Space

February 5, 2014

NASA evolves student rocketry challenge, enhances ties to space launch system

Student teams from 26 colleges and universities in 16 states and Puerto Rico will design and launch innovative rockets and payloads as part of the 2013-2014 NASA Student Launch rocketry competition.
The NASA Student Launch will be held May 15-17 at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Tooele County, Utah. There, the student teams will undergo a rigorous launch readiness review – just like actual NASA flight missions – and launch their rockets. This historic site has hosted numerous American land-speed tests since 1914 and also was the recovery site for comet and interstellar dust samples returned from NASA’s Stardust mission in 2006.

“This new engineering competition ties participating students’ work to NASA’s pursuit of new, more demanding missions,” said William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s associate administrator for human exploration and operations. “Giving these students exposure to building and launching model rockets to 20,000 feet allows them to recognize the challenges in pushing new limits.”

The student rocketry challenge is an evolution of the NASA Student Launch Projects, which for 12 years challenged students to build rockets of their own design capable of flying 1 mile high. The challenge was inspired by NASA’s mission to build, test and fly the new Space Launch System, the nation’s next flagship rocket for solar system exploration. This latest competition reaches for even greater heights – taking student-built vehicles more than 3 miles high, into the troposphere.
Another new feature of this competition is the requirement that the teams build their vehicles with a parachute-based recovery system and provide three payloads capable of delivering data that could shape future NASA missions.

Of the three payloads, one is mandatory for all teams: a landing hazard detection system, including a camera and customized software to transmit real-time information about surface conditions to operators on the ground. The teams will select the other two payloads from a list of options, all of which support NASA spacecraft development challenges. These range from studying how liquids slosh in microgravity and refining new liquid propulsion systems, to studying the environmental effects of supersonic flight on vehicle paints and coatings. All payloads must be recoverable and reusable.

Teams must predict the maximum flight altitude of their vehicle based on the research needs of their payloads. No rocket may fly higher than 20,000 feet. The team whose rocket comes closest to their predicted maximum altitude will win the coveted altitude award.

In addition, each team must prepare detailed preliminary and post-launch reports, and build and maintain a public website about their work. They also must develop an educational engagement program to inspire younger students in their local schools and communities.

Teams will be judged on their successful launch and payload deployment, as well as the thoroughness of supporting documentation. The winning team will receive a $5,000 prize provided by the corporate sponsor for the rocketry challenge, ATK Aerospace Group of Promontory, Utah. NASA and ATK judges will present a variety of additional awards for winning elements of the challenge, including a new safety award for the team that best integrates safeguards into their vehicle design, launch plan and ground operations.

The Student Rocket Launch continues NASA’s commitment to using its space missions and programs as launch pads for engaging students in their pursuit of the vitally important STEM career fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The competition is organized by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and sponsored by NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, with corporate sponsorship by ATK Aerospace Group.

Participating teams are:

  • Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
  • Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Calif.
  • Citrus College, Glendora, Calif.
  • Clark College, Vancouver, Wash.
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
  • Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Fla.
  • Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.
  • Missouri University of Science & Technology, Rolla, Mo.
  • North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Northwest Indian College, Bellingham, Wash.
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.
  • Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
  • University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, Ala.
  • University of Central Florida, Orlando, Fla.
  • University of Colorado – Boulder, Boulder, Colo.
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.
  • University of Hawaii ñ Community Colleges, Kane’ohe, Hawaii
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Ill.
  • University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
  • University of North Carolina Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C.
  • University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
  • University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
  • University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala.
  • Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.



All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines August 22, 2014

News: GAO: Pentagon violated law with Bergdahl swap - Congressional investigators say the Pentagon violated the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.   Business: U.S. Air Force issues RFI for new rocket engine - The US Air Force is officially looking into...
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,200 As of Aug. 20, 2014, at least 2,200 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,821 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing program completes critical design, safety reviews

Boeing photograph Boeing recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review of its integrated systems, meeting all of the companyís Commerci...
 
 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 

NASA awards program analysis, Control Bridge III Contract

NASA has awarded the Program Analysis and Control III Bridge contract for support services to ASRC Research & Technology Solutions of Beltsville, Md. The cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity basic contract has a minimum ordering value of $1 million and a maximum ordering value of $37 million, with a performance period beginning Aug. 30 through Feb....
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>