Intern Rockets


Summer interns at many ULA sites have the option to design, build, refurbish and launch sport rockets. The tradition began in Colorado and branched out to interns across the company supporting multi-year rocket projects. Now, volunteer interns and mentors build rockets at their own sites –a hands-on opportunity to work with hardware and get to know more experienced industry professionals.

Interns of all backgrounds, experience levels and job function can participate – mentors work with everyone to create safe, hands-on experiences for everyone.


Hands-on STEM from kindergarten through graduate school

In Colorado, ULA teams up with Ball Aerospace to support the Student Rocket Launch -- a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) project for students from kindergarten through graduate school. Summer interns at ULA and Ball can volunteer their time to build several rockets (ULA interns) and payloads (Ball interns) to be launched at the end of the summer. Elementary, middle and high school student teams can apply to build payloads.

The Student Rocket Launch simulates a real launch campaign so the interns can experience what the process looks like from start to finish on a smaller scale. United Launch Alliance’s real-life launch campaigns stretch over several years, and the Student Rocket Launch compacts that into seven to ten weeks.

Submitting Payload Applications

Payload applications are open for the 2019 launch! Timeline, technical specifications and contact information are included in the Payload Proposal Form.

Payloads are objects, experiments or instruments launched on and deployed (if desired) from the rocket. A payload can be almost anything a team can create within the provided guidelines. The payloads will launch on the ULA intern-built Future Heavy Super Sport, a 35-foot-tall high-power sport rocket. It will fly to approximately 5,000 feet above the ground. Thirteen payloads can compete for up to $5,000 for their school or sponsoring nonprofit and will need to meet special competition requirements; 10 other payloads will be reserved for teams who want to fly payloads but not compete for the prize.

2019 Timeline

As soon as possible: Notify the contact in the Payload Proposal Form of your interest
Jan. 31, 2019: Deadline to submit the completed Payload Proposal Form
Feb. 7, 2019: ULA will notify proposal team leaders about selection
July 2019: Student Rocket Launch event

2018 Student Rocket Launch

Additional Information



Rocket Science



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