The 2022 Student Rocket Launch: Preparing for Liftoff!

July 7, 2022

Join ULA and Ball Aerospace in the 14th annual Student Rocket Launch on July 23, 2022, in Pueblo, Colorado! Witness the launch of three, intern-built sport rockets, standing over 19 feet tall, featuring various payloads designed by K-12 students, and Ball Aerospace interns.

At the start of the internship program, Denver interns were presented with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working together in the simulated launch campaign.  In addition to their day jobs, ULA interns are committing their time to navigating the complexities of rocket design and development, spending hours running tests to ensure proper functionality of each integrated piece.The intern-built rockets – Sine, Cosine and Tangent – will stand at 19.6 feet and each carry five to six different payloads. Each of the rockets will deliver approximately 768 pounds of average thrust over a 6-second interval and is expected to launch approximately 4,200 feet above the ground.

“Getting to work alongside other interns to build the rockets is an experience you won’t find in every internship program; ULA is tasking us with real projects that require collaboration, concentration and hard work,” says Peyton Clark, a mechanical engineering intern from the University of Alabama. “Alongside our day-to-day jobs, the Student Rocket Launch is helping to equip us with the knowledge and capabilities we need to be successful in our careers.”


Interns Anna Biolchini and Carson Archuleta soldering connectors for the separation bolt system to be utilized on this year’s rockets. ULA partnered with Ball Aerospace in 2009, inviting participants in the Ball Intern Remote Sensing Team (BIRST) to build and design payloads to be launched on the intern-built rockets. The opportunity to submit a payload proposal extended to K-12 students in 2010, with schools and organizations from across the nation now playing a role in the launch.

This year’s payload proposals continue to prove that creativity has no limits; the advanced, technical knowledge shown is nothing shy of impressive. Payloads featured this year 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.

United Launch Alliance prides itself on its efforts to excite young minds about space exploration, science and rocketry. Click here to see highlights from last year’s event in Denver, and here for more information about the Student Rocket Launch program.

Interns in Denver aren’t the only ones gaining collaboration and leadership experience through the Student Rocket Launch program. Learn more about our program in Alabama below.

Decatur, Alabama

The Decatur student rocket program is a volunteer-based experience with the main goal of building and launching mid-to-high power sport rockets. This year mentors and interns opted to build LOC Precision 4’ Goblins – beginner-friendly, easy to build rockets with the flexibility to choose varying types of motors. There will be launch opportunities in Birmingham on July 16, and Memphis, Tennessee on July 23, barring bad weather.

From mentor Austin Hill, “We’re in the process of building the rockets still, and there is a lot of epoxying in our future the next two weeks. We’re happy to get this program on its feet this year here in Decatur and we’re looking forward to the opportunities to launch later this summer!”