NASA announces winner of 2021 student launch competition
On Friday, NASA’s 2021 student launch competition ended with a virtual ceremony to announce the winners.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte was selected as the laureate of the launch division while New York University was named the laureate of the design division.
“This year’s challenge will hopefully serve as the inspiration for a lifetime of learning,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Someday it might be you who will design a new space flight system or a new spacecraft or even a vehicle to land on another planet.”
Student Launch challenges students from across the United States to successfully design, build, test, fly and land an amateur rocket at least 3,500 feet above the ground.
The competition takes place during the month of April, and traditionally the teams meet in Huntsville. However, due to the pandemic, in an effort to comply with federal guidelines and help limit the spread of COVID-19, these events have been modified to take place locally on each team or virtually.
Teams compete in college or college / high school divisions and are rated in nearly a dozen categories including altitude, safety, vehicle design, social media presence, and commitment to science, technology , engineering and mathematics.
This year, college-level teams were tasked with developing a planetary lander system to deploy during in-flight recovery, which could land, self-level, stitch a 360-degree panoramic image of the landing site, and transmit the image to a distant ground. station. Middle and high school teams were tasked with developing a science experiment or engineering payload suited to their capabilities and curriculum.
Vanderbilt University, University of Notre Dame, Purdue University and North Carolina State University round out the top five in the launch division. The top three teams in the Design division were the winner, New York University, followed by the University of California Los Angeles and Ohio State University.
For more information on NASA’s Artemis Student Challenges, visit their website here.
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