United States Air Force Academy

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The Academy's Rocketry Club

Blue Horizon

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The main vision for the team is to provide experience, engineering, and launch training for cadets who will ultimately be contributors and leaders in the Space Force and into a domain where space is contested.

The club was envisioned by a cadet in 2019 when the Academy was at the height of the FalconSat program. The cadet saw a need to develop the rocket engineering and research side of the Academy’s space program. He originally shared his idea with the head of the Astronautics Department, Colonel Luke Sauter. Colonel Sauter stood behind the start of a team that could represent the Academy at a competitive collegiate level on par with other universities.

The team is split into multiple sub-groups. The groups change from semester to semester. Current groups are working on a hybrid rocket engine, solid rocket boosters, a custom flight computer, and a competition team. Additionally, there is an intangibles flight that prepares approval documentation and promotes the team through our social media platforms. The sub-teams and team leads make their own schedules to allow for as many members to stay engaged on a consistent basis. All groups combine, each year, to create a competent team to challenge others at university level competitions and beyond.

Club Accomplishments

NASA Student Launch Challenge: We will be up against the most prestigious collegiate rocketry teams in America. Future competitions include the NASA Spaceport America Cup and the Intercollegiate Rocketry Engineering Competition.

The club’s cadets encourage future recruits by sharing their passion with local youth through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) events such as Cool Science. Cadets reached out to almost 300 during the last event.

Becoming a Member

Diversity of talents directs the selection of team members. If everyone is an astro major, the solutions to problems could all be similar. The strength of the team lies within the unique skill set brought to the table through various disciplines.
Team members usually recommend their peers by name. A short questionnaire is sent to the applicant requesting them to put together a response that describes what specific talent they can offer the team and how it will contribute. Applicants are asked if they are willing to spend the time that it takes to make Blue Horizon the standard in collegiate rocketry. Applications are sent out typically in the fall.