In less than a month rockets will blast into the Northern Alabama sky during a college-level rocket launch competition sponsored by Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) and hosted by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) competition will take place April 18 at Bragg Farms located at 1180 Grimwood Road, Toney, Ala., with lift-off scheduled for 9 a.m.


In less than a month rockets will blast into the Northern Alabama sky during a college-level rocket launch competition sponsored by Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) and hosted by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. The University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) competition will take place April 18 at Bragg Farms located at 1180 Grimwood Road, Toney, Ala., with lift-off scheduled for 9 a.m.
 
Nineteen college teams from around the country will convene for the USLI, which challenges school teams to design, build and fly a reusable rocket carrying a scientific payload to exactly one mile in altitude. This is the third year of ATK’s involvement in the USLI event, and the winning team will have the opportunity – courtesy of ATK Launch Systems and NASA – to see a space shuttle launch.
 
“In an age of widespread concern about U.S. students keeping up in science, math and engineering, it is exciting to witness the achievements of the USLI teams,” said Jim Halsell, ATK’s vice president, Space Exploration Systems and former NASA astronaut. “By partnering with NASA for the USLI event, ATK aims to motivate students and provide hands-on experience to the next generation of rocket engineers and space experts.”
 
Dozens of teams submitted proposals to NASA to participate in USLI during fall 2008, and the 19 finalists have been designing their rockets and payloads throughout the school year. The students will be judged by panels of scientists and engineers from NASA and its partners on their teams’ design work, test flights and meticulous documentation.
 
The teams competing in the 2009 event are: Alabama A&M University in Huntsville; Arizona State University in Tempe; Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.; College of Menominee Nation in Green Bay, Wis.; Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne; Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; Iowa State University in Ames; Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro; Mississippi State University in Starkville; Mitchell Community College in Statesville, N.C.; Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Ala.; the University of Alabama in Huntsville; Harding University in Searcy, Ark.; Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla; the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks; Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.; Utah State University in Logan; and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
 
For more information about USLI and other NASA education programs, go to www.nasa.gov/education 
 
ATK is a premier aerospace and defense company with more than 17,000 employees in 21 states and $4.5 billion in revenue. News and information can be found on the Internet at www.atk.com.