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Museum Rocketry Team Advances to National Finals

  • Published
  • By Ty Greenlees

DAYTON, Ohio – A rocketry team from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force (NMUSAF) has advanced to The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC) National Finals to be held near Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 20.

“We are very excited to learn that Team Prometheus from the museum qualified in the top one hundred and one qualifiers in the nation,” said Jennifer Hess, NMUSAF education specialist.

Team Prometheus recently finished first in the Ohio Cup launch where they had the best score in a field of six teams. Team members include: MiKayla Aaron, Northmont High School, grade 12; Adam Bellware, Springboro High School, grade 12; Dani Price, Springboro High School, grade 12; Xander Cottle, Homeschool, grade 11; Evan Wall, Fairborn High School, grade 11; and Eeshaan Pabbuleti, Hayes High School, grade 9.

“Now, the team needs to decide how they will approach the types of flights needed to win the National Finals,” said Hess. “One of the required launches at Nationals will be a little higher, and the other a little lower than their launches at the Ohio Cup. Over the next few weeks, they will need to decide how to alter their rocket to best meet the challenge. They will make some practice launches and computer simulations to finalize their design,” added Hess.

This is the third time in four years that a rocketry team from the NMUSAF has qualified for the National Finals. In addition, the team will make its debut in the rocketry presentation competition where the team explains its design and shows how test flight data drove its decision making. Along with the title of TARC National Champion, the top finishers will represent the U.S. at the International Rocketry Competition taking place at the Paris Air Show in June. The top 25 teams will be invited to next year’s NASA Student Launch competition.

Materials for the TARC teams are provided, in part by, generous donations from the Air Force Museum Foundation.  (Federal endorsement is not implied).

Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), the National Association of Rocketry, and more than 20 industry partners, the American Rocketry Challenge is the world’s largest student rocketry competition and the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The competition has inspired nearly 90,000 middle and high school students to explore education and careers in STEM fields.

In 2023, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force celebrates its 100th Anniversary.  Since 1923 the museum has grown from a small engineering study collection to the world's largest military aviation museum and is a world-renowned center for air and space power technology and culture preservation. Join us throughout 2023 as we celebrate our storied history with special events and exhibits for visitors of all ages. Visit our website for more information at

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton, Ohio, is the world’s largest military aviation museum. With free admission and parking, the museum features more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles and thousands of artifacts amid more than 19 acres of indoor exhibit space. Each year thousands of visitors from around the world come to the museum. For more information, visit