Students Send 39 Rockets into Sunny Alabama During 10th Annual NASA Student Rocketry Challenge

The 2010-11 NASA Student Launch Projects rocketry challenge drew more than 500 students from middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities in 23 states.

All prize-winning teams received plaques and participation trophies from NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, which organizes the yearly challenge, and ATK.

The final two university division awards -- "Rookie Team of the Year" and "Best Overall Team of the Year" -- will be presented after teams have submitted their post-launch review documentation and science payload reports, due May 9. NASA and ATK will pick the 2010-11 winner based on those final reports -- plus all the work teams did leading up to launch day.

The NASA event, which turned 10 this year, celebrates innovative young minds and seeks to inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Teams designed and built their rockets and experiments starting in fall 2010. They maintained websites to document the experience and visited schools and organizations in their communities to share their enthusiasm for rocketry and inspire younger students to pursue study of technical subjects critical to the work of NASA and the nation.

Hundreds of flight enthusiasts flocked to the launch site at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala., to cheer for the student rocketeers. More than 40,000 viewers also watched live via the streaming video service UStream. Archived launch day coverage is available at:

NASA held the first student launch event in 2000-01. In response to its growing popularity, NASA expanded it in 2006, creating one division for middle schools and high schools and another for colleges and universities.

On May 21, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Va., will host a pilot demonstration of a new "Level 2" university challenge. Three veteran rocket teams -- the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Mississippi State University in Starkville and Mitchell Community College in Statesville, N.C. -- will fly rockets to a goal height of 10,000 feet and make a water recovery off the Virginia coast. The pilot event is set for May 21.

The Marshall Center's Academic Affairs Office, part of the Office of Human Capital, manages the rocketry challenge. The project is sponsored by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, Space Operations Mission Directorate, Science Mission Directorate and the Education Flight Projects Office in NASA's Office of Education, all at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ATK provided corporate sponsorship. The National Association of Rocketry provided technical review and launch support. Bragg Farms has hosted the launch challenge since 2008.

For complete lists of participating students, visit:

Visit NASA Student Launch Projects on Facebook and Twitter:

For more information about NASA education projects, visit:

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