University of Minnesota Rocket Team

Making Rockets, Building Engineers

The University of Minnesota Rocket Team is committed to providing its members with hands-on engineering experience by designing, building and launching high-powered rockets.

Our student-run organization competes in multiple competitions annually including the Spaceport America Cup (SAC), the Space Grant Midwest High-Power Rocket Competition, and the Bayer Alka Rocket Challenge. We also currently operate several exciting R&D-type projects including a high-altitude shot and a thrust vector control system.

Some recent successes for our team include winning the 30k SRAD category at SAC 2019, placing 1st overall at Midwest 2019 and in the Alka Rocket Challenge in 2019. Our highest recorded launch as a team is currently 44,910 feet, set by our high-altitude project at Spaceport America.


Our flagship rocket flies in the annual Spaceport America Cup, carrying a 4kg payload to 30,000 feet.

The Midwest High Power Rocket Competition challenges teams with unique design requirements that change annually.

In the Bayer Alka Rocket Challenge, teams compete to break the altitude record for a rocket powered by effervescent tablets.

Exhibition Projects

How high can we go?

The high altitude team flies annually at Spaceport America.

TVC, or Thrust Vector Control, is working on developing a system to control a high power rocket using thrust vectoring.


The Grand Opening Project to Help Educate Rocketeers is designed to introduce new students to the basics of rocketry.

In this program, groups of 4-5 students work with a student mentor to build and launch a high-power rocket. GOPHER is a great experience for any new member!


The avionics team designs and builds custom in-rocket data-collection modules which record flight data and broadcast it to the ground. We also work on pitot tubes and radio telemetry.

The structures team constructs the air frames of our rockets. We construct our own composite tubes optimized for the flight loads they experience.

Propulsion constructs experimental motors for use in IREC and and in other rockets. We have developed our own propellant formulation that we use in our motor for IREC, which we named Sheila.

All of our rockets are designed to land under parachute for reuse. The recovery team constructs the parachutes and ensures they deploy correctly.

The IREC competition requires that you fly 4kg of payload to 30,000 feet. The payload team is responsible for making that 4kg as cool as possible.

The simulation team uses numerical methods to model the structure and aerodynamics of our rockets and aid in optimizing the design of the rocket.

Building off of our past roll control project, the GNC team will design algorithms to control our rockets in wide ranging scenarios.