The USM team with their rocket

They say the sky’s the limit.

For this group of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) students, their efforts might just come true as they are taking part in the Spaceport America Cup (SAC) 2023 from June 19 till 24, 2023 in New Mexico.

They are armed with a high-powered rocket from the USM Engineering Campus.

The team is the sole national varsity team to qualify in launching a rocket in SAC 2023, the biggest high-powered rocket conference and competition for universities in the world.

Previously in 2022, the WAU Rocketry team was the first Malaysian team to be selected to launch a rocket in the SAC competition, and to be able to secure 7th place in the 10,000 feet Commercial of The Shelf (COTS) category and to be ranked 12th in the world. 

For this 2023 edition, Wau Rocketry with its rocket known as HEBAT II will once again compete in the 10,000 feet COTS category, this time targeting the top 5 placing in the world.

Wau Rocketry Team Leader, Vanmitha Athimoolam said, the team comprises of 16 students and under the guidance of two lecturers from the USM School of Aerospace Engineering (PPKA), Dr. Norilmi Amilia Ismail and Dr. Chang Wei Shyang, both serving as team advisors and highly-experienced mentors in the area of rocket development.

“Our vision is to expedite the development of the aerospace industry, especially regarding high-powered rockets in Malaysia. 

“Aside from that, the mission of this team is to provide exposure to the university students in Malaysia in the field of rockets, and to spur their interest to take part in future editions of SAC,” she said.

Added Vanmitha, her team will do their ultimate best to uplift the name of USM and the country in this prestigious competition, which sees the participation of hundreds of teams from all over the world.

The team is well supported by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the sponsors including the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia; OMS Foundation; Malaysia Airlines, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Prevail Production, Zush, Kovra and among others.