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StellarXplorers Announces 2019 National Finalists

Competition To Be Held In April In Colorado

The Air Force Association (AFA) announced today the National Finalist teams invited to the StellarXplorers V National Finals Competition, to be held April 11-13, 2019. Teams will travel all-expenses paid to Colorado to compete for the National Championship title. The top 10 teams advanced through four competitive qualification rounds, and represent schools and other youth groups from Alabama, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

"At AFA, we are passionate about promoting STEM education and our StellarXplorers program plays an important role in attracting students to education and careers in these critical fields," said AFA President, Lt Gen Bruce "Orville" Wright, USAF (Ret.). "The 10 teams who have made it through this rigorous process represent the best in the nation and should take great pride in their success."

The fifth StellarXplorers competition season began in October 2018 with 216 teams registered from 35 states and two overseas locations, marking a 20 percent increase from the previous year.  Each team consists of two to six students. At this year's National Finals Competition, teams will compete by defining orbits, spacecraft components, and launch vehicles to meet a set of mission requirements. The teams will also brief an expert panel on their work as a part of their overall score.

"The competition gets tougher every season," said Stephen K. Gourley, StellarXplorers Director. "With the great increase in registered teams and the need to challenge these talented students, we've had to create even more difficult problems.  Of course, the teams have risen to the challenge every time."

StellarXplorers, an education initiative established by AFA, is a space system engineering competition designed to inspire students toward futures in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Program sponsors include the Harris Corporation, U.S. Air Force STEM Program, United Launch Alliance, Aerojet Rocketdyne, DynCorp International, and Space Exploration Technologies, with additional support from the Educational Alliance of Analytical Graphics, Inc, The Space Foundation, and Coyote Enterprises.

(Source: Air Force Association news release)



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