NWIC participates in NASA rocket launch competition

Jun 14th, 2013 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

This past spring, Northwest Indian College (NWIC, Bellingham, WA) took part in NASA’s university student launch flight competition in Huntsville, Alabama. NWIC students competed with college and university teams from across the nation to see whose rocket could come closest to a 1-mile altitude goal and safely return its onboard science or engineering payload to Earth. Fifty-four teams took part, although six faced mechanical or technical issues and did not launch.

The flight competition is part of NASA’s Student Launch Project (SLP). Overall, the competition is an eight-month commitment (one academic year) that requires teams to submit a series of reports and reviews, develop a website, engage in education outreach in their local community, provide a timeline, and devise a budget. The reports and reviews are similar to NASA’s technical review process. As in that process, SLP teams must also complete a series of design reviews.

NWIC also traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the First Nations Launch. Brandt reported that the flights in that competition went perfectly. It is the NWIC team’s fourth year participating in the First Nations competition and they have taken first place for the past two years. This year, team members entered both the tribal college and the American Indian Science and Engineering Society divisions of the competition.

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