First Nations Launch 2022

NASA Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium (WSGC) is pleased to announce the 13th Annual First Nations Launch (FNL) National Rocket Competition, an Artemis Student Challenge.   This competition is an opportunity for students attending a Tribal College or University (TCU), a Native American-Serving Nontribal Institution (NASNTI), or who are members of an active American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) collegiate chapter to design, build, and fly a high-powered rocket to be launched at a competition at the Richard Bong State Recreational Area in Kansasville, WI.   The Spring 2022 competition, scheduled for April 22-24, 2022, hosts three challenges:  Gateway, Moon, and Mars.  The Gateway Challenge is a new challenge specifically designed for teams to construct a pre-selected dual-deploy kit rocket in a single semester with less intensive reporting requirements.  The Moon Challenge is ideal for teams participating in the competition for the first time or who have all new team members.  The Mars Engineering Challenge provides a higher degree of technical challenge for experienced teams and/or engineering teams.  The best performing team in the Moon and Mars Competitions will be extended an invitation for a specially arranged tour of a NASA center. One team will be selected to attend Colorado Space Grant Consortium’s RockOn! Program hosted at Wallops Flight Facility and one team will be eligible to compete in NASA’s Student Launch program Spring 2023 at Marshall Space Flight Center.   

WSGC will sponsor up to twenty-four (24) teams to participate in the First Nations Launch competition.  The faculty advisor will need to register on the WSGC website and apply to the First Nations Launch program by submitting a Notice of Intent (NOI) to compete.  The Moon and Mars Challenge NOI must be submitted by October 22, 2021.  The Gateway Challenge NOI must be submitted by December 7, 2021.  

WSGC will provide each competition team a low-powered model rocket for flight demonstration, two reloadable rocket motors, and the motor casing per competition flight parameters.  In addition, teams will be awarded up to $4,000 for travel and project expenses.  The team advisor will receive up to a $1000 stipend.   Each new school registered to compete will receive two reference resources:  Model Rocket Design and Construction Third Edition and Modern High-Power Rocketry 2. 

Teams that submit an early bird non-binding Notice of Intent to compete by September 27, 2021, may register up to three (3) individuals (advisor, team lead, team member recommended) to attend the First Nations Launch 2 Learn Level I High-Powered Rocket Certification Workshop October 8-10, 2021, at Carthage College in Kenosha, WI. The workshop is limited to 30 participants. Participants receive a Level I Caliber-ISP 38 MM Rocket Kit, Motor, Level I Tripoli Rocketry Association Certification upon a successful flight, meals, lodging, and travel expenses.  Registration for the workshop must be submitted no later than September 27, 2021.  

First Nations Launch is a NASA Artemis Student Challenge program.  NASA is committed to promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math opportunities for everyone.  Interested teams do not need prior experience to participate in this program.  Those seeking help in getting started are highly encouraged to contact Frank Nobile (, FNL Technical Advisor, Mark Abotossaway ( FNL Advisor Liaison, Genevieve Bennally ( FNL Project Assistant, or Bob Justus ( of Tripoli Rocket Association.  To learn more about this unique NASA opportunity, please visit  If you have any further questions, please contact the WSGC office for more information and/or attend a Zoom Informational Meeting, September 14, 2021, or October 19, 2021, @ 4:00 pm (CDT).