By Danielle Smith, Aili Fields,
Fourteen Hawaii college students lifted their eyes towards the blinding sun as they watched their long-time rocket project fly higher towards success. At the 2019 NASA Student Launch Competition, universities from across the country met in Huntsville, Alabama in April. Hawaii’s own Project Imua Team 6 took home the Rookie Award for best new team in the competition, placing top 10 out of 45 teams.
Imua Team 6 consisted of faculty and students hailing from several UH campus’ including, Honolulu CC. Utilizing a grant received from the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium for $65,931, which was used for materials, traveling, and student stipends.
Before launching their final project, teams estimated that their rocket would fly 4,700 feet. Their personally designed rocket reached 4,338 feet.
“To be able to see it in person, it was really beautiful to see it work the way itʻs meant to and see those ʻchutes come out and just watching it come down,” said Mia Fong, Honolulu CC team leader. “It was amazing.”
The process to prepare and the trip itself offered the students realistic engineering experience that can be used in the professional field.