With $1M gift, UCI aims to become first university to launch rocket into space


Irvine, Calif., April 24, 2017 — University of California, Irvine students will “shoot for the moon” thanks to a $1 million gift from Base 11, a nonprofit STEM workforce development and entrepreneur accelerator. The “Moonshot Initiative” will establish a rocketry program at The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, with the intent of making UCI the first academic institution to launch a liquid-fuel rocket into space.
The Base 11 donation will turn an existing area on the Engineering Tower’s ground floor into a rocketry lab that enables students to design, build and test rocket prototypes between 15 and 50 feet long. It will also fund a mobile operations center and assembly trailer that can transport rockets to test sites and will allow students to make repairs off-site as needed.
The Institute for Design and Manufacturing Innovation will coordinate the renovation and maintenance of all fabrication facilities and infrastructure and provide manufacturing support to the rocket project.
“We’ve found that by exposing our students early to hands-on experiential learning, we have better success in keeping them engaged and inspired in their education,” said Gregory Washington, Stacey Nicholas Dean of Engineering at the Samueli School. “This partnership with Base 11 will help us create an exciting and innovative opportunity for our students.”

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