Project Karman is Northeastern University’s entry into the Collegiate Space Race; an unofficial competition to launch a rocket above the Karman line (100km above sea level).


Significant progress has been made since the project’s start in Spring 2015. One of the largest milestones occurred during Fall of 2017 when we qualified a two-stage rocket design. Ground work is underway on final avionics equipment, radio, custom high powered motor design, spin stabilization, and aerodynamic simulations.

Aerotech Rocketry & Triton Space Technologies Partnerships

Project Karman is partnered with AeroTech and Triton Space Technologies to test methods of igniting our Sustainer Stage. Read the article here.

Current Focuses

  1. Aerodynamic Considerations
    • Pressure and heating due to shockwaves
    • Boundary layer effects on heating and drag
    • Spin Stabilization
    • Internal Heating
  2. Custom High Powered Rocket Motor
    1. Material selection
    2. Fabrication methods
    3. Chamber Pressure
    4. Converging-Diverging Nozzle Design
  3. Communication
    • Due to distance to the ground station and a likely radio-impermeable aluminum or carbon fiber body, a simple internal antenna is not viable. In addition, we believe external patch antennas will fail under Mach 5 conditions. We are looking into alternatives such as ceramic body sections and a ceramic nose cone that would allow for radio communication.
  4. GPS
    • We are searching for GPS units which are not under ITAR regulations that prevent operation above 60,000 feet and 1,000 knots or greater. We want to ensure that we will have GPS lock on the rocket through the entirety of the flight, or that we will regain a positive lock on the rocket once it has decelerated to below 1,000 knots as it approaches apogee. This is a critical component as it is the only way to verify that we did indeed reach the Karman line.