Specially crafted rockets soared high into the skies April 22 at the 2011-12 NASA Student Launch Projects challenge. More than 500 students, representing 53 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities in 28 states, launched rockets of their own design complete with working science payloads or engineering payload at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala.
The students vied to see whose rocket could come closest to the 1-mile altitude goal and safely return its onboard science payload to Earth. Fifty-one teams took part, though two faced mechanical or technical issues and did not launch. Ten preliminary awards were presented, and the grand prize -- $5,000 from ATK Aerospace Group in Salt Lake City, Utah -- will be awarded May 18 after final post-flight analysis and review are complete. This is the fifth year ATK has sponsored Student Launch Projects.