Mizzou SEDS rockets to a repeat

A group of well-dressed students pose for a photo in front of a logo-filled banner.

The Mizzou SEDS chapter celebrated its second University Student Rocketry Competition victory in a row while attending SpaceVision 2017. Photo courtesy of Sam Reid.

The Mizzou chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) is no stranger to building championship-caliber rockets. And their latest competition entry was no exception.

Mizzou SEDS won the 2017 University Student Rocketry Competition. It marks the second consecutive victory in the competition for the MU Engineering student organization.

The rocket Mizzou SEDS built reached an altitude of 7,094 feet.

“We definitely work really hard on all the rockets we produce,” current SEDS President Elizabeth Freihaut said. “I think we have a lot of strength in our organization in our ability to think differently, out of the box.”

The competition was the culmination of months of work, which included design and construction of the rocket, as well as completing the required three reports throughout the process.

“This year, we fell behind during the summer. … We finished building the rocket in about three weeks. We put in 40-hour weekends for three weekends. It was over 80 hours of work,” former MU SEDS President Sam Reid said.

Several members of Mizzou SEDS had the opportunity to travel to Cape Canaveral, Fla., to receive the award at SEDS’ national conference, SpaceVision. While there, they took advantage of guest speakers, networking opportunities, tours and the chances to rub elbows with several real-life astronauts.

Mizzou SEDS is already hard at work brainstorming ideas for the 2018 competition, looking for innovative ways to improve after winning two consecutive competitions. And they’re looking for even more help.

“This is really great hands-on experience, and you get to go to conferences like SpaceVision,” Freihaut said. “And they fund us for winning these competitions. We get to use that money to build new rockets. We’re trying to get more people interested in that.”

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