Arriving at Mars Explorer Post 1010
Engineering Exploring Program

The American
Rocketry Challenge 2020/21
Mars Lander
Our Teams
2020 Team 20-6696
Cole Sherling
Jack Sherling
Jessica Shi
Madison Zhao
2020 Team 20-6697
Abhinav Yedla *
Aneesh Bellam *
Kara Chatterton
Sean Russell
2020 Team 20-6698
Michael Guardado
Peter Camobreco
Sofia Guardado
Stephen Jin *
2021 Team 20-6696
Cole Sherling *
Jack Sherling
Sam Troost
Madison Zhao *
2021 Team 20-6698
Michael Guardado
Peter Camobreco
Sofia Guardado *
Sean Russell
Bob Ekman
Tim Russell
Vince Camobreco

   * seniors



We invite members of our other projects to join us in building and launch activities. We have fun running around the launch fields and sometimes they have an opportunity to test quadcopters.




Mars 2020 Launch Vehicle
Mars 2020 Launch Vehicle


Explorer Post 1010 registered three teams in the 2020/21 The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC). The main web site is The challenge is described in the 2021 Rules. This is a year-round activity. We started with experiments focused on the challenge in 2019. We recruited new members in 2020 and started to design and build our competition rockets. During the winter 2020 we started to test our rockets.

Then the pandemic hit and we suspended the program until September 2020. We used the same challenge for 2021. We had some qualification flights in the winter 2020. We can keep them or do all new ones. We must complete three qualification flights for each team by May 17, 2021. To be invited to the national fly-off in June 2021, TARC adds the scores of the two best qualification launches. The cutoff for 2019 was 34.48. The finals are for the top 100 teams from registered teams across the US.

Both teams were invited to the National Finals. The cut-off score to qualify as a National Finalist was 37.06. Both teams were well under that score. Finals were very different from past years. Our teams traveled to the Great Meadow field in The Plains, VA, on June 13 (Special Launch Notes). They both completed two flights. The first one to 775 feet and descent time between 39 and 42 seconds. The second one to 825 feet and descent time between 41 and 44 seconds.

2nd PlaceTeam 6696 had two flights that were almost perfect, getting a score of 3 and 5 for a combined score of 8. Team 6698 had good altitude scores, but descended too fast. At an on-line ceremony on June 28, team 6696 was awarded 2nd place nationally. We lost to a team in Oregon that scored 7.7. Here are the Awards and Results.


In the fall 2019 we started with seven members from the previous year. We recruited five new members and created three teams. In the fall of 2020, we recruited new members to replace our seniors. To be on a team you must be a dues paying member of Post 1010 and have your parents sign the TARC permission form. Members may switch teams until the first qualification flight in 2021. Members must participate in designing, building, and launching to remain on a team.

We meet during normal Exploring Program general meetings for work sessions and on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays for launches. Each team builds several rockets, including test rockets and backups for their best models. We document our activities and results on these web pages.

This program had several special activities. In the summer of 2020 teams were challenged to design a trip to the moon and back in the Kerbal Space program. Team 6696 submitted a design that was successful. And again in the summer of 2021 there was another Kerbal Challenge and we submitted a solution.

Team 6696 tried some innovative ideas to meet the altitude requirement of 800 feet. At the end of the program, they submitted a presentation in the TARC Presentation competition.

Launches (all Flight Data)
Date Site Flight Data Analysis Pictures/Videos
Mon, Jan 20, 2020 Walkersville 200120 200120 200120
Mon, Jan 27, 2020 Walkersville 200127 200127 200127
Mon, Feb 17, 2020 Walkersville 200217 200217 200217
Sun, Mar 8, 2020 Walkersville 200308 200308 200308
Sun, Nov 29, 2020 Walkersville 201129 201129 201129
Sun, Dec 27, 2020 Walkersville 201227 201227 201227
Mon, Mar 8, 2021 Walkersville 210308 210308 210308
Sat, Apr 24, 2021 Great Meadow 210424 210424 210424
Sun, May 2, 2021 Walkersville 210502 210502 210502
Sun, May 9, 2021 Walkersville 210509 210509 210509
Sun, June 6, 2021 Walkersville 210606 210606 210606
Sun, June 13, 2021 Great Meadow 210613 210613 210613

Initial Qualification Flight Reports 2020
Team 20-6696 - Qualification 1, Qualification 2
Team 20-6697 - Qualification 1 (this team dropped for 2021)
Team 20-6698 - none in 2020

Final Qualification Flight Reports 2021
Team 20-6696 - Qualification 1, Qualification 2, Qualification 3 (score best 2 = 23.64)
Team 20-6698 - Qualification 1, Qualification 2, Qualification 3 (score best 2 = 22.36)

Launch Notes

Wind speed is a big problem for our rockets, so before we launch we check (Manassas, Frederick). The Weather Channel is another source for weather at the Virginia Site and Maryland Site.

When we launch in strong wind, our biggest concern is the loss of our rocket in the trees. We have plotted out launch limit maps for Maryland and Virginia launch sites.

We always need parents to drive to the launch sites. Participants should bring money for lunch or bring food when we are out all day. Wear appropriate clothing. Schedules can change at the last minute due to weather, so keep watching this web site, your email, and call if unsure.

Launch Sites

Heritage Farm Park in Walkersville, Maryland (map, picture) 9236 Devilbiss Bridge Rd, Walkersville, MD 21793. Park information at (39.49n,-77.34w,307a)

Great Meadow near The Plains, Virginia (directions, map, picture). NOVAAR runs the launch. Their calendar is at This is the site of the National Fly-off. (38.83n,-77.81w,587a)

Old National Pike Park east of New Market, in Frederick county Maryland (directions, picture). NARHAMS runs the launch. Their launch calendar is at

Charles Town West Virginia, Oakland Church Field, west of Harpers Ferry (picture), run by the Blue Ridge Rocketeers.

2020 TARC Information

Our Team Information

Past Years

Copyright 2021 Explorer Post 1010
Updated: August 18, 2021