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For release: 04/28/04
Release #: 04-125

High school, college students aim for new heights in NASA rocketry program April 30 - May 1

What: Students from Alabama, Maryland, Indiana and New York will put their rocket designs to the test as part of NASA's 2004 Student Launch Initiative. The two-day event will include a Student Launch Initiative Fair April 30 at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and a launch event May 1 in Manchester, Tenn.

The Student Launch Initiative is designed to give high school and college students — tomorrow's space explorers — hands-on experience conducting practical aerospace engineering activities. Sponsored by the NASA Education Programs at the Marshall Center, the launch initiative is intended to motivate students to pursue careers in science, math and engineering.

During the fair, the student teams will show off reusable rockets they built and designed during the school year. Teams will launch their rockets the next day as part of "Southern Thunder 2004," a regional rocket launch event co-hosted by the Music City Missile Club in Nashville, Tenn., the Huntsville Area Rocketry Association in Huntsville, Ala., and the Smokey Mountain Amateur Rocketry Team in Knoxville, Tenn.

Who: Participating high school teams include — Johnson, New Century Technology and Lee High Schools in Huntsville, Ala.; Bob Jones High School in Madison, Ala.; and Athens Bible School in Athens, Ala.; Boonsboro High School in Boonsboro, Md.; Goshen High School in Goshen, Ind.; and Manlius Pebble Hill School in Manlius, N.Y. College teams from Alabama A&M University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville also will participate.

When: Student Launch Initiative Fair — Friday, April 30, 2004, 9 a.m. CST

Launch activities — Saturday, May 1, 2004, 10 a.m. CST

Where: Fair — Marshall Space Flight Center, Bldg. 4200 lobby

Launch — Hickerson Field, outside Manchester, Tenn. (directions below)

To attend: News media interested in covering the Student Launch Initiative Fair should contact Jerry Berg in the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034 no later than Thursday, April 29, so arrangements can be made for access to the Redstone Arsenal. Media must report to Gate 1, Martin Road exit at South Memorial Parkway. Vehicles are subject to security search at the gate. Two photo identifications and proof of car insurance also are needed.

News media interested in covering the launch event should contact Jerry Berg in the Marshall Media Relations Department no later than Friday, April 30. Media must bring identification and check in at the Registration Desk at Hickerson Field in Manchester, Tenn., the day of the launch.

Directions to launch:

Take I-24 to exit 111, US 55 to Manchester/Tullahoma/McMinnville. From the ramp, turn right and cross over the interstate. Turn right onto Ragsdale Road, before the Golden Gallon Market. Follow the road for 7.2 miles. Turn right onto Hickerson Road at the Mountain View Golf Course sign. Follow road for 2.1 miles. Drivers should be able to see the range head setup.

For supporting materials for this news release — such as photographs, fact sheets, video and audio files and more — please visit the NASA Marshall Center Newsroom Web site at www.msfc.nasa.gov/news

For more information:
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Jerry Berg
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(256) 544-0034

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