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20-21 NASA Student Launch Competition

Help the 49er Rocketry Team compete at the 2021 NASA Student Launch Competition. To date, $10,375 has been raised from 105 gifts.

2020 NASA Student Launch Competition

We are a team of engineering students at UNC Charlotte who are entering this year’s NASA Student Launch Competition. This is a rigorous and fiercely competitive challenge to design, build, and fly a high powered rocket to complete a mission designed by NASA. In total, nine teams from UNC Charlotte have competed in this prestigious challenge, beating teams from MIT, NC State, the Naval Academy and other veteran aerospace schools.


Awards From Previous Years

The last three teams to compete from UNC Charlotte placed second overall. We intend to carry UNC Charlotte’s venerable reputation and tradition of excellence into this year’s competition.



CAD Rendering of Vehicle

We are currently designing a rocket that will carry a payload to an altitude of 3500-5500 feet and return to the earth unharmed. The payload will be jettisoned from the payload section of the vehicle at a range at 700 feet. Upon landing, the payload will autonomously self-level to within 5 degrees of the vertical axis. The payload will then take a 360 degree photo that will be transmitted to the team during the competition. To meet these requirements, we will be designing a deployment mechanism that will allow the payload to be safely ejected and self-leveled without a rocket airframe interference.

CAD Rendering of Payload

In order to be successful, we need your help! The development of a system that will be competitive is costly and we will be up against teams with well-funded aerospace programs. Between the development budget of the vehicle and payload, as well as our travel expenses to attend the competition in Huntsville, AL, our total anticipated budget is nearly $21,000.

To carry our passion and ambitions into the community, our team will also be conducting numerous outreach events at local schools to help nurture K-12 students' curiosities in the STEM field. Our goal is to reach more than 600 students over the course of the competition. Your generous donation will not only help secure UNC Charlotte’s success in this competition, it will also give us the ability to inspire future generations through our STEM outreach. Donate today to invest in the future of high powered rocketry at UNC Charlotte and in future engineers!

You can double or triple the impact of your gift if your employer participates in a matching gift program.  To see if your employer has a matching gift program, click here. If your company matches, complete your matching gift form and submit it to UNC Charlotte via mail (UNC Charlotte Foundation, 9201 University City Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28223), fax (704-687-7259) or email (

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