No rocket ever launched by a team of college students has reached outer space. Last year, a group at the University of Southern California set what they believe to be the altitude record for such an endeavor, when its Fathom II booster ascended to a height of 44km above the Earth’s surface. This mark easily eclipsed prior records set by other ambitious college rocket organizations, including the Delft University of Technology and the University of Stuttgart.
While impressive, 44km is still not all that close to outer space. Outer space is generally accepted to begin at the Kármán line, a 100km high arbitrary boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space. And ultimately, this altitude is where college students want to go.
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