49er Rocketry Team continues to excel at NASA Student Launch Competition

UNC Charlotte’s 49er Rocketry Team placed third overall in the 2024 NASA Student Launch Competition held at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  This is the seventh consecutive year the team has placed among the competition’s top three.

Gracie Judy, the lead for the 2023-24 49ers Rocketry Team, said, “Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in aerospace; I just wasn’t sure where I would fit best.”

After high school, Judy became part of the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars Program before transferring to UNC Charlotte.

“I immediately became a member of the 49er Rocketry Club, which helped me figure out that high power rocketry was something I was really passionate about.”

Each year, NASA challenges middle school, high school and college and university students from across the United States to design, build and launch a high-powered amateur rocket, fly it to an altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet and make a successful landing.

Teams are judged in several categories, including reusable launch vehicle, STEM engagement and safety. The 49ers placed second overall in reusable launch and STEM engagement and third in safety.

In addition to Judy, a mechanical engineering major in the William States Lee College of Engineering, the team members are Anthony Konstantinidi, electrical and computer engineering; vehicle team lead William Vitola, mechanical engineering and physics; recovery officer Andrew McPartland, mechanical engineering; safety officer Chase Jackson, computer engineering; Kathleen Arrington, computer engineering; Austin Clavijo, mechanical engineering technology; Elliot Kohut, mechanical engineering; Amanda Solorio, mechanical engineering; and Jorge Young, mechanical engineering.

Seventy teams from 24 states plus Puerto Rico participated; the University of Notre Dame finished first with Iowa State University in second place.

Read more of this story on the W.S. Lee College of Engineering website at https://engr.charlotte.edu/2024/06/10/for-7-straight-years-49er-rocketry-team-claims-a-spot-on-the-winners-podium/.