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2018 NASA Student Launch Competition

Raised toward our $12,000 Goal
168 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 19, at 11:59 PM EST
Project Owners

Back From Alabama!

April 09, 2019

Last week the 49er Rocketry Team was competing in Huntsville, Alabama against about 40 other schools. In the past 8 months we have written roughly 1,000 pages that we have submitted to NASA for review. The team had a successful launch day, reaching an altitude of 4,072 feet, which was only 128 feet off our declared altitude. We also were able to successfully deploy our UAV and deliver the beacon to the Future Excursion Area! Thank you to everyone who supported us during our crowdfunding campaign, Dr. Jerry Dahlberg, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, The William States Lee College of Engineering, NC Space Grant, Solidworks, Mechanix Wear, friends, and family for everything this year!


We brought home the First Place Safety Award, First Place Experiment Design (Payload) Award, Second Place Project Review (Documentation) Award, Third Place STEM Engagement Award, and a Third Place tie for Best Looking Rocket!


Again, we couldn't have done any of this without the continued support of our school, donors, mentors, friends, and family. We are excited to complete our last document (Post Launch Assessment Review) in the next few weeks!



Thank you!!

November 21, 2018

The campaign is officially finished and we would just like to thank each and every donor for helping us exceed our goal and raise $13,100! With full-scale rocket and UAV production starting, these funds will be extremely beneficial in assuring we are able to purchase the parts we need to be successful.  As the project continues, we will make sure to keep all of our supporters up to date on the progress we're making. We have the first full-scale launch and continued UAV testing coming up soon and will be sending those out as updates as they come up! Once again, thank you for all your support!

6 Days Left to Contribute!

November 11, 2018

We have $125 on the way to unlocking our $1,000 Challenge, there are only 6 days remaining to reach our goal!


The alumni challenge is also underway with this year's team being in 1st place, closely followed by 2014's team! The standings are below and the winner of this challenge will get to name our subscale rocket. 

  • 2012 - $0
  • 2013 - $0
  • 2014 - $625
  • 2015 - $25
  • 2017 - $250
  • 2018 - $200
  • 2019 - $640

The team been working diligently on the UAV prototype assembly and code. Trying to have it flying within the next week!


Thank you for all of the support so far, it's greatly appreciated. We are having a fundraising night at NoDa Brewing Company on Friday, November 16, 2018. Please come out to show your support, meet our team, and see our progress!


For more updates throughout the project check out our social media pages:




Website: ​




$1000 Challenge! PDR Completion and Subscale Testing

November 07, 2018

$1000 Challenge - A former team mentor has generously offered to match the next $1000 in donations from today until the end of the campaign on 11/17! This will help the team reach our $12,000 goal as well as get the team alumni challenge into a heated battle over the naming rights of our subscale rocket!


We recently completed two major events in the project: Our first subscale launch and the PDR presentation! The launch was successful with everything going as planned. We got great data to analyze and confirm the full-scale design of our rocket. The PDR presentation was given to NASA today and we were very pleased with the response from the review panel about our design and documentation. While we have to wait a few weeks to see how we compare to other teams, we are very confident in our team's performance today and on the PDR as a whole.


The next step is to finalize CDR preparation and continue testing. We are working on manual flight testing for our UAV with autonomous flight testing shortly after. This last push towards our fundraising goal will get us closer to covering our nearly $22,000 budget and allow us to purchase the necessary components for prototype testing.


Thank you for all your support so far!

$500 Challenge Update-October 30th Deadline! Please help us spread the word!

October 27, 2018

$500 Challenge Update- An alumnus has generously agreed to match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $500 to our project. Please help us spread the word!  


With the Preliminary Design Review due to NASA in less than 1 week, the need for funding is starting to increase as we are now in the process of purchasing materials for construction of our UAV prototype and subscale rocket! An alumnus has offered to match all donations up to $500 up until Midnight on October 30th, so this is a great opportunity to help the team raise the needed funds for prototype testing! Please help us spread the word and donate today!



NASA Project Acceptance!

October 26, 2018


Our proposal has been accepted by NASA and we are officially in the NASA Student Launch Competition. We will be competing against 51 other teams from 21 states. Teams have chosen the rover or UAV payload and we have chosen the UAV Option.


The team members that went to our first sub-scale launch

On October 6, 2018 we launched two sub-scale rockets. Our sub-scale rocket is on a 1:2 scale of our full-scale rocket with a 2.25 inch diameter. We collected data on fin types, recovery methods, and the altitude we will call out in our Preliminary Design Review (PDR). 

Setting up the rocket for the second launch

We have decided to implement an Alumni challenge into our crowdfunding so be sure to include your competition year with your donation. For the challenge we want to know which team can raise the most money. 

Our recovery team practiced tracking one night

The 49er Rocketry Team has been working hard to prepare their PDR that is due to NASA by November 2, 2018.


For more updates throughout the project check out our following social media pages:




Website: ​


Choose a giving level


Spaceflight Participant

Your donation will help feed a team member for a day in Huntsville, AL when we go to the competition.


Flight Engineer

Your donation will cover the purchase of one motor for vehicle test flights.


Mission Specialist

Your donation will cover a full day of launch activities, including food, gas, and equipment.



Your donation will cover the cost of the sub-scale airframe.


Mission Commander

Your donation will cover the cost of the full-scale airframe.

Our Crowdfunding Groups