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Student Launch Initiative (SLI) and University Student Launch (USLI) Advanced Rocketry Workshops

Crowd watching rockets; three people pointing skyward
Crowd watching rockets

Each year NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), and Space Systems Corporation (ATK) sponsor a rocket competition for college teams. This event is held every spring at Bragg Farms in Huntsville, Alabama.

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NASA USLI Homepage

Adobe PDF Icon  NASA's University Student Launch Initiative brochure

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University Student Launch Initiative
The NASA University Student Launch Initiative, or USLI, is a competition that challenges university-level students to design, build and fly a reusable rocket with a scientific payload.  The competition engages students in scientific research and real-world engineering processes with NASA engineers.  Teams submit a proposal in USLI during the fall.  Once selected, teams design their rocket and payload throughout the school year.  USLI requires a NASA review of the teams preliminary and critical designs.  The project also requires flight readiness and safety reviews before the rockets and payloads are approved for launch.  After launch, teams complete a final report to include conclusions from their science experiment and the overall flight performance.  The Preliminary Design Review, Critical Design Review, and Flight Readiness Review are conducted by panels of scientists and engineers from NASA and from NASA contactors and external partners.
Advanced Rocketry Workshop
The Alabama Space Grant Consortium sponsors Advanced Rocketry Workshops each year to provide interested students, faculty, and educators an overview of the SLI/USLI competition.

Adobe PDF Icon  Summer USLI Advanced Rocketry Workshops Flyer

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During your time with us, you will: learn more about rockets,participate in tours, speak with NASA engineers and safety personnel, learn how to propose to participate in the NASA Student Launch Initiative project, speak with experienced SLI and USLI past participants, and many other great things.
The workshop will be organized into teams of from 1 to 3 people, nominally from the same university. If you are in SLI, you will receive an invite from NASA directly. The workshop will provide entry level instruction on rocketry, and a detailed description of the NASA competition process, from Proposal to Flight Readiness Review, with plenty of time for questions and answers. Each team will build a rocket that will provide you the opportunity to earn National Association of Rocketry, NAR, Level 1 certification.  We will launch the rockets on the 4th day of the workshop.  NAR rules allow only one individual certification per launch, and that only for the individual who built the rocket.
The SLI and USLI competition rules follow the process used by NASA for the design, fabrication and launch of Space Hardware. If you have not attended a previous SLI or USLI competition and are not familiar with requirements for the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), Critical Design Review (CDR), and Flight Readiness Review (FRR), you are strongly advised to send someone to a workshop, however it is not required.

Participation of Foreign Students:
There is no requirement for U.S. citizenship in order for a student or adviser to participate in the SLI or USLI competitions. However, some tours require U.S. citizenship. Please call John Gregory 256-824-6028, or Debora Nielson, 256-824-6800 to discuss this.

Sample Schedule of Events:
Day 1: Travel Day.  Welcome Meeting at 7pm.
Day 2: Tour Day. SLI/USLI Competition Discussion (evening).
Day 3: Workshop and Rocket Building.
Day 4: Launch Day.
Day 5: Travel Day.
NOTE: Transportation will be provided for the activities listed on days 2-4.
In order to visit Marshall Space Flight Center or other secure locations, your driver's license number is required.  For those who sign up, more information will follow regarding directions, agenda, etc.

For information regarding the
Advanced Rocketry Workshop:

Dr. John Gregory
NASA Alabama Space Grant Consortium
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive, MSB 205
Huntsville, AL  35899-0001
Tel.  (256) 824-6028
Fax (256) 824-6061

Debora Nielson
Assistant Director
NASA Alabama Space Grant Consortium
The University of Alabama in Huntsville
301 Sparkman Drive, MSB 205
Huntsville, AL  35899-0001
Tel.  (256) 824-6800
Fax (256) 824-6061

For questions regarding the SLI or USLI competitions:
Julie Clift
SLI / USLI Project Lead
NASA MSFC Academic Affairs Office
Mail Code: HS30
Huntsville, AL  35812
Tel: (256) 961-1334
Fax: (256) 961-1521

Eddie Jeffries
Jacobs ESTS Group
SLI / USLI Technical Coordinator
NASA MSFC Academic Affairs Office
Mail Code: HS30
Huntsville, AL  35812
Tel: (256) 544-0399
Fax: (256) 961-1521





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