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Brazilian Universities Compete in the USA Rocket World Cup |  Science and health

Brazilian Universities Compete in the USA Rocket World Cup | Science and health

Rocket – Image: Pexels

Five teams made up of students from Brazilian public universities will participate in it Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest rocket and satellite competition. The tournament will be held from the 19th to the 24th of this month, in three cities in the state of New Mexico, in the United States. The Brazilian institutions represented are the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), State of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), São Paulo (USP) and Brasília (UnB).

158 teams from 24 different countries will participate in the event. The competition is divided into 6 categories according to the type of engine used (commercial or developed by the same team) and the distance traveled by the missile. Minerva Rockets and Sats (UFRJ), GFRJ (UERJ), and Kosmos Rocketry (UFSC) teams will compete in the self-developed solid-engine rocket class up to 3 kilometers (kilometers) high. The Capital Rocket (UnB) and Jupiter Project (USP) teams are entering the class of self-developed hybrid/liquid-engine rockets up to 3 kilometers high.

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Astronomy student Júlia Siqueira, 26, is the president of Minerva Rocket and Sats, of the UFRJ, founded in 2016, and participates in the competition with the Aurora rocket, measuring 3 meters and 10 centimeters, and nanosatellites for astronomical experiments tests (microbios). According to Júlia, the group needs to develop all the electronic structures and components. The process is complex, but it fills the student with pride.

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I have taught all my life in public school. When do I envision going to a federal university and developing a rocket? When we look at it this way, from afar, it seems to be a very difficult thing, far from reality. It seems you have to be a genius to develop it. And no, anyone interested can go there and learn and have the opportunity to take the project to the world stage and present it to the biggest airlines in the world. We collide with great universities, like MIT, Stanford, and Columbia.”

Júlia points out that because UFRJ does not have an aeronautical engineering course, the group ends up being multidisciplinary, with people from fields ranging from management to electronics. For the student, this is the difference in the competition, as is the dedication of the participants. In addition to rocket development, it is necessary to take care of personal life, university studies, and activities such as scientific initiation and vocational training. In the midst of this daily marathon, students accumulate knowledge that transcends the academic environment.

“What we do there changes people. For me, it has completely changed the way I look at all the other areas of my life in terms of responsibility, commitment, dedication, having to manage and make things happen. Developing complex technology so cheaply, on a day-to-day basis, within a university, brings a jigsaw The student says, “We don’t make toys, we make real technology.”