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UH-MC first in rocket competition

UH-Maui College’s Team Onipa’a placed first in the rocket science 2020 International CanSat Competition.

The Engineering Technology Program team included Arthur S. Agdeppa, team leader, senior, engineering technology major; Jhaymar Mendez, senior, engineering technology; Guillermo Martin, junior, engineering technology; and Tim Marcello, sophomore, electronic and computer engineering technology.

“The CanSat competition is designed to reflect, on a small scale, a typical aerospace program,” said Jung Park, UH-MC associate professor of engineering technology and associate director of NASA Hawaii Space Grant Consortium. “The competition includes all aspects of an aerospace program from the preliminary design review to post-mission review.

“The mission and its requirements are designed to reflect various aspects of real world missions,” said Jung, who was the UH-MC teams’ faculty adviser. “This includes the telemetry requirements, communications and autonomous operations.”

UH-MC entered two teams. Team Paka’a placed 23rd. Its members were Alexander T. Meyer, team leader, senior, engineering technology major; Noah E. Franco, junior, engineering technology; Jerico Mark Olpinodo, sophomore, electronic and computer engineering technology; and Eleomar N. Cabbat, sophomore, electronic and computer engineering technology; and Randolf D. Rayo, sophomore, electronic and computer engineering technology.

Thirty-three teams from more than a dozen countries around the world competed in the competition, which requires teams to design, build and launch a container holding a science payload.

“The CanSat project was an excellent way for us to showcase all that we have learned at UH-MC,” said Agdeppa. “It pushed us to be creative . . . , be resilient on failures, be a team player, and be receptive to the process involved in creating a real-world engineering project.”

The competition is organized by the American Astronautical Society. The launch was scheduled to take place June 16 at Virginia Tech University but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s entries were judged on all criteria except for launch.

The UH-MC teams were sponsored by the NASA Hawaii Space Grant Consortium. For more information on the UH-MC Bachelor of Applied Sciences, go to maui.hawaii.edu/engt/.

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