Irvine High School Takes First Place at StellarXplorers National Space Design Competition

StellarXplorer National Space Design Competition Champions

After an extensive StellarXplorer National Space Design Competition season, one Irvine High School team, The Crewmates (pictured above), soared to victory as the national champion!

The finalists faced the challenge of finding the best orbit, satellite components, launch vehicle and launch site for a given mission in eight hours or less. They also needed to complete a quiz and present their findings to a panel of industry judges. This mission rigorously tested their orbit planning, satellite design and launch vehicle selection skills.

This season of the StellarXplorers competition kicked off in mid-October 2023, with an initial field of over 300 teams. After multiple qualification rounds, 10 teams earned a spot at the national finals. Irvine High School was the only school with three teams in the top 10, with the other two taking 5th and 10th place.

“I am incredibly proud of all our students who competed in the StellarXplorers competition this year,” stated Irvine High School Math & Engineering Teacher and Team Director, Archana Jain. “Their critical thinking, problem-solving and leadership skills were tested and honed as they worked for months, dedicating weekends and after-school hours to preparation. Each student's hard work truly shone throughout the competition.”

In addition to the victory and pursuit of the national title, teams had the opportunity to visit the Air and Space Museum and network with industry professionals, such as representatives from the United States Space Force, Lockheed Martin, and United Launch Alliance.

The students from all three Irvine High School teams are enrolled in the Career Technical Education Engineering pathway, offering students a comprehensive education in engineering fundamentals. This robust training proved invaluable during the competition.

Congratulations to the Irvine High School students, listed below, on an incredible StellarXplorers competition season:

  • Nicolas Bernardo, grade 11
  • Iuliana Cherevko, grade 12
  • Kashvi Khabrani, grade 11
  • Raksheta Kulkarni, grade 12
  • Rohan Frijo Manjaly, grade 11
  • Megha Ayyaswamy, grade 12
  • Alan Nguyen, grade 12
  • Niyanth Raja, grade 11
  • Archit Raul, grade 12
  • Ajay Shah, grade 11
  • Zaid Sheikh, grade 11
  • Prathamesh Patankar, grade 11
  • Nathan Phan, grade 12
  • Rishon Robert, grade 11
  • Nathan Whitley, grade 11

For more information on the competition and awards, click here.

Three Irvine High School StellarXplorers Competition Teams
Pictured: All three Irvine High School StellarXplorer Competition Teams