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:

34 members in 2020-2021
Team leaders: 
  • Max Kwon
Year began: 
1999
Location: 
Building 17
Past Events and Upcoming

In February 2020 the team launched two rockets at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry in CA: Hermes III and Staging Demonstrator II. While Hermes III unfortunately experienced a structural failure in flight, Staging Demonstrator II was successfully recovered after reaching an altitude of 33000 ft.

Using the lessons from this launch, the team has begun development of Project Phoenix, which will incorporate the technology from the Hermes program into a two stage rocket. This will be an important step towards our eventual goal to launch a rocket past the Kármán line to space. We hope to launch this rocket sometime in 2021.

On July 6, 2019, the team launced Hermes II at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) site near Mojave, CA, but unfortunately the rocket dissassembled at seven seconds in.

On July 21, 2018 Hermes I soared to 32,400 ft above the Mojave Desert.

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

Membership is open to all MIT students and new members are always welcome at our meetings. Stay tuned for meeting times and locations.

Follow MIT Rocket Team