Miami University Rocket Propulsion Laboratory team selected to compete at 2023 Spaceport America Cup competition
Miami University’s Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (MURPL) was recently selected as the 56th team to compete at the 2023 Spaceport America Cup this summer.
By Gabby Benedict, CEC Student Intern
Miami University’s American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics sub-organization, the Miami Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (MURPL), was the 56th team selected to compete at the summer 2023 Spaceport America Cup in New Mexico at Spaceport America.
The fourth annual Spaceport America Cup is the largest rocket competition in the world and is occurring in June of 2023. At this competition, over 1,500 students and faculty from more than 150 colleges across the U.S. will gather in Southern New Mexico in order to collaborate and compete at a world-class spaceport facility with other collegiate rocketeers.
The MURPL team is fabricating Miami’s first student-built rocket in hopes of reaching the competition goal altitude of 10,000 ft. with their rocket, Aurora.
Aayush Gadal and Sawyer Martini, co-captains of the team, began the team one year ago in order to create an experiential learning project for students who have an interest in aerospace and to establish ties to the aerospace industry for Miami students. Since then, many students have joined the ranks to help.
"It was crazy. Sawyer and Aayush brought up this competition and asked me to lead the computer side of things. I was skeptical at first, but once I was able to amalgam a basic flight computer out of an arduino and some old sensors, I knew we were on to something," said secretary Ethan Chapel.
Gadal and Martini both attended the previous 2022 competition as observers to establish relationships with competing teams, gain competition knowledge, and network with aerospace industry representatives that attend, sponsor, and hire students at the yearly competition. A few of the industry representatives present had included Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Northrop Grumman, and Sierra Space.
Their trustee, Dr. Justin Ye, and advisor, Dr. Larry Butkus, are from the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering department and have assisted the team in obtaining mentors Bill Good and Todd Knight, both members of the Tripoli Rocket Association and who each have more than three decades of rocketry experience.
To learn how to support the team, please visit American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.