May Newsletter

I hope everyone is doing well and is in good health. With nearly two months of quarantine, I am sure most of us are looking for a change in scenery! With that being said, finals are next week so hopefully everyone can spend some time outside after finals to enjoy the arrival of Spring. I want to congratulate all of the Seniors that will be graduating this semester. We all admire the hard work and dedication you’ve shown and we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.


I do want to highlight a few events and projects AIAA will be working on now though the end of this calendar year:


First off, the Midwest Rocket Launch team received wonderful marks on the Preliminary Design Report. Although the launch will not be taking place this Spring, we will continue to work throughout the Summer with hopes of test launching in September and completing the final launches in October. There is still much work to be done on the rocket, so if you are going to be in Madison this Summer and would like to help work on the rocket please let me know!


AIAA has started a Discord server! We are going to try and utilize the server as a place for future virtual meetings and discussions. Feel free to use the server as a place to talk with other members of AIAA about classes, homework, or any other aerospace related topics! To join follow this link. If you want to use the Discord voice chat we highly suggest downloading the desktop application as people have been having issues with the browser version. If you have any trouble joining the server or have any questions about Discord please contact me or Will DeVerter.


AIAA will be starting an aerospace themed book club this Summer! Our first book is An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by former ISS Commander Chris Hadfield. Chris Hadfield is a Canadian Astronaut that has flown twice on the Space Shuttle, once on Soyuz, and has spent a cumulative 166 days in space. He has also been recognized for his rendition of David Bowie’s Space Oddity. The book can be found on Amazon for $15.50 (new paperback) and much cheaper for a used version from other suppliers. Your local library may also have an electronic copy (The Wisconsin Library Online database does not have a copy at this time).  More information will be shared about meeting times and readings after finals week.


After some discussion AIAA has decided to finish Midwest Rocket Launch as well as a few miscellaneous projects in the fall. This includes finishing the manufacturing and testing of self-developed solid rocket motors. A second goal we have is to get as many people as possible to complete NAR rocket certifications. This will allow us to participate in the Spaceport America Cup, where everyone on the team needs to have at least a Level 1 certification. Finally, in order to expand on the aeronautics side of AIAA, we will be pursuing the AIAA Undergraduate Aeronautics Student Design Competition! This competition will be mainly in the Spring and will consist of designing an aircraft to meet specific criteria of that year’s competition. To get an idea of the scope of this competition, this year’s objectives can be found here. If you are planning on taking senior design, I highly encourage you to take a look at some of the other student design competitions that AIAA holds here.


If you have any questions or concerns with any of the information above please contact me. Best of luck on finals and I hope to see everyone soon!




Sam Jaeger

Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics

UW-Madison AIAA President

(608) 556-7514


Will DeVerter

Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics

UW-Madison AIAA Vice President