MIT Rocket Team

The MIT Rocket Team focuses on rocket-related projects ranging from designing and building a custom centrifugal liquid engine to the development of lighter, stronger composite airframes. We provide our members with the tools and knowledge to earn amateur-rocketry certifications through the National Association of Rocketry. 

MIT Rocket Team At a glance

Number of Members:

18 members in 2017-2018
Team leaders: 
  • Charlier Garcia (AeroAstro 2019), President
  • Andrew Reilley (EECS 2019), Vice President
  • Isaac Perper (MechE 2020), Treasure
  • Joey Murphy (AeroAstro ’19), Safety Officer
  • Joanna Zhang (AeroAstro ’20), Publicity Chair
  • Juan Salazar (AeroAstro ’20), Outreach Chair
  • Madeleine Jansson (AeroAstro '19), Recovery Lead
  • Matthew Campbell (AeroAstro ’20), Structures
  • Josef Biberstein (AeroAstro '19), Avionics
  • Maddie Garcia (AeroAstro ’20), Payload
  • Nick Bain (AeroAstro ’20), Liquid Engine Development
  • Sam Austin (AeroAstro ’20), Propulsion
  • Colin Poler ((MechE ’18)
  • Matt Vernacchia (Graduate Student Aero Astro)
  • Ben Corbin (Graduate Student Aero Astro)
  • Kelly Mathesius (Graduate Student Aero Astro)
  • Eric Riehl '17
Year began: 
Building 17
Past Events and Upcoming

In June 2017, the MIT Rocket team won 2nd place at the Spaceport America Cup. First, Project Raziel won 2nd place in the 10,000 ft COTS Solid Propulsion category.  Raziel soared to 10,200 ft, the closest to target apogee we’ve ever achieved. Their other competition rocket, Project Virgo, which competed in the 30,000 ft Commercial Propulsion category, zoomed to 31,850 ft, establishing a new team record.

In 2016, the MIT Rocket team returned to IREC in Green River, Utah with their rocket, Therion III. Project Therion investigated the effect of Dielectric Barrier Discharge actuators at high speeds. Project Therion also flew more student-designed hardware than ever before, including the flight computer, parachutes, fiberglass tubes, and fins. The team launched at IREC on June 17, 2016, reaching an altitude of 9624 feet, an accuracy improvement of over 500 feet from their test flight in late April.

The MIT Rocket Team came in first place in the Basic (10,000 feet) category of the 2015 International Rocket Engineering Competition in June 2015.

Join the team

Rocket Team meetings are Mondays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 11:00am in the Rocket Team Lab, located on the second floor of the Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel Building [Blg. 17]. The Monday night planning meetings are usually reserved for business and progress updates, lasting no more than an hour. Saturday meetings are usually used for fabrication time and generally last a few hours. Membership is open to all MIT students and new members are always welcome at our meetings.

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