International Rocketry Challenge (Day 1), The Space Spuds Arrive in London

The Odle Middle School “Space Potatoes” of Bellevue, Washington, had a great first day in London! The recently graduated eighth-graders arrived in London, enjoyed an afternoon walk through the Grosvenor Square Garden and even held a team dinner/presentation practice session.


The team is in London to represent the United States in the International Rocketry Challenge, a global contest in which teams from the United States, United Kingdom, France and Japan build and launch rockets to rigorous criteria.

This year, teams are required to build and launch a rocket carrying two raw eggs to exactly 850 and back within 44-46 seconds. The eggs must survive the flight undamaged.

The challenge is run by AIA and the National Association of Rocketry and sponsored by Raytheon Company. Raytheon is particularly proud to sponsor the winners of the Team America Rocketry Challenge as they travel internationally. For the past 11 years, the company has covered travel costs for the winning teams.

But launching rockets is only part of the challenge.

At the IRC, teams must present their designs and defend their knowledge of rocketry physics before a panel of international experts. The presentation contest represents 40 percent of the final score. Rocket launches comprise the remaining 60 percent.

With the Presentation Contest under their belt, the team is off to a good start! Follow their journey here on the AIA Aero-Blog and on our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages! Follow Raytheon on Twitter @Raytheon.

Go Team USA!