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Atomic Aggies win Chile Cup

New Mexico’s monsoons hampered the Spaceport America Cup Intercollegiate Rocket Competition held in June 2022, but they didn’t alter the performance of NMSU’s Atomic Aggies. The team won the coveted 2022 Chile Cup, a competition amongst local rivals NMSU, New Mexico Tech, the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of New Mexico. 

“I can confidently say that the Atomic Aggies are one of the best rocketry groups in the world. Our performance is a testament to that,” says 2021-22 lead engineer Scott Komar ’22. 

“Our rocket performed beyond my expectations,” says Ricardo Olivas, 2022-23 lead engineer and mechanical and aerospace engineering student. 

About 1,300 students and faculty from 95 institutions and 16 countries gathered at Spaceport America in southern New Mexico for the fourth annual Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering conference and competition. Nearly 40 members of the Atomic Aggies worked for a full year on their rocket named Rising Phoenix. 

“I am very excited and proud of the team’s performance this year,” says Associate Professor Fangjun Shu, faculty adviser of Atomic Aggies. “They designed, built and tested the rocket and the payload glider all by themselves. And it has been proved to be a great one. I am sure they will continue to excel in 2023.”