Mechanical Engineering

UE Student Launch Initiative

Students design and build a high power rocket that will reach a one-mile high altitude. A scientific payload will be onboard the rocket to collect experimental data during the flight. It is also required for the rocket to be recovered safely within a 1 square mile zone. Students address the same physics, propulsion and flight challenges faced by professional rocket engineers. They must challenge themselves as scientists, creating a unique, on-board science experiment that can survive the mile-high flight and yield test results after the vehicle parachutes back to Earth.

The Student Launch Project concludes in April, when the team gathers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Marshall manages the projects and NASA sponsors the national competition. NASA engineers will put the students' rockets through a professional design review similar to that undertaken for every NASA launch. The students then embark on a two-day "launchfest" at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala., where they are cheered on hundreds of Marshall team members and North Alabama rocket enthusiasts.

In 2007, the UE Rocket Team placed 7th in the National Competition. Click here to read their story. In 2012, the rocket team placed 19th out of 41 teams.

View the project homepage