#StudentLaunch 2017
After a day of rocket launches during the 2017 Student Launch, NASA announced the challenge's preliminary winners April 8 at an awards ceremony hosted by Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division of Promontory, Utah, at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Fifty middle and high school, college and university teams from 23 states launched their student-built rockets at Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama, near NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Participating in the Student Launch challenge, student teams demonstrated advanced aerospace and engineering skills as they launched their rockets to an altitude of 1 mile, deployed an automated parachute system and landed the rocket safely for reuse.

The event was the culmination of eight months of work for students, during which the teams built and tested their rockets and completed a series of technical reviews mirroring criteria in NASA's engineering design lifecycle and safety protocol.

Now in its 17th year, Student Launch included a visit from NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, a member of the International Space Station's Expedition 48/49 crew; a behind-the-scenes tour of Marshall facilities; and a rocket fair, where students showcased their rocket designs to NASA team members, corporate sponsor Orbital ATK and the public.

Marshall's Academic Affairs Office manages Student Launch, to further 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 and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, as well as Orbital ATK’s Propulsion Systems Division and the Huntsville chapter of the National Space Club, provide funding and leadership for the initiative.

The overall winners of Student Launch will be announced in early May, as the final calculations are still under review for accuracy. This will include the first- through third-place teams, as well as the rookie award winner, with the first-place winner receiving a $5,000 prize from sponsor Orbital ATK and the second-place winner receiving a $2,500 prize from the National Space Club.

For more information about NASA's Student Launch, visit:


Archived launch-day footage is available on Marshall's Ustream account:


220 photos · 1,078 views
1 3