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Cyclone Rocketry 2021

Raised toward our $6,000 Goal
44 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 14, at 12:00 PM CDT
Project Owners

Cyclone Rocketry 2021

(Some photo and video content was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic)

Last year’s Launch Operations Team with Ortu Solis

Who We Are

    Cyclone Rocketry is Iowa State’s high-powered rocketry team, a multidisciplinary group that competes in the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering competition: The Spaceport America Cup. The team consists of members of the student club Rocket Shop, who spend the entire prior academic year designing, manufacturing, and testing the competition-sounding rocket. Cyclone Rocketry’s mission is to educate, inspire, and challenge Iowa State students, community members, and future generations about rocketry, science, engineering, and space. The team is the only group at Iowa State to provide hands-on exposure to rocket engineering, providing students with an invaluable opportunity to gain experience outside the classroom in this engineering field. Team members have the opportunity to participate in all the key steps of a complete engineering project, providing practical knowledge, fostering leadership development, and building modern communication skills.


    The team was founded three and a half years ago, with this year marking the fourth year of the club. Each of the previous years has seen great success, and now we're looking to fly even higher! In this short time, the team has been awarded both the Iowa State Newcomer Club of the Year and Outstanding Achievement awards by the University. Every year we research, design, manufacture, test, and fly a competition rocket for the Spaceport America Cup: the world's largest intercollegiate rocketry competition. We drive to New Mexico each June to fly in this week-long event, learn from other teams, and make new connections. Unfortunately, last year's rocket Ortu Solis, or “Rising Sun”, was halted halfway through manufacturing due to COVID. The competition was canceled as well, much to the dismay of the team. This didn’t stop the effort to finish and fly, however. The team came back the next fall ready to finish the rocket and watch it fly. Ortu Solis took flight last semester and performed well. It is a testament to this team's dedication and fire to see their projects through.

Nova Somnium taking off at the 2019 Spaceport America Cup



Ortu Solis taking off in North Branch, MN in November 2020


Ortu Solis thousands of feet in the air above North Branch, MN shortly after apogee


Renegade: Cyclone Rocketry’s 2021 Project

Renegade is Cyclone Rocketry’s 4th rocket designed for the world's largest intercollegiate rocketry competition, the Spaceport America Cup. It is designed to fly to an altitude of 10,000 feet above ground level and implement a wide variety of new designs, technologies, and to serve new goals and purposes. Unfortunately, the Spaceport America cup was recently moved to an all-virtual event consisting of technical reports, reviews, and presentations. This means the flight of the rocket will not come into play in terms of scoring. Therefore the focus of renegades flight has turned from competition to the education of new members and accomplishing untested methods not seen before in the history of this club. 

Renegade: Technical details

  • Height: 13’ 1”

  • Diameter: 6”

  • Takeoff Weight: 85 lbs

  • Maximum Speed: 628 mph (82.5% the speed of sound) 

  • Target Atitude: 10,000 feet AGL


Renegade: Student Researched and Developed Components

  • In-house manufactured composite airframe parts (fiberglass and carbon fiber) including fins, couplers, and the nosecone

  • Customized single-bay parachute deployment system with a payload ejection at apogee

  • Reefing device to allow for a one parachute system

  • Deployable care package payload capable of guiding itself to a GPS waypoint and testing energy generation of piezoelectric components

  • Onboard air brakes consisting of a mechanical actuation assembly and flight control system hardware and software

  • In-house manufactured metal subsystem components (primarily Aluminum)

  • Onboard location tracking to locate rocket after launch, including a live telemetry feed to measure rocket performance

  • Ground station and antenna tower capable of communicating with the rocket over a great distance and on a variety of frequency bands

  • Partnership with the College of Apparel, Merchandising, and Design to custom sew parachutes

  • Solid rocket motor cast from a custom propellent formulation (still in testing)

Subscale motor test from December 2019

Composites manufacturing in Howe composites lab

Parachute deployment test from 2019

Help Cyclone Rocketry:

    Cyclone Rocketry needs your help. The team has just entered the heaviest manufacturing portion of the build cycle, and there is plenty of testing to come. Building the rocket and getting it in the sky requires funding alongside the team’s time and effort. Seeing a high-powered rocket tear into the sky is an experience few get to see, and seeing this project from start to finish is extremely rewarding. With the help of your donations, Cyclone Rocketry can go the distance!  

The full 2019-2020 Cyclone Rocketry Team

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Special thanks to Iowa State University's Engineering Student Council for endorsing Rocket Shop’s ability to use the Cyclone™ Rocketry wordmark:

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Funds at this level can support a motor ignitor!



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Full Flight

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