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2019 NASA Student Launch Competition

Help engineering students on the 49er Rocketry Team design, build, and fly a high-powered rocket to compete for the NASA Student Launch Competition. To date, $18,600 has been raised for the 49er Rocketry Team to compete Spring 2020.

2019 NASA Student Launch Competition

We are a team of engineering students at UNC Charlotte who are entering this year’s NASA Student Launch Competition. This is a rigorous and fiercely competitive challenge to design, build, and fly a high powered rocket to complete a mission designed by NASA. In total, seven teams from UNC Charlotte have competed in this prestigious challenge, beating teams from MIT, NC State, the Naval Academy and other veteran aerospace schools.

The last three teams to compete from UNC Charlotte placed in the top five overall. Last year’s team took second place overall, also taking first place in best “Experimental Design” and “Safety”. We intend to carry UNC Charlotte’s venerable reputation and tradition of excellence into this year’s competition.


We are currently designing a rocket that will carry an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to an altitude of 3500-5500 feet and return to the earth unharmed. The UAV will be deployed autonomously mid-air at 700 ft. after receiving a signal and then autonomously fly to a NASA-specified location. Once there, it must retrieve a simulated ice sample and then land a distance away from the collection area. To meet these requirements, we will be designing a deployment mechanism that will allow the UAV to be safely started and flown without a rocket airframe interference.

In order to be successful, we need your help! The development of a system that will be competitive is costly and we will be up against teams with well-funded aerospace programs. Between the development budget of the vehicle and payload, as well as our travel expenses to attend the competition in Huntsville, AL, our total anticipated budget is nearly $25,000!


To carry our passion and ambitions into the community, our team will also be conducting numerous outreach events at local schools to help nurture K-12 students' curiosities in the STEM field. Our goal is to reach more than 600 students over the course of the competition. Your generous donation will not only help secure UNC Charlotte’s success in this competition, it will also give us the ability to inspire future generations through our STEM outreach. 

Donate today to invest in the future of high powered rocketry at UNC Charlotte and in future engineers!


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