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Wed, May 12, 2010

Out To Launch ... Aero-TV Visits TARC

ANN To Offer Extensive Coverage Of Team America Rocketry Challenge

With Atlantis poised on pad 39A for a launch Friday, the Aero-TV crew will turn its cameras on rockets of a smaller scale on Saturday. Teams of students from all over the nation will be gathering this weekend at Great Meadow in The Plains, VA for TARC, the Team America Rocketry Challenge, and Aero-TV will be there.

100 student rocketry teams will compete in the final round of the Challenge on Saturday. The finalists include teams from 30 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands who qualified after months of preparation from a field of 669 squads and thousands of students.

Qualifying teams of middle- and high-school students for the eighth annual TARC – the world’s largest rocket contest -- have the chance to earn $60,000 in scholarships and prizes. The TARC champion will also win the opportunity to compete internationally at an air show near London in July.

“This year’s TARC contest will be among the most competitive in its eight-year history because of the high number of teams that are participating,” said AIA (Aerospace Industries Association) President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “It’s an exciting time for young people to be exposed to rocketry and all the aerospace industry has to offer. We’re seeing a real surge in our industry with TARC alumni taking advantage of exciting career opportunities with many of our member companies.”

TARC teams are challenged to design, build and launch a model rocket with a raw-egg payload to an altitude of 825 feet and achieve a flight duration between 40 and 45 seconds. The rocket must return the egg safely and unbroken without using a parachute.

The goal of the contest is to bolster student interest in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields and attract more young people into aerospace careers. The STEM labor force is aging. Across all degree levels and fields, about 26 percent of workers with science or engineering degrees are older than age 50.

In the next couple of weeks, look for stories and exciting video showing highlights of the contest. For more background on the event, check out this Aero-Cast Special Feature with Audrey Koehler, Manager of Team America Rocketry Challenge.

FMI: www.rocketcontest.org

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