The final deadline to submit your request to begin static test firing your engine is November 29. This deadline is extremely important, because teams MUST submit by the deadline in order to continue in the competition.
To help you understand what the Safety Council is looking for when reviewing the static test fire, we are sharing this form that the council uses to guide their reviews. The Safety Council is also providing this example Safety Checklist for teams to refer to. The static test fire request should be thoughtful and comprehensive. While the requests are not being evaluated for length, as a point of reference, the shortest static test fire to receive approval so far was about 75 pages.
To date, two teams have been cleared to begin their static test firing and two more had their requests vetted and were given feedback and asked to make modifications to their plans.
When you submit your static test fire request by November 29, there are three potential outcomes:
- Approval. This is a “go” decision and means your team has approval to begin static test firing. (Note that no team has received a “go” decision based on their very first submission to the Safety Council. They were all given feedback and asked to revise and resubmit at least one time.)
- Contingent approval. In this scenario, your team receives a “no go” on the static test fire request. However, the Safety Council will provide feedback on what needs to be corrected and revisited in the static test fire plan. Your team can revise and resubmit the request for approval the following month. Teams that receive contingent approval are still in the competition, even though they are not yet approved to begin static test fires of their engine.
- Denial. Based on the content of their static test fire request submitted this month, some teams will be found to no longer be viable competitors. We anticipate that for a team to have any chance of launching by the end of 2021, they need to have a successful test fire program up and running by mid-2020. If the Safety Council determines that the teams are not reasonably close to achieving this, based on their static test fire request, they will not be given an opportunity to revise and resubmit. For those teams, this will be the end of their participation in the Base 11 Space Challenge, but they can continue to work toward launching their rockets at other competitions such as the Spaceport America’s Cup.
For those teams concerned about the latter outcome, please review this form that the Safety Council uses when reviewing the static test fire requests. They will also be considering the following when reviewing the submissions :
- Is the overall test stand design safe, even if it requires minor adjustments, or does it require substantial upgrades to be considered safe?
- Is the test stand capable of supporting a full scale, full duration test fire, or will it require substantial upgrades to make that requirement feasible?
- What is the timeline on the construction of the test stand and its initial test fire date?
We look forward to seeing your static test fire plans.