NASA Student Launch

Since 2010, PSP-SL has grown into

an advanced and forefront contender

in the NASA SL competition.

With members from various majors and backgrounds, PSP-SL boasts a diverse setting for teammates to not only provide the team with valuable ideas, but also offer the newer members a chance to get involved in the various aspects of the project, including avionics design, payload, educational outreach, and social ventures.

About SL

Student Launch (SL) is a research-based, competitive, experiential exploration activity that strives to provide relevant, cost-effective research and development of rocket propulsion systems. This project offers multiple challenges reaching a broad audience of middle and high schools, colleges, and universities across the nation.

Purdue Space Program’s Student Launch team practices ‘grit,’ poised to perform in NASA competition

March 27, 2020

Purdue Space Program Student Launch team has successful launch at NASA competition

April 12, 2019

Purdue Space Program Student Launch team selected for NASA competition

October 17, 2018

2020 Project

Project Casper

See Documentation








Purdue Space Day

Purdue Space Day is an annual event put on by students at Purdue University. There are three age groups: 3rd and 4th, 5th and 6th, and 7th and 8th. Each age group goes through 3 activities through the day and then they have the opportunity to meet an astronaut. This year PSP-SL reached 898 students at this event alone. In total we reach 1,219 students directly throughout this competition year. The team had about 20 members participate in this event with the majority of them being with one activity that the team conducted and others being with other activities and others walking around with the groups to all of the activities. The activity that the team led was water rockets with 5th and 6th graders. Team members were also involved with moon buggies with 3rd and 4th graders, Mars rovers with 7th and 8th graders, a satellite launch with 5th and 6th graders, and the Apollo 13 mission with 5th and 6th graders. Also, two members guide groups of 5th and 6th children through all of the activities. Throughout the year Purdue Space Day has smaller events that PSP-SL participates in. Whether that be an on campus activity with homeschooled students or a trip to a local elementary school to do an activity during a class. The students learn a lot about engineering and space from these activities.

College Mentors for Kids

College Mentors for Kids is a program that Purdue University offers that brings in local students once a week and pairs them with a Purdue student. The team led the activities with groups of 1st- 4th graders. Throughout the year PSP-SL had four events with this group. Some activities that were done with these students were foam rockets, balloon powered rovers, LEGO engines, and straw rockets. Not only did these events educate the students, but they were also able to educate their college mentor about the different engineering topics.

Boy Scouts Space Exploration Merit Badge

The team was able to help a Boy Scout troop obtain their Space Exploration Merit Badge. The team helped the scouts fulfill two of the requirements, building model rockets and learning about the International Space Station. The goal of this activity was to teach the scouts the different parts of a rocket as well as helping them build them so that they would be safe and fly as high as they could. Another goal of the activity was to teach them all of the components of the ISS and how the ISS is a large collaboration of many different countries.

Team Leads

Luke Perrin

Project Manager

As project manager, I directly lead and oversee design and construction of our launch vehicle, payload bays, payload, avionics bay, and lower airframe assembly. I also supervise all tests and offer opposing viewpoints where necessary. I plan agendas and lead weekly meetings to coordinate and facilitate efforts amongst individuals. I give direct teaching about the workings of solid propellant rockets and serve as a liaison between NASA and the PSP-SL team.

Mike Repella

Assistant Project Manager

As the assistant project manager, I fill in wherever is needed to ensure the project is running smoothly. While this typically involves helping the project manager do his job, it also consists of taking time to ensure communication is flowing and to help troubleshoot problems amongst each of the sub teams.

Lauren Smith

Construction Team Lead

As construction lead, I help oversee design and construction of the rocket. I work with the other team leads to design certain aspects of the rocket, such as the payload bay, and with the construction team to run simulations and build the rocket.

Zach Carroll

Construction Team Mentor

The Construction Team is responsible for the building of both the sub-scale and the full-scale rockets. We also are in charge of the high-level systems aspects of the rockets which include the CAD model, the simulations, and the paint job. We are responsible for making the rocket as close to design as possible which can mean a lot of coordination between other teams to make sure everything is the proper weight and size.

Josh Binion

Payload Team Co-Lead

I am responsible for managing the payload design, construction, and testing over the course of the project life-cycle. I work closely with Payload Team members to create technically sophisticated, innovative designs. I couldn't be more excited for this year's competition, in which the Payload Team will be designing a fully-autonomous UAV.

Hicham Belhseine

Payload Team Co-Lead

As payload co-lead I mostly work to manage schedule, encourage communication, and set deadlines in order to keep the team on track. I also involve myself in the design of the payload as I enjoy working with UAV electronics and software.

Katelin Zichittella

Avionics Team Lead

As the Avionics and Recovery Lead, I manage the design, construction, and testing of the avionics sled and bay, as well as the recovery system. I also supervise the technical documentation of these tasks.

Noah Stover

Safety Team Lead

As safety lead I make sure that all our operations are performed in a safe environment. I make sure all our launches are in accordance with any applicable safety regulations, and that the team is briefed on and knowledgeable of these rules.

Skyler Harlow

Social & Outreach Team Lead

As Social & Outreach lead, I am responsible for all of our social media and I am also in charge of coordinating the educational outreach for the team to participate in.

Natalie Keefer

Business Team Lead

As the business lead, I create a budget for the team, then develop a plan for obtaining our finances. I have enjoyed working with sponsors of our team and ensuring that our team can compete in this year’s competition.

Victor Barlow

Faculty Advisor