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Ole Miss Students Compete in NASA Rocket Competition

Students in the Ole Miss Center for Manufacturing Excellence compete in NASA’s 17th annual student rocket launch challenge.

The group calls itself the “Rebel Rockets,” and the team consists of 11 Ole Miss students, all interested in aerospace engineering. With help from the Center for Manufacturing Excellence (CME) at Ole Miss, they built a rocket from the ground up to compete in a contest sponsored by NASA.
“This really wouldn’t have gotten off the ground without the CME. They have provided us with ample funding so we can buy our materials and we have also been provided with all of the shop floor space and the machines we need to build what we need to build and make the rocket successful,” says team member D.J. Johnson.
In mid-February, the group set up a test at Shelby farms in Memphis. The Mid-South Rocket Society hosted the launch, although Rebel Rocket team members had to assemble the parts of their missile with very little assistance.
The Ole Miss rocket climbed over a mile in the sky, putting them in a promising competitive position as they approach the final launch. All competing teams are required to perform a series of test launches during the 8-month program and to report back to NASA.
The team will compete against 60 other college groups from 23 different states. Students had to apply to participate in the program back in August and meet a series of preliminary qualifications.
“To be there on the pad and to see it go up and see everything come together, it’s really just an amazing feeling,” said Johnson.
The Rebel Rocket group, led by student Dillon Hall, will travel to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama to conduct the official launch in early April.

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