Rocket Team

Team Rocket

Environmental Stewardship & Social Justice


The Rocket Team is a student-run organization devoted to all things aerospace and rocketry at UC Santa Cruz. We teach students how to design, build, and launch high-powered amateur rockets in a safe and cooperative environment. Each school year, the team participates in rocket launching competitions, educational outreach events, and research projects. Students participating with the Rocket Team gain valuable skills in practical engineering, aerospace research, and extensive team projects. Each iteration of rocket we build has improved features, with an emphasis on recovering and reusing the rocket vehicle over multiple flights. Our core mission is to see UC Santa Cruz lead the way on developing sustainable and effective rocketry through its student body, and branch into multiple areas of aerospace design and education in the process.

Goals and Impacts:

Recently, the team successfully flew its maiden flight in the NASA Student Launch Initiative 2019-2020, placing 22nd out of 45 teams that qualified for the national engineering design challenge hosted annually by the Marshall Space Flight Center. This feat is one accomplished by only a select few colleges and universities (where most teams are comprised of mechanical or aerospace engineering department support), making UC Santa Cruz a newly impressive contender on one of the largest recognized scales of rocketry.

 To support our continuing mission to promote diverse STEM education, the team hosts various outreach events for students of all ages, at the University and in the local community. Events usually include launching paper rockets and other hands-on activities. Topics discussed include the history, science, and significance of rocketry, past and future NASA missions, and other space endeavors. We also mentor local robotics and rocketry teams, lending our knowledge to guide the next generation of scientists and engineers. The team also focuses on bringing diversity and gender representation to STEM through directed outreach. We hope that this will create a brighter future.

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