Science and Technology News

Thursday, March 1, 2012

NASA Seeking University Participants for Summer Rocket Workshop

Ann Marie Trotta
Headquarters, Washington     

Keith Koehler
Wallops Flight Facility, Va.

WASHINGTON -- University faculty and students are invited to join a weeklong workshop June 16-21 to learn how to build and launch a scientific experiment to space. Registration is open through May 1.

RockOn! 2012 will be held at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The annual workshop is held in partnership with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia.

"This workshop provides an opportunity for participants to learn how to build an experiment for space flight," said Phil Eberspeaker, chief of the sounding rocket program office at Wallops. "The hope is this experience will encourage them to participate in more ambitious payload programs, including someday building instruments for orbital spacecraft and beyond."

During the program, participants will work together to build experiment payloads for a NASA Terrier-Orion sounding rocket predicted to fly to an altitude of 73 miles. The flight will take place June 21, the last day of the workshop, weather permitting.

"During the week, the participants will gain an understanding of what it takes to build a basic scientific payload," said Chris Koehler, director of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. "Through hands-on learning, they will learn how to develop circuit boards, program flight code and work together as a cohesive team."

Since the annual workshop began in 2008, 150 students and instructors have participated. It has been a successful program, with all experiments completed on time, launched and recovered. In addition, 48 of the 50 payloads have worked as intended.

For more information and to register online, visit

For more information on NASA education programs, visit

For more information on NASA's sounding rocket program, visit

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