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Thu, Jul 12, 2018

ULA And Ball Aerospace Celebrate 10th Anniversary Of STEM Program

Nearly 40 Student-Built Payloads To Fly On An Intern-Built Sport Rocket On July 14

United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Ball Aerospace will celebrate the 10th anniversary of hands-on STEM education with a rocket launch over southeastern Colorado. Open to the general public, 2018 Student Rocket Launch will be held July 14 at Lake Meredith, Colorado, and marks the culmination of work by students from kindergarten through graduate school.

Since 2008, ULA's summer interns built and launched high-power sport rockets carrying payloads (onboard objects, experiments or instruments that may deploy from the rocket) designed and built by Ball Aerospace interns as part of the Ball Intern Remote Sensing Team (BIRST) program. In 2010, ULA opened the opportunity up to K-12 student teams, and the program has grown substantially. ULA and Ball interns volunteer to participate in the program in addition to their "day jobs" at the aerospace companies.

"ULA started this program because we wanted our interns to have this hands-on opportunity, and we've worked with Ball Aerospace to continue expanding its reach to encompass students from kindergarten through graduate school," said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. "We're always focused on mission success, and in this case we want to inspire the next generation to pursue careers in the space industry and encourage their passion for this cool industry."

This year, ULA's Future Heavy SS rocket – short for "Future Heavy Super Sport" – will launch 36 payloads, with 15 competing to win up to $5,000 by designing a craft to return to a pre-appointed location near the launch. A payload can be almost anything a team can create within the provided guidelines.

Future Heavy SS is a 41-foot-tall, high-power sport rocket.  Powered by four I-class, two M-class, and four N-class engines, the single-stage rocket will generate approximately 4,700 pounds of thrust off the launch pad.

"Ball's BIRST program and the ULA rocket launch offer our interns a unique real-world opportunity to collaborate with mentors to bring a design idea from concept to launch," said Rob Strain, president of Ball Aerospace. "Our Ball interns represent a diverse group of students from 42 universities who are pursuing careers in STEM fields, which are critical to the aerospace industry in the U.S. as well as our local Colorado community."

Ball Aerospace interns recently completed a Design Review for their payloads, presenting their plans to volunteer mentors, executives and the ULA rocket team.

(Source: Ball Aerospace news release. Image provided by ULA)

FMI: www.ball.com/aerospace

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