may not have been important or the reason the rocket was built. As I said earlier, the winner of this contest would probably be the team the farthest along with a design already in the works such as our DoubleSShot that sims to ~120,000' or there abouts that is now to be static tested next weekend (originally set for months ago).

I talked Jeff into "entering" since we are launching anyways so why not?

Some additional data on the Hybriddyne:
23' tall
Aluminum fin can
Carbon fiber payload section
Phenolic nozzle and liner
23 pounds HTPB fuel
200 pounds N2o oxidizer
ISP 177
219,000 Newton seconds
G-wiz HCX Flight computer
Big Red Bee Ham radio band GPS
16' Rocketman parachute
2,500 pounds thrust for 20 seconds


In "[AR] Carmack Challenge using Sugar" on 1 September 2011, Rick Maschek, rickmaschek at, wrote:

If it is permissible to be on two projects, I'd like to "register" for the Carmack Challenge for Black Rock.

Name of rocket: $99
Propellant: KNO3 for oxidizer and sobitol for fuel, 110 pounds in a STAR core
Motor length: 10 feet
Diameter: 5 inches
Material: 6061-T6 aluminum
Fins: G-10 / carbon fiber
Payload Section: Carbon fiber 2 feet long
Nose Cone: Fiberglass, with stainless steel tip
Avionics: Featherweight Raven and Perfect Flight MAWD, Big Red Bee GPS and Beacon 430MHz, two video cams
Deployment: Dual black powder containments
Recovery: 48" drogue chute by Maschek

I still have the fins, nose cone, and graphite nozzle to make since I can't fly steel at Tripoli/BALLS. The name of the rocket reflects the cost of the propellant, now 90 cents a pound for a cost of $99.

Rick Maschek
Team Hybriddyne & Sugar Shot to Space

Team 9.99

In "[AR] Team 9.99 declares for Carmack 100K prize" on 28 September 2011, Andrˇ Geldenhuis, andre at, wrote:

Hi All

We would like to register Team 9.99 for John Carmack's 100k foot Microprize. We are aiming at flying on the 15th of December. While I know thatÕs more than the required month away, it seems quite likely that the prize will be won this weekend at BALLS and we'd just like to let folks know what we have been up to. We are a New Zealand based team, primarily from Christchurch.

Rocket Details:
Basically a standard HPR k motor powered rocket flying off a rockoon. Launch altitude 24km. We have managed to keep the balloon payload including rocket to just below 6kg, allowing us to fly as a medium free balloon.

We are flying custom electronics as that was one of the fun bits (even if it was pretty time consuming). Telemetry is very low bit rate on 70cm using dominoEX as our encoding scheme.

We have just managed to convince CAA to allow us to fly, contingent on a few factors that we don't anticipate having trouble meeting. We are only allowed to launch the balloon on Sunday mornings in the dark so as to avoid air traffic during the balloon assent. Hence we anticipate many weeks of cancels as we are extremely weather dependent, to ensure we stay in our allocated airspace and the rocket remains recoverable. (New Zealand is pretty skinny)

As we are so weather depended we rely on simulations for balloon path and rocket prediction. A member of our team, Richard Graham has been doing quite a bit of work in balloon path prediction. He has also been submitting patches to openrocket such as getting it to work with world coordinates and getting real elevation data worked in.

Best of Luck to everyone flying at BALLS this year :)
Andre Geldenhuis
Team 9.99
and, on 29 September 2011, followed up with:
Thanks :) Our electronics are arm cortex m3 boards based off the leaflabs maple, mostly because they made it pretty easy to develop on the arm3 chips. To be honest is probably much more chip than we need for what we are doing with it. We used to use a phase shift keying telemetry system which was not the best code I have ever written and was pretty hard on the micros were were running it on. Which have switched to dominoEX for encoding our telemetry. We managed to port the domino code from the open source fldigi project (which as it turns out is pretty nicely written) to our micros. We create the waveform with DDS though we may switch to a proper dac in the next board revision seeing as the better arm chips have 2 on board anyway.

DominoEX is sort of a weird mode to be using at UHF as its pretty narrow band which is a bit unnecessary at uhf. However it's pretty good well into the noise and the code was readily available in fldigi. We don't actually need to send very much, mostly just position fixes and a couple of other parameters so we can get by with a very low baud rate ( 4 baud!). This effectively lets the receiver integrate the signal for a while which helps heaps when the signal become basically indistinguishable from noise. Using an efficient mode whcih is good down into the noise means we can use tiny transmitters at low power which saves on mass both in batteries and the transmitter itself. Using low power on 70cm aslo fits into unlicensed radio spectrum in New Zealand, which is good as technically you shouldn't use the ham bands when you could potentially win prize which is worth money, not that I think anyone would really mind much.

To receive we use a yagi connected to a software defined radio. We do this because the cheap AM transmitters we use have really bad frequency drift but the SDR means we can easily keep on top of it easily. We do the final decoding in fldigi running on laptops with the case teams. We also use cheap GSM modems for backup telemetry, New Zealand has pretty good cell phone coverage now. With the rocket under chute we should be able to get cell coverage from 1000 feet up pretty easily and with luck we might even get coverage on the ground.

We're running 2 fully redundant electronics packages; telemetry, GPS, GSM everything.


Please send any corrections to Ben Brockert,