LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – New Mexico State University’s rocket ship team is showing off their Spaceport America Chile Cup after their rocket launched over ten thousand feet into the air. The team called Atomic Aggies won the Chile Cup against all the regional colleges in the area including UTEP and University of New Mexico.

They finished 9th overall out of 150 teams around the world with their rocket, Rising Phoenix. The members of the team said that it was all thanks to the hard work and dedication from the entire team. Atomic Aggies have competed in the Space Port America cup every year for the past 5 years.

They start designing the rocket from scratch in the fall leading up to the competition in June. After losing out the title last year to NM Tech, they were excited to take the title home to NMSU this year. The team, who is made of many majors like mechanical aerospace, are involved every step of they which member Tori Hoffman believes provides more experience beyond the classroom.

You get a lot of hands-on experience that you don’t get in the classroom and I am super grateful for that because I have learned so much throughout this year just being to work with the stuff hands on and just learning so much.”

Tori Hoffman, Mechanical Aerospace major, NMSU

Hoffman also talks about her experience as a woman in engineering saying that it might be intimidating at first working in a male dominated field but knows that she is able to show that anyone that is able to do anything they are passionate about.

“So, in most of my classes and even the team itself it’s still a male heavy industry and i like to be a part of it because yeah I can do this too.”


Another member of Atomic Aggies, project manager David Moreno, encourages those who have any interest in this field to join them. He says that they have already begun preparing for next year’s competition and are looking forward to welcoming new people

Try it out see what interests you and what doesn’t because now in college is a great time to find out what you like and what you don’t like you come at your free time whenever you have a chance there’s no requirement you just sign up show up and most people end up liking it and sticking around.

David Moreno, Project Manager

Moreno’s message to those who are hesitant about joining is that they may not know how to build a rocket at first, but the team will be there to teach you everything you need to know.

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