Photo/video credit: Jesse Ramirez and Alex Horcasitas, Weaponize

USC’s Fathom II rocket broke the current Spaceport America Student record when it reached an altitude of 144,000 feet (27.27 miles) after blasting off from Spaceport America’s vertical launch campus in New Mexico

The record-breaking rocket launch took place at 9:23 am MST from Spaceport America’s Vertical Launch Complex-1 on the East Campus in New Mexico on March 4, 2017.

USC students and Alumni cheered alongside Spaceport America crewmembers as the Fathom II rocket soared past the previously held apogee to bring back the Spaceport America Student Rocket record to USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering.  Viewers around the world were also joining in via Spaceport America’s, and Facebook Live channels with over 4,000 views.

“The USC RPL student team continues to amaze us with their ingenuity, energy and ambition. This success is another milestone in their development and a great promise for the key role they will surely play in space travel and exploration,” said Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

The USC Fanthom II rocket reached an altitude of 144,000 ft (27.27 miles) as indicated by analysis of on-board image data, and independently corroborated by analyzing on-board accelerometer data and barometric pressure data during descent.

“Spaceport America congratulates USC Viterbi School of Engineering’s Rocket Propulsion Lab student team on this milestone achievement,” said Daniel Hicks, Chief Executive Officer Spaceport America.