NASA Student Launch Initiative

NASA’s University Student Launch Initiative brings together university and community college teams from across the United States in a challenge that changes each year. The competition is a one-academic-year commitment that requires teams to submit a series of reports and reviews, develop a website, engage in education outreach, and provide a timeline, budget, and other requirements. The reports and reviews are almost identical to NASA’s own technical review process. Teams will submit a proposal, then a Preliminary Design Review (PDR), Critical Design Review (CDR), Flight Readiness Review (FRR), and a Post-Launch Assessement Review (PLAR) after competition. In addition, teams must successfully undergo the Launch Readiness Review prior to competition launch.

For the 2016-2017 competition, the University of Florida’s Rocket Team will launch a payload that will land vertically utilizing an autorotation device.

Project Proposal

Preliminary Design Review

Critical Design Review

Past Reports

Propulsion Research

The UF Rocket Team’s Propulsion Research program tasks teams with researching, designing, and building solid, liquid, and hybrid propellant rocket engines. Once built, the motors will undergo static motor tests to measure relevant data such as thrust, impulse, burn rate, etc. Through the program, the team hopes to compile a catalog of manufactured motors with statistics and information on how to create them for future use.

Propulsion Team Page

Rocketry Basics Course

The Rocketry Basics Course is a program designed to give an overview of rocketry to beginners. It goes over not only the process, tools, and guidelines for designing rockets, but also the theory governing the design of a rocket. No prior experience is required and no one is too experienced to take it. The course has four classes and will be conducted multiple times. Information regarding scheduling will be released at regular intervals. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Hybrid Competition

The Hybrid Motor Rocket Competition is a collegiate level rocketry competition. “The objective of the competition is to build and launch a hybrid powered rocket. There are two categories of competition to choose from. The first category consists of launching a hybrid rocket to the maximum altitude. The second category challenges the teams to fly their rocket closest to 2000 feet in altitude.”






In today’s world, people in STEM fields are being called upon to further enhance societal life in the most efficient manner possible, bridging the gap between the technical and non-technical. The next great engineer, mathematician or scientist is waiting to be exposed to the field. The youth of our country house our future and with them the next great idea to change society for the better. We as a nation have come far in promoting exposure to STEM fields to children; however, the goal of the Educational Engagement division of The University of Florida Rocket Team is to expound on this idea. We have set the goal of further engaging students and the community to STEM fields, with a steer toward the field of rocketry. Many students are unaware of the nature and workings of their world around them. Taping into their curious minds at this young age leaves them with a newfound interest.

The University of Florida Rocket Team will focus its efforts in the Gainesville community. Reaching out to as many schools as possible at a variety of grade levels. However, the goal still remains to provide a quality impact on students, rather than simply preaching out to the masses with a diluted effect. The primary form of engagement is travelling to local schools and hosting STEM related courses and activities.

If interested in the Rocket Team Outreach Program, please feel free to contact us!

Our Mission

To serve as a platform for students at the University of Florida to design, build, test, and fly high powered rockets. We will develop essential skills that can be applied across all fields of engineering and pursue meaningful projects that positively impact the rest of the world.

The University of Florida Rocket Team is a student team that designs, builds, tests, and launches high-powered rockets. It participates in the NASA Student Launch competition, is involved in student led propulsion research, and is actively engaged in promoting STEM to the Gainesville community.

The team is also engaged in teaching the basics of rocketry to new team members by hosting courses each week. At the end of the course, members will be able to design and build their own rocket for Level 1 and Level 2 Certification with the National Association of Rocketry.

Awards and Achievements

NASA Student Launch
  • 1st Place Closest to 5280 ft. - 2016
  • 6th Place Overall Finish – 2016
  • 14th Place Overall Finish – 2015
  • 8th Place Overall Finish – 2014
  • 8th Place Overall Finish – 2013
  • Best Project Review – 2012

  • Hybrid Motor Rocket Competition
  • 3rd Place Closest to 2000 ft – 2016
  • 3rd Highest Altitude – 2014
  • 2nd Closest to 2000 ft. – 2013
  • 3rd Highest Altitude – 2013
  • 1st Closest to 2000 ft. – 2012
  • 2nd Highest Altitude – 2012

  • AIAA Student Conference
  • 2nd Place Design Team Presentation – 2013
  • Rick Lind, Ph.D
    Team Advisor

    Jimmy Yawn
    Team Mentor

    Tatiana Luna

    Raymond Bolen
    Composites Lead

    Kartik Chaturvedi

    Nahien Chowdury
    Systems Lead

    Aaron Dagen
    Safety Officer

    Chris Emami
    Avionics Lead

    Liam Hunt
    Educational Engagement

    Yu Liu

    Kenton Prescott
    Propulsion Research Lead

    Dustin Smith
    Manufacturing Lead

    Peter Torsone
    Rocketry Course Lead

    Wil Van Dyke
    Payloads Lead

    Derek Watson
    Recovery Lead

    Vanessa Wu

    Noah Yudewitz
    Aerodynamics Lead