Purdue University selected to compete at the NASA Student Launch Program

Purdue students are competing in a NASA rocket program.

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 5:35 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Each year, NASA accepts only forty-five universities to compete in its Student Launch Program. This year Purdue University made the cut.

"So, we definitely put forth a good proposal, but on top of that we have a reputation for a college that has educated students well on aero-space and I think that has something to do with it," said Project Manager, Michael Rapella.

The team's goal is to design a rocket capable of launching, landing, and collecting simulated lunar ice samples at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

"The team is looking to create a solid motor propelled full-body rocket," added Rapella.

The seven-month-long competition requires several different students from a variety of different majors.

"We primarily have a lot of aerospace engineering students, but we have had chemical engineering students, we've had finance students, we've had people who are doing dual majors in engineering and like, economics," added Team Leader, Luke Perrin.

Rapella says being on the team has helped build his future career.

"I have had a few internships here and there, where I've been able to apply things that I have learned from being on the team to what I do at my job," said Rapella.

Last year Purdue University finished in the top twelve teams and they're hoping to place even higher this time around.

"We're a very well-known school in terms of just rocketry in general, but the team itself has put in a lot of work in it, and it really has hammered home what we think is right in our engineering aspects," said Perrin.

Purdue will compete against schools such as Carnegie Mellon, Notre Dame, and Ohio State.

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