The event has doubled in size over the past two years.
By Joe Pappalardo
Last week, Spaceport America witnessed more than 60 small rocket launches as college students gathered to compete in the first-ever Spaceport America Cup. The event, held by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA), started in 2006, but this is the first to take advantage of the New Mexico spaceport's open airspace.
The University of Michigan won the event with a 30,000-foot flight of its hybrid rocket. However, given the technical difficulties, dusty weather, and crowded launch rails, any team that flew a rocket and landed a payload successfully celebrated like World Series champions.
The event has doubled in size over the past two years, which is a good sign for the future of a space industry. Organizers say 22 aerospace organizations attended to recruit future staff.