Students Scramble to Qualify for Team America Rocketry Challenge

Arlington, Va. – Thousands of student rocketeers across the country are putting the finishing touches on their handmade models in the hopes of earning a spot in the final of the Fourth Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge.

Once again the challenge – the world’s largest rocket contest – includes a large field of middle and high school teams, a total of 678 from 47 states and the District of Columbia.

The 3- to 15-member teams registered for the contest in November and have until April 10 to successfully launch their model rockets and achieve a score qualifying them for the final competition. While the process is similar to the previous three years, the competition itself is notably different — and more difficult.

This year the teams not only have to come as close as possible to a certain altitude, as in the first two years, or a certain duration of flight, as in last year. They must do both while safely returning the rocket’s payload, once again a raw egg. Students are shooting for 800 feet in altitude and 45 seconds in flight duration in this year’s contest.

The public is invited to view the finals of the competition, at the Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. The top 100 teams based on qualifying score compete live against one another during the final. They will learn whether they made it April 14.

AIA is sponsoring the contest along with the National Association of Rocketry partnered with NASA, the Defense Department, the Civil Air Patrol, and 39 AIA member companies. For more information on the contest visit the web site at

Source: Aerospace Industries Association
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