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.

2020 Project

Project Casper

See Documentation








Purdue Space Day

PSP-SL had multiple members act as chaperones of groups of students, ranging from third graders to fifth graders. One of these chaperones assisted the students in participating in a stomp rocket build, where the kids designed stomp rockets and tested them, making them better and more effective each time. Another chaperone led a “Journey to Mars” activity, where the kids broke up into groups, assigned roles, and planned out their flight, landing zone, and other necessary precautions. A third chaperone led students in creating an insulating capsule for an egg drop experiment. Students were each given a role, Engineer, Commander, Pilot, Science Officer, or Flight Controller. Each play an essential part in different stages of the mission.

Imagination Station @ Mini Maker Faire

PSP-SL worked a booth with Tynker, a program for teaching simple coding. 53 children ranging from first graders to fifth graders learned the basics of coding, from how to string together logical processes, to making animations. Some examples of the codes they wrote included a child riding a bike across the screen, or a monkey with an astronaut helmet floating through space. The children loved the activity as it was very user-friendly and had comprehensive messages when they made a mistake or did something well. The activity was received with positivity from the chaperones and parents, who thought that the simple coding method was a great way to get the younger kids a chance to explore this extremely important field of STEM.

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 Co-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 Co-Lead

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 Binon

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.