Participants from the 14th First Nations Launch High-Power Rocket Competition watch NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 launch from the Banana Creek viewing site at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov launched to the International Space Station at 3:27 a.m. EDT from Kennedy’s Launch Complex 39A.
Students and advisors from University of Washington, University of Colorado-Boulder, and an international team from Queens University – this year’s First Nations Launch grand prize teams – traveled to Kennedy for a VIP tour, culminating in viewing the Crew-7 launch. Another highlight included a guided tour of historic Hangar AE, led by James Wood (Osage Nation and Loyal Shawnee), chief engineer of NASA’s Launch Services Program, technical advisor for the Crew-7 launch, and First Nations mentor and judge.
One of NASA’s Artemis Student Challenges, the First Nations Launch competition comprises students from tribal colleges and universities, Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions, and collegiate chapters of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society who design, build, and launch a high-powered rocket from a launch site in Kansasville, Wisconsin. The competition is facilitated by NASA’s Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium and managed by the agency’s Office of STEM Engagement at Kennedy.
See the First Nations Launch students during NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 broadcast.
View additional photos of the First Nations Launch teams touring Kennedy Space Center.
Image Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky and Virgil Cameron