Rocket reached an altitude of 144,000 feet after blasting off from Spaceport America’s vertical launch campus in New Mexico
Spaceport America, NM–March 21, 2017 – Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA and the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering Rocket Propulsion Lab announced a record-breaking rocket launch took place at 9:23 am MST from Spaceport America’s Vertical Launch Complex-1 on the East Campus in New Mexico on March 4, 2017.
USC students and Alumni cheered alongside Spaceport America crewmembers as the Fathom II rocket soared past the previously held apogee to bring back the Spaceport America Student Rocket record to USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. Viewers around the world were also joining in via Spaceport America’s https://twitter.com/periscopetv, and Facebook Live channels with over 4,000 views.
“The USC RPL student team continues to amaze us with their ingenuity, energy and ambition. This success is another milestone in their development and a great promise for the key role they will surely play in space travel and exploration,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.
The USC Fanthom II rocket reached an altitude of 144,000 ft (27.27 miles) as indicated by analysis of on-board image data, and independently corroborated by analyzing on-board accelerometer data and barometric pressure data during descent.
“Spaceport America congratulates USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Rocket Propulsion Lab student team today on this milestone achievement,” said Daniel Hicks, Chief Executive Officer Spaceport America.
About USC Viterbi School of Engineering
Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. One of the school’s guiding principles is engineering +, a coined termed by current Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, to use the power of engineering to address the world’s greatest challenges. USC Viterbi is ranked among the top graduate programs in the world and enrolls more than 6,500 undergraduate and graduate students taught by 185 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 73 endowed chairs and professorships. http://viterbi.usc.edu/
About Spaceport America
Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, boasts 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340+ days of sunshine and low humidity. With 38 vertical launches and 8 horizontal missions to date, some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, SpaceX, UP Aerospace and EXOS. Visit http://spaceportamerica.com and http://gatewaytospace.com for more information. Spaceport America is #NewMexicoTRUE.
Rosa Banuelos Amy Blumenthal
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