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 two teams to compete from UNC Charlotte placed in the top five overall. 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 autonomous rover to an altitude of 1 mile and back to earth unharmed. Upon landing the rover must deploy from the payload bay, travel 5 feet from the landing site, and then deploy a foldable solar panel array. To meet these requirements, we are housing the rover in a rotating bay that will orient the rover before deployment, then guide the rover out of the housing.
In order to do be successful, we need your help! The development of a system that can compete against well-established and better-funded schools will be expensive. We anticipate needing a development budget of $12,000 for the vehicles and payloads. This does not include the expense of getting this year’s team to Huntsville, AL to attend the competition. Our total anticipated budget for this competition will be nearly $20,000!
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 student’s curiosities in the STEM field. Our goal is to reach over 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. Please invest in the future of high powered rocketry at UNC Charlotte and in the future of the engineering community in Charlotte!