HHS Team Advances to Finals in National Space Challenge
A Huntsville High School Air Force JROTC team has advanced to the National Finals in the StellarXplorers National High School Space Challenge. The Huntsville group represents one of only ten teams in the nation who will compete for the top spot in Colorado Springs, CO. this weekend. Round one of the 2019 Space Challenge began earlier this year with 216 teams from across the country that competed in three challenging levels solving real world problems involving all aspects of launching a satellite. The ten team finalists are from California, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, and Alabama.
Lt. Col. David Murphy is the Huntsville JROTC instructor and says the team has worked very hard to reach this level. Murphy said that he “thought they could do well from the beginning,” but added that “they have exceeded my expectations.” Rodrigo Ortega, the students’ team director, said that practicing everything they have learned over and over again is a part of what has brought the group this far.
The finals will consist of an eight-hour long competition that will cover satellite design, orbit planning, and launch operations. The SellarXplorers Program is designed to provide a hands-on, space design challenge involving all aspects of space systems development. The goals is to inspire high school students to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and is a program available through the Air Force Association.