Press Release

Rockets Away! Track Liftoff of 33 Student-Built Rockets

By SpaceRef Editor
April 14, 2009
Filed under ,

Thirty-three student teams representing high
schools, colleges and universities in 17 states will converge near
Huntsville, Ala., April 18-19 to launch sophisticated rockets they
designed and built themselves. And NASA is helping them share the
excitement with friends, family and rocketeering enthusiasts via
Twitter and Facebook.

The students are participating in NASA’s Student Launch Initiative and
University Student Launch Initiative, twin rocketry events that
challenge young innovators to think like NASA engineers — designing
and building reusable rockets that can carry working science payloads
1 mile high and return them safely to Earth.

College and university teams will launch their rockets April 18. High
school teams will launch April 19. Both day-long events will take
place at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala., about 20 miles north of
Huntsville — home to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, which
manages the annual launch challenge for the agency.

On launch day, NASA will provide real-time results via Twitter —
helping students’ classmates, families and friends root for them as
they strive to meet their altitude goal and activate their on-board
science experiments. Cell phone and computer users can sign up for
the Twitter launch updates by visiting:

Facebook users can request “Friend” status from the “NASA SLI/USLI”
page to track launch preparations, see photos of past participants
and learn more about the event and this year’s teams.

The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in
Washington sponsors the Student Launch Initiative and University
Student Launch Initiative to help inspire and engage America’s next
generation of scientists, engineers and explorers — those who will
carry on the nation’s mission of exploration to the moon and onward
into the solar system.

ATK Space Systems, headquartered in Magna, Utah, provides corporate
sponsorship for the event.

For more information about the events, visit: and

For information about other NASA education programs, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.