History-making rockets have been developed for nearly six decades at NASA’sMarshall Space Flight Centerin Huntsville, Alabama, and on April 6, 45 student teams from 20 states created their own history at the 2018-2019 Student Launch competition.
Completing its 19th year, Student Launch engages middle school, high school and college teams around the country through a comprehensive program that challenges the students to design, build and test a rocket and payload while meeting multiple documentation and review milestones with NASA rocketry experts. After eight months of designing, building, testing, launching and documenting, the preliminary winners of the annual challenge were announced at an awards ceremony April 6 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville.
2019 Student Launch Preliminary Award Winners
Best Vehicle Design Award, presented to the team with the most creative, innovative and safety-conscious overall rocket design:
1st Place:Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Team Spirit (Middle/High School Division), presented to the middle or high school team that is judged by its peers to have had the best team spirit on launch day:
1st Place:Boy Scout Troop 17
2nd Place:Cedar Falls High School
3rd Place:St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School
Judges' Choice Award, presented to the middle or high school team that is selected by a secret panel of judges to have had the most creative payload, best design and workmanship of its rocket and best engagement with the rocket fair crowd. This includes a $2,000 prize from the National Space Club:
1st Place:Cedar Falls High School
2nd Place:St. Vincent – St. Mary’s High School
3rd Place:North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, Durham, North Carolina
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 Northrop Grumman and the second-place winner receiving a $2,500 prize from the National Space Club.
About the Competition
Completing its 19th year, Student Launch engages middle school, high school and college teams around the country through an eight-month program that challenges the students to design, build and test a rocket and payload while meeting multiple documentation and review milestones with NASA rocketry experts. The process is designed to resemble the real-world process NASA and industry engineers use when developing new rockets, payloads and hardware.
For the 2018-2019 competition, teams were no longer challenged to reach one mile in altitude. Instead, they had to predict the altitude their rocket would fly to months ahead of the competition launch day. The team in each division that came closest won the altitude award.
The custom-built rockets also carried payloads. College and university teams had to select one of two payload options to develop and fly: a rover that deployed from the rocket after landing, drove 10 feet and collected a soil sample or a drone that deployed from the rocket, flew and deployed a navigational beacon. Middle school and high school teams could select one of the college division payloads or they could choose to investigate a scientific or engineering question of curiosity to them.
The young rocketeers carry on the legacy, dream and ambition that fifty years ago put the first humans on the Moon during the Apollo program.
For more information about NASA's Student Launch, visit: