Raider Aerospace Society Rocket Launch

A rocket begins to take off on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, at Lt. Col. George Davis Park. The Raider Aerospace Society gathered to design, build and launch rockets within the same day.

The Raider Aerospace Society was created three years ago by a group of students seeking an outlet for their desire to build for the skies.

RAS is one of Texas Tech’s student-run organizations, where members want to utilize their interests in the classroom intended for the aerospace field.

Matt Rowe, a senior mechanical engineering and computer science major from Saint Paul, Minnesota, and president of RAS, said Tech does not have an aerospace program.

“It’s important to Texas Tech because there’s a growing interest in aerospace, especially on and around campus,” Rowe said.

The RAS is attempting to establish the aerospace presence on campus to create a major and minor program in the field, Rowe said.

“If you’re looking to get involved, there’s a lot of opportunity,” he said. “We’re trying to meet with the college’s dean to talk about sustaining a program.”

The demand for an aerospace program is growing among engineering students, he said. Having the RAS on campus is important to place people in the aerospace industry.

RAS represents Tech at a national and international level through aerospace and rocketry competitions, he said.

"I think we’ve got to start with a student organization,” Rowe said regarding the need to utilize the RAS to push for a competitive aerospace program in campus.

Andrew Mosedale, a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and leading professor of RAS, said the program can bring forward a field of engineering that Tech does not offer as a degree for students.

“Texas has a significant aerospace industry and a fair number of students have found employment in this field, some among traditional employers and others among start-ups,” Mosedale said.

RAS has gained the endorsement of professors pushing for an aerospace program, he said.

“Aerospace is a prominent facet of mechanical engineering and so should be a subject of study at Texas Tech,” he said.

Cesar Rocha, a senior mechanical engineering major from Kaufman, said Tech should invest in the program if students continue to build upon projects.

“The program is finally gaining momentum, making RAS one step closer to becoming more than a student-lead organization,” Rocha said.

Even though this is a newer organization, Rocha said members are positive the weight of the program will take off, eventually becoming a degree at Tech.

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