Carmack Launches Micro Rocket Prize

Armadillo Aerospace’s John Carmack has launched a competition for launching a small rocket above 100,000 feet. The description of the prize and the rules are show below. (Tip of the hat to Clark Lindsey of Hobby Space for finding it.)

The Carmack 100kft Micro Prize

In discussions on the mailing list aRocket of the relative difficulty of launching a rocket to 100,000 feet, John Carmack established a $5,000 prize for the first person or group to reach that goal.

This page logs the rules set up for that competition, and archives the text of the emails that established the prize and its rules. If someone announces intent to compete or wins the prize, that information will be recorded here as well.

The Rules:

  1. The prize is $5000 USD, and has been augmented with a further $5000-$5500 by the people listed at the end of this page. The collection of the prize from each benefactor is up to the prize winner.
  2. The launch attempt must be registered by a post to aRocket at least 30 days prior to the attempt, with the following information:
    • A reasonable description of the vehicle
    • The launch location
    • The launch date
  3. The rocket must gain 100,000 feet from launch altitude using rocket propulsion.
  4. The rocket must record a GPS serial log of the flight with at least one report above 100,000ft plus the launch altitude.
  5. The rocket must be recovered essentially intact, the recovery system having functioned.
  6. The rocket must be recovered within 24 hours of launch.
  7. A report on the vehicle and operations must be made available on the web for posterity, with a level of quality suitable for publishing in a magazine. The report’s author retains copyright.
  8. Good video of at least the launch must be shared. Ideally video is captured of the entire flight to recovery, but this is not required.
  9. If multiple stages are used, they must all be recovered successfully.
  10. Armadillo Aerospace is disqualified from the competition.
  11. The competition is judged by John Carmack.

Any revisions or additions to the rules will be recorded here.

Launch Attempts
As of July 2011 no one has announced a prize launch attempt.

For more information, click here.