American Rocketry Challenge Alum Warren “Woody” Hoburg Blasts Off to the ISS

How incredible is this! On March 2, 2023, American Rocketry Challenge alum Warren “Woody” Hoburg launched to the International Space Station as the mission pilot for a six-month mission as part of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6. Woody participated in the first-ever American Rocketry Challenge in 2003, then known as the Team America Rocketry Challenge, as a North Allegheny High School (Pennsylvania) team member, alongside his brother. They even made it to the National Finals! (But, didn’t win it all.)

Woody was joined on his trip to by NASA Astronaut Stephen Bowen, Cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev, and Sultan Al Neyadi of the United Arab Emirates. They docked on the ISS on March 3, 2023.

Woody is the program’s first-ever alumni to travel to space, but we know he’s not the last! Since 2002, the American Rocketry Challenge has engaged 90,000 middle and high school students from across the United States to design, build and launch model rockets capable of meeting rigorous mission parameters. Program alumni are working on missions that are taking us back to the Moon, to Mars, and, thanks to Woody, even traveling to space themselves.

“Launching to space is, literally, rocket science that requires tens of thousands of hours of planning, design, and testing,” continued Fanning. “It requires diverse teams to create the best plan and rocket together. Our students garner this invaluable experience firsthand as they launch rockets through the American Rocketry Challenge and, soon, through the pilot program. We’re thrilled to see Woody on the Space Station and can’t wait to watch countless more program alumni coming together at NASA and across the industry to send one another to space.”