Picture this: Rocketry challenge takes flight

A team member reacts as his rocket lifts off during the challenge.

Joe Barron for AIA

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin (center) and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne (second from left) look on as the Newark Memorial High School team prepares its winning rocket.

Kathie Barr/AIA

About 600 middle- and high-school students participated in the final round of the Team America Rocketry Challenge, which asked teams of students to build rockets that could fly to an altitude of 850 feet and stay aloft for 45 seconds.

A team from Newark, Calif., Memorial High School won the May 19 competition. Their rocket flew the highest and the longest. It reached 1 foot shy of the 850-foot goal and was aloft 0.86 second short of 45 seconds. The team won about $60,000 in scholarships.

Madison, Wis., West High School Team 2 came in second, and W.G. Enloe High School in Raleigh, N.C., placed third.

The annual event is put on by the Aerospace Industries Association and the National Association of Rocketry. About 7,000 students on 690 teams participate in qualifying rounds of the annual contest.

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