ULA Launch
ULA Student Launch

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has selected payloads designed by K-12 students to launch aboard three intern-built sport rockets at this summer’s Student Rocket Launch on July 23 in Pueblo, Colorado.

The Student Rocket Launch, sponsored by ULA and Ball Aerospace, gives students hands-on experience working with rockets and payloads (on-board experiments and instruments deployed after launch). The program aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and space entrepreneurs through an enriching introduction to the world of STEM and rocketry.

ULA interns volunteer to design, build and refurbish three high-power sport rockets – named Sine, Cosine and Tangent – while interns from Ball Aerospace and K-12 students design and build payloads to be integrated on the vehicle. A payload can be almost anything a team can create within the provided guidelines. This year’s payloads include instruments to generate a 3D simulation of each launch phase, and tests to determine which type of structure best remains intact against extreme forces

“It is critical that we continue educating and inspiring students to pursue STEM careers and opportunities,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. “Today’s students are future leaders; we cannot harness the potential of space without the scientists, engineers and explorers of tomorrow. The advanced, technical knowledge illustrated in this year’s proposals has not gone unnoticed. Our team is very impressed with the level of creativity shown in the work submitted thus far.”

Since its inception in 2008, the Student Rocket Launch has expanded to include students from programs across the nation. In 2009, ULA partnered with Ball Aerospace, which provided participating interns in the Ball Intern Remote Sensing Team (BIRST) the opportunity to build and design payloads to be launched on the ULA intern-built rockets. The option to design and build payloads for the launch was extended to K-12 students in 2010. ULA and Ball interns volunteer for the program in addition to their day jobs within the aerospace companies.

“Through these unique, hands-on programs, students are able to experience the full engineering lifecycle, network with peers, mentors and industry professionals,” said David Kaufman, president, Ball Aerospace. “The collaboration between ULA’s Student Rocket Launch Program, the BIRST program and K-12 students enable the exciting components of STEM that go beyond the classroom for an exceptional experience.”

The 2022 Student Rocket Launch will take place July 23 at Hudson Ranch in Pueblo, Colorado. The intern-built rockets will stand at 19.6 feet and carry five to six different payloads each. Each of the rockets will deliver approximately 768 pounds of average thrust over a 6-second interval. The rockets are expected to reach altitudes of approximately 4,200 feet.

In 2018, ULA added a payload competition to the Student Rocket Launch event. The payloads are judged by their design phase, testing phase and payload performance. This year, the top three teams will earn a cash prize for their school or a nonprofit organization of their choosing.

Click here https://www.ulalaunch.com/explore/intern-rockets for more information about the Student Rocket Launch program. Click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5P7lH2ZfqM&list=PLeaHeviLN2PAeHtjBxmLRgBg6B-QRrVV8&index=8 to see highlights of last year’s event.

Be sure to join ULA and Ball Aerospace at an upcoming open house, located at the ULA Warehouse (9960 E Easter Avenue in Centennial, Colo.). The event will be from 5 to 7 p.m. MDT. BIRST interns and participating K-12 teams will be in attendance to check if their payloads fit into the intern-built rockets. For more information, contact Phillip Lucas (phillip.s.lucas@ulalaunch.comphillip.s.lucas@ulalaunch.com) or Taylor Arnold (taylor.arnold@ulalaunch.comtaylor.arnold@ulalaunch.com).

2022 Student Rocket Launch K-12 Payload Teams and Individuals


  • Mark Keppel High School (Alhambra, Calif.)
    • Launchables
  • Rocklin Academy Gateway (Roseville, Calif.)
    • Soaring Eagles
  • Temple City High School (Arcadia, Calif.)
    • Space Rams
  • Aiden Gonzales
    • Spider Gang
  • Regis Jesuit High School (Centennial, Colo.)
    • Raiders
    • Sauron
  • Golden High School (Golden, Colo.)
    • Demon Engineering
  • Hackberry Hill Elementary (Arvada, Colo.)
    • Pennant Races
  • International Association for Astronomical Studies (Bennett, Colo.)
  • Mountain Vista High School (Highlands Ranch, Colo.)
    • Mid Flight Snack
  • Peak to Peak Charter (Louisville, Colo.)
    • Autorotation Research Descent Vehicle (ARDV)
    • L.A.D.S. (Launch and Descent Simulation)
  • St. Bridget School (Cheshire, Conn.)
    • St. Bridget School – Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead!
  • Dr. Albert F. Argenziano School at Lincoln Park (Somerville, Mass.)
    • Somerville Rocket Club
      New Mexico
  • Santa Fe Civil Air Patrol (Santa Fe, N.M.)
    • Leonardo de Santa Fe

About ULA
Leveraging a legacy of 100 percent mission success launching more than 150 missions to explore, protect and enhance our world, ULA is the nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider with world-leading reliability, schedule confidence, and mission optimization. The technologies we launch protect our country and troops in the battlefield, enable search and rescue, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, deliver cutting-edge commercial services, and expand our understanding of the Earth. We deliver value unmatched by any launch services company in the industry, a tireless drive to improve, and commitment to the extraordinary.

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at http://www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).

About Ball Aerospace
Powered by endlessly curious people with an unwavering mission focus, Ball Aerospace pioneers discoveries that enable our customers to perform beyond expectation and protect what matters most. We create innovative space solutions, enable more accurate weather forecasts, drive insightful observations of our planet, deliver actionable data and intelligence, and ensure those who defend our freedom go forward bravely and return home safely. Go Beyond with Ball.(r) For more information, visit http://www.ball.com/aerospace or connect with us on https://www.facebook.com/ballaerospace or https://twitter.com/BallAerospace.

Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 24,300 people worldwide and reported 2021 net sales of $13.8 billion. For more information, visit http://www.ball.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.


Taylor Arnold, 321.266.4290 (Cell) Taylor.Arnold@ulalaunch.comTaylor.Arnold@ulalaunch.com
Phillip Lucas, 720.830.7699 (Cell) Phillip.S.Lucas@ulalaunch.comPhillip.S.Lucas@ulalaunch.com
Jim Pedderson, 303-618-0611 (Cell) James.Pedderson@ballaerospace.comJames.Pedderson@ballaerospace.com