University of Minnesota Rocket Team wins 30,000-ft category at 2023 Spaceport America Cup

CSE students launched their rocket to nearly 30,000 feet in the New Mexico desert

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (06/29/2023)—The student-run University of Minnesota Rocket Team launched their rocket nearly 30,000 feet to take first place in one of the most challenging categories at the 2023 Spaceport America Cup. More than 150 teams from countries around the world competed in the planet’s largest intercollegiate rocketry competition that took place in New Mexico from June 19-24. 

In addition to winning the 30,000 ft Student Researched and Developed (SRAD) Solid category, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities students took home the James Barrowman Award for Flight Dynamics and were named a finalist for the Charles Hoult Award for Modeling & Simulation.

“So many individuals from our team, from so many different majors and backgrounds, have put countless hours into making this project a success this year,” said Erika Bowe, a mechanical engineering student and the Rocket Team’s president. “We could not have possibly asked for a better year, a better competition, or better results. We truly appreciate the support and guidance that has come from the University.”

The Rocket Team comprises students from across the University's College of Science and Engineering who gain hands-on engineering experience designing, building, testing, and flying high-powered rockets. The team has had many successes in recent years, including winning first place overall at the 2021 Spaceport America Cup. 

The students will launch their last project of the year, a high-altitude rocket, in July. 

Read more about the students’ projects on the University of Minnesota Rocket Team website.