College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

M:2:I CyLaunch rocket team turns in best-ever performance in national competition

CyLaunch rocketry team members holding rocket
CyLaunch rocketry team members holding rocket
Members of the 2023-24 CyLaunch rocket team

The Make to Innovate (M:2:I) program’s CyLaunch student rocketry team achieved unprecedented success at the recent NASA Student Launch Competition in Huntsville, Alabama. Securing second place overall in the University Student Launch Initiative competition, the team received a prestigious $2,500 monetary award. Additionally, their exceptional performance earned them the Altitude Award for coming within one foot of their 5,000-foot altitude goal.

CyLaunch rocket launch during test
CyLaunch’s rocket heads skyward in a test launch

In the launch competition, CyLaunch’s rocket achieved a straight flight to its maximum altitude and both parachutes deployed successfully to ensure a safe descent. The rocket’s airbrake system worked efficiently, bringing the rocket to an altitude of 5,001 feet.

The performance brought the team to the closest it has ever come to the target altitude and marked a significant achievement, as it has never placed in the top three positions.

CyLaunch joined over 50 teams from across the nation, representing institutions ranging from middle schools to universities. During their time in Huntsville, the team participated in several events hosted by NASA Student Launch, including a rocket fair, breakout sessions with astronaut Warren Hoburg and the main competition day.

M:2:I student projects are able to exist thanks to the generous contributions from sponsors like the Iowa Space Grant Consortium (ISGC), Boeing, and FundISU. ISGC has supported CyLaunch through the Student Hands-On Experimental Opportunities Award by providing $5,000 in funding through NASA Award no. 80NSSC20M0107. If you would like to contribute to the team’s future successes, the donation form can be found here: