Press Release

Student Launch Teams Rendezvous in Huntsville for NASA Competition

By SpaceRef Editor
March 30, 2018
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he public and media are invited as 54 student teams compete in NASA’s 18th annual Student Launch, near the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on Saturday, April 7.

Middle school, high school, college and university teams from 23 states will launch their student-built rockets from Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama. Each rocket is designed to fly to an altitude of 5,280 feet, or 1 mile, deploy an automated parachute system and safely land. Each rocket will also carry a student-built payload. High school and middle school teams designed their own science or engineering payload, while college and university teams tackled one of three Marshall-defined technical payload challenges.

In preparation for launch, students will participate in a Rocket Fair from 4 – 6:30 p.m. CDT on Friday, April 6, at the Von Braun Center’s East Hall in downtown Huntsville. Teams will showcase their rockets’ designs and payloads. The event is free and open to the public.

Following the launches, the week’s events will conclude with an awards banquet, sponsored by Orbital ATK, from 5 – 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 7, at the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.

Media interested in covering the Student Launch events should contact Angela Storey at 256-544-0034 no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3.

The rocket launches are open to the public and will stream live online at:

Week-long Schedule of Events:

April 6: Rocket Fair from 4 – 6:30 p.m. at Von Braun Center East Hall
April 7: Launch Day from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (or until last rocket launches) at Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama
April 7: Awards Banquet from 5 – 7 p.m. at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center’s Davidson Center
April 8: Tentative rain day in case of deterring weather from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (or until last rocket launches) at Bragg Farms
Student Launch is a research-based, experiential activity requiring an eight-month commitment from students to design, fabricate, test and launch a rocket, as well as complete a series of real-world comprehensive flight reviews, all overseen by NASA staff, engineers and scientists.

NASA and Orbital ATK provide awards in areas, such as Best Design, Altitude, Safety and others, and Orbital ATK provides an overall cash prize of $5,000 to the highest-ranking college/university team. The National Space Club (Huntsville Chapter) provides a $2500 award to the second place team.

The Academic Affairs Office at Marshall manages Student Launch, working to reach NASA’s major education goal of attracting and encouraging students to pursue degrees and careers in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

NASA’s Office of Education, NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate and Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division of Promontory, Utah, and the National Space Club of Huntsville provide funding and leadership.

For more details, rules, photos from previous events, and links to social media accounts providing real-time updates, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.