NASA Student Launch Teams Returning to North Alabama

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., April 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Following two years of virtual events, teams will have the opportunity to compete in person at the 2022 NASA Student Launch rocketry competition.

NASA Logo. (PRNewsFoto/NASA) (PRNewsFoto/) (PRNewsfoto/NASA)

The annual event is set for Saturday, April 23, at Bragg Farms in Toney, Alabama, minutes north of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Student Launch challenges middle school, high school, college, and university students to design, build, test, and fly a payload and high-powered amateur rocket. Sixty teams from 23 states plus Puerto Rico are taking part in this year’s competition; 27 teams are expected to launch in person. Teams not traveling to Alabama may conduct final test flights at a home launch field.


  • April 23: Launch day from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. CDT, or until the last rocket launches. The opening ceremony begins at 9 a.m., featuring speakers from NASA Headquarters, NASA Marshall, and Northrop Grumman.
  • April 24: Tentative rain day in case of deterring weather. Competition will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., or until last rocket launches.

Winners will be announced June 2 during a virtual awards ceremony once all teams’ flight data has been verified.

Media interested in covering Student Launch events should contact Christopher Blair at 256-544-0034.

About the Competition

This year, teams must fly their rocket to an altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet and make a successful landing. Teams in the college/university division will tackle a new task that mirrors NASA missions like the Mars Curiosity Rover. Teams must design a payload capable of autonomously locating where their rocket landed by identifying the rocket’s grid position on an aerial image of the launch site, while transmitting the data back to their ground station. This must be accomplished without the use of GPS. The requirement simulates a challenge faced by NASA mission managers – communicating with spacecraft and payloads on distant planetary bodies, where use of GPS is not an option.

Middle and high school teams can choose to attempt the college/university division challenge or develop their own science or engineering experiment.

Teams predicted their rocket’s altitude months in advance of launch day. The team that comes closest to their projection in each division wins the Altitude Award. Teams are scored in nearly a dozen other categories, including safety, vehicle design, social media presence, and science, technology, engineering, and math engagement.

NASA’s Southeast Regional Office of STEM Engagement manages Student Launch, one of the agency’s Artemis Student Challenges. These activities stimulate innovation and advance NASA’s human exploration mission through collaboration with educational institutions and students – the Artemis Generation, who will help NASA explore the Moon and Mars. NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate and Office of STEM Engagement, along with Northrop Grumman provide funding and leadership for the initiative.

The rocket launches are open to the public, but pets are not permitted.

Live streaming will begin at 8:30 a.m. CDT on Student Launch Facebook and NASA Marshall Youtube.

For more information about Student Launch, visit:


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