KSAT wins Altitude Award at NASA Student Launch

KSAT (Krueger School of Applied Technologies) students just returned from the NASA Student Launch in Huntsville, Alabama. They were culminating an eight-month engineering project involving numerous technical reports, video conferences, and construction of a vehicle capable of carrying a scientific payload a mile high. The 2016-2017 teams were comprised of 18 middle/high teams and 40 universities. This is the 9th year for KSAT to participate.

This year the team - the only middle school - won the Altitude Award for middle/high school. This goes to the team closest to the target altitude of 5,280 (one mile). KSAT had an altitude of 5325! The University of Notre Dame and the University of Louisville are the only schools that got closer to the target altitude out of 56 other teams!

KSATs post-flight analysis reported that the rocket pulled 20Gs. The predicted G-force was 19Gs so the motor preformed perfectly. The increased acceleration was needed for the experimental payload that was onboard. During scale model testing, they experimented with three different fin types to see which shape would yield the most acceleration. The teams main experiment is to determine if increased acceleration will effect spore germination. The KSAT team flew fern spores from Alabama, Costa Rica, and Vietnam. Now back in San Antonio, the team will attempt to grow the spores flown in 20G and compare them to the control that remained on the ground. The results of this experiment could give data for research about creating food chains on Mars. Great Job KSAT!


(Top) KSAT team accepts award from retired Astronaut, Charlie Precourt, and NASA's Marcus Lea. (Bottom) KSAT students and Notre Dame students

KSAT -discusses-project

The KSAT team discusses their rocket and payload with retired Astronaut Charlie Precourt the VP and GM for Propulsion Systems at Orbital ATK.


NAR safety inspectors talk with KSAT about their launch checklist and examine their rocket for flight readiness.


The students display the team rocket before launch.

Posted on 04/12/2017