For Union rocketeers, one giant leap

College team participated in Spaceport America Cup for first time
Nott Memorial
Union's rocket team at the Spaceport America Cup, from left, Prof. Andrew Rapoff, Christopher Marina '18, Owen Gauthier '18, Matthew Reinhardt '18 and Andrew Attori '18
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For Union rocketeers, one giant leap


  • Union's rocket team at the Spaceport America Cup, from left, Prof. Andrew Rapoff, Christopher Marina '18, Owen Gauthier '18, Matthew Reinhardt '18 and Andrew Attori '18Union's rocket team at the Spaceport America Cup, from left, Prof. Andrew Rapoff, Christopher Marina '18, Owen Gauthier '18, Matthew Reinhardt '18 and Andrew Attori '18

Union’s rocket team successfully launched and landed their entry in the College’s first participation in the Spaceport America Cup, an intercollegiate engineering competition near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico in late June.

In the process, they earned an honorable mention for “Full Cycle Professionalism.”

“None of the judges I spoke with ever heard of a team competing and being successful in their first year,” said Andrew Rapoff, team advisor and Thomas J. Watson Sr. & Emma Watson Day Distinguished Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering.

The team – recent ME graduates Andrew Attori, Owen Gauthier, Christopher Marina and Matthew Reinhardt – launched their 9-foot rocket to an altitude of 10,400 feet and safely parachuted to a landing about 1,000 feet from the launch pad.

The Spaceport America Cup drew more than 100 teams from colleges and universities in about a dozen countries.

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