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Gearing Up For World's Largest Rocket Contest

>From Space Daily Express

The students are vying for a total of $60,000 in scholarships and prizes.
by Staff Writers

Arlington VA (SPX) Feb 13, 2008

Students around the country are testing altimeters and trimming tail fins in anticipation of qualifying for the final round of the Sixth Annual Team America Rocketry Challenge in May.

A total of 643 middle and high school teams from 43 states and the District of Columbia have registered for the world's largest rocket contest and are designing and building their vehicles by hand. The contest, aimed at increasing interest in math and science and promoting aerospace careers among young people, will involve approximately 7,000 students from start to finish.

The 3- to 15-member teams registered for the contest in November and have until April 7 to successfully launch their model rockets and achieve a score qualifying them for the final competition. This year's challenge is to build and fly a model rocket that reaches 750 feet while remaining aloft for 45 seconds, returning the payload of two raw eggs to the ground unbroken.

The students are vying for a total of $60,000 in scholarships and prizes. Lockheed Martin provides $5,000 scholarships to each of the top three teams, and Raytheon sponsors the winning team's trip to the Farnborough International Airshow in July. NASA invites some the top teams to participate in their Student Launch Initiative, an advanced rocketry program.

The top 100 teams will convene Saturday, May 17, for the national finals at the Great Meadow in The Plains, Virginia. The public is invited to watch the competition.
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