United Launch Alliance Announces Payloads To Fly On World’s Largest Sport Rocket

Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

May 24, 2017 – Sixteen payloads from K-12 schools and educational organizations throughout Colorado have been confirmed to fly on United Launch Alliance’s Future Heavy intern rocket this summer. The 53-foot-tall, high-power sport rocket launch will take place at Spaceport America, New Mexico, on Saturday, June 24, during its annual Spaceport America Cup International Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in association with ESRA the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association.

Since 2009, ULA has teamed up with Ball Aerospace to offer its interns a real-world space industry experience by launching rockets and payloads (onboard instruments/experiments deployed after launch) they volunteer to build during their internships.

In 2010, the program expanded to include payloads from K-12 students.

“Unique opportunities such as this help ignite the imagination of our future rocket scientists,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. “The important life lessons of planning, teamwork and hard work to ensure the payloads are built on-time and function as designed, will translate directly to their future endeavors.”

Winning proposals include:

  • Peak to Peak Charter School Payloads– Lafayette, CO
  • – Make it or Break It
    – Kindergarten Parachutes
    – Kevlar Cases: Reliable Phone Protection?
    – Descent Power Recovery System
    – Folding Wing Glider

  • Boulder High School Payloads – Boulder, CO
  • – America’s Ride Back from Space
    – Falling in 360 Video

  • STEM Academy Payload – Highlands Ranch, CO
  • – Round Two Design Two (R2D2)

  • Smokey Hill Area Robotics Club Payload – Centennial, CO
  • – MARVIn – Multiple Advanced Reentry Vehicles Inside

  • Girl Scouts of Colorado Rocketry Team Payload – Colorado Springs, CO
  • – G Swarm
    – Team 2

  • Boy Scout Troop 127 Payload – Aurora, CO
  • – EDGE (Eagles Deserving Gratitude for Excellence)

  • Eaglecrest High School Payloads – Centennial, CO
  • – Raptor View

  • Crown Point Academy Payloads – Westminster, CO
  • – Flying Zucchini, 8th Grade
    – Little Rockets, 4th Grade

  • STEM School Payload – Highlands Ranch, CO

    “We are thrilled to provide the launch platform for these bright students to perform their research and experiments,” said Greg Arend, who serves as the ULA mentor and leader of the launch project. “It is an amazing time to be in the space industry. ULA is transforming the launch industry and these students will be the innovators and designers that will develop new technologies not yet imagined.”

    Arend recently received the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award by the Engineers’ Council for his work with ULA’s intern rocket program over the last five years. Over that time, hundreds of interns across all five of ULA’s sites participated in this unique, hands-on STEM activity and worked to build Future Heavy, the world’s largest high-powered sport rocket.

    Tickets are on sale to attend the 2017 Spaceport America Cup at:


    Visit http://spaceportamericacup.com/ for more information about the Spaceport America Cup.