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International Spaceport America Cup back in-person


LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- The Spaceport America Cup , the world's largest intercollegiate rocketry competition, is back in-person since the start of the pandemic.

About 100 teams made up of dozens of students from all over the world travel to Las Cruces to showcase their engineering skills.

"It's actually a very sought after event around the world now for rocket aerospace students," said Scott McLaughlin, executive director of Spaceport America.

McLaughlin said not only does it bring together the world's brightest and most talented engineering students, it showcases what the region have to offer.

"Part of the benefit of Spaceport America is advertising the local area (advertising) the region as an up and coming center for aerospace design, research, manufacturing and launch," McLaughlin said. "It really falls into part of our mission at Spaceport America for STEM Outreach and Workforce Development and then just advertising the whole region to future business owners and engineers who are going to eventually come back."

The competition kicked off at the Las Cruces Convention Center on Tuesday. Students have been putting their skills to the test, launching their handmade rockets in Sierra County at Spaceport America.

Students from UTEP, NMUS, NM Tech and UNM are also competing.

"To see (our rocket) come to life and actually present to judges and in front of other schools and to share with like minds and...reach the same goals that we have in our industry, it's amazing," said Cesar Rodriguez, a senior at NMSU. "To be a part of this amazing team, it's great."

Closing ceremonies end Saturday at the Las Cruces Convention Center.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Brianna Chavez


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