The Mississippi State University Space Cowboys are a research and design team supported by the Aerospace Engineering Department of the Bagley College of Engineering. Each year the team designs, manufactures, tests, and launches rockets. The team generally consists of 15-20 aerospace engineering students, ranging from college freshman to PhD graduate students. These students have the opportunity to come together to apply classroom knowledge in a hands-on, team environment. As the team goes through the design process a special focus is placed on doing research applicable to current work being done in academic institutions and industry. The Space Cowboys also enter rockets in competitions. In the past they have participated in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative, placing among the top three teams in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The team entered and won the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) put on by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association in the summer of 2015. IREC is the largest rocket competition in the world with over 70 schools from 7 different countries entering to compete.
In the 2015-2016 school year the Space Cowboys are taking on their most ambitious project yet. In keeping with the theme of doing research relevant to the aerospace industry, the team recognizes that the future in aerospace is going fast, literally! There is renewed interest in hypersonic vehicles for military and civil applications and the Space Cowboys are poised to enter this field. This group from MSU has consistently expanded their technical capabilities over the last couple years and feels ready to attempt to set the record for the fastest rocket built by a university team at just over Mach 4. Financial assistance with this project would be greatly appreciated. Buying high-energy composite propellants, machining aerospace grade aluminum, running a composite filament winder, and maintaining shop equipment is costly.