Rocket recorded an altitude in excess of 328,000 feet at apogee

Spaceport America, NM–May 22, 2019Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA and the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering Rocket Propulsion Lab announced with a high degree of certainty a record-breaking rocket launch took place from Spaceport America’s Vertical Launch Complex-1 on the East Campus in New Mexico on April 21, 2019. USC’s team is the first university team to launch a rocket that reached the Kármán Line.

USC students and Alumni cheered alongside Spaceport America crewmembers as the Traveler IV rocket soared past the previously held apogee to bring back the Spaceport America Student Rocket record to USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.

“Spaceport America (SA) personnel have reviewed the methodology whereby University of Southern California Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (USC RPL) students analyzed performance data and estimated the apogee altitude of their Traveler IV rocket that was flown at SA on April 21, 2019,” said Dr. Bill Gutman, Spaceport America Director of Aerospace Operations. “SA believes that the methodology is sound and objective. In fact, RPL has offered to make their data available to other groups who may want to perform their own analyses. Spaceport America believes that, with a high level of confidence, USC RPL is the first student rocket team to have reached the Kármán Line with a student designed and constructed vehicle, and we congratulate them accordingly.”

“The USC RPL student team continues to excel with their ingenuity, energy and ambition. Consisting entirely of undergraduate students from many engineering majors, the team has reached another milestone in their history. They are a great promise for the important roles they will surely play in space travel and exploration in the future,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Anaysis indicates that the USC Traveler IV reached an altitude of 103 km (64 miles) as indicated by analysis of on-board accelerometer data, with independent corroboration using the onboard barometric pressure readings during descent.

About USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Engineering Studies began at the University of Southern California in 1905. Nearly a century later, the Viterbi School of Engineering received a naming gift in 2004 from alumnus Andrew J. Viterbi, inventor of the Viterbi algorithm now key to cell phone technology and numerous data applications. One of the school’s guiding principles is engineering +, a coined termed by current Dean Yannis C. Yortsos, to use the power of engineering to address the world’s greatest challenges. USC Viterbi is ranked among the top graduate programs in the world and enrolls more than 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students taught by 188 tenured and tenure-track faculty, with 96 endowed chairs and professorships.

About Spaceport America

Spaceport America is the first purpose-built commercial spaceport in the world. The FAA-licensed launch complex, situated on 18,000 acres adjacent to the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico, has a rocket friendly environment of 6,000 square miles of restricted airspace, low population density, a 12,000-foot spaceway, and 340 days of sunshine and low humidity. Some of the most respected companies in the commercial space industry are customers at Spaceport America: Virgin Galactic, Boeing, UP Aerospace, HyperSciences, EXOS Aerospace, and SpinLaunch. Visit for more information.Visit and for more information. Spaceport America is #NewMexicoTRUE.

Twitter:      @Spaceport_NM

Facebook: @spaceportNM

Instagram: @spaceport.america


Rosa Banuelos                                                    Amy Blumenthal

Media Relations                                                   Media Relations

Spaceport America                                             USC Viterbi School of Engineering

+1.575.202.4524                                                 +1.917.710.1897