Intern Rockets


Summer interns at many ULA sites have the option to design, build, refurbish and launch sport rockets. The tradition began in Colorado and branched out to interns across the company supporting multi-year rocket projects. Now, volunteer interns and mentors build rockets at their own sites –a hands-on opportunity to work with hardware and get to know more experienced industry professionals.

Interns of all backgrounds, experience levels and job function can participate – mentors work with everyone to create safe, hands-on experiences for everyone.


Hands-on STEM from kindergarten through graduate school

In Colorado, ULA teams up with Ball Aerospace to support the Student Rocket Launch -- a hands-on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) project for students from kindergarten through graduate school. Summer interns at ULA and Ball can volunteer their time to build several rockets (ULA interns) and payloads (Ball interns) to be launched at the end of the summer. Elementary, middle and high school student teams can apply to build payloads.

The Student Rocket Launch simulates a real launch campaign so the interns can experience what the process looks like from start to finish on a smaller scale. United Launch Alliance’s real-life launch campaigns stretch over several years, and the Student Rocket Launch compacts that into seven to ten weeks.


Submitting Payload Applications

Payloads are objects, experiments or instruments launched on and deployed (if desired) from the rocket. A payload can be almost anything a team can create within the provided guidelines.

Click here for the 2023 request for proposal (RFP).

Timeline for 2023 program:

- ASAP: Teams should notify of their intent to participate
- Jan. 23, 2023: Team leaders submit a simple payload proposal to ULA
- Jan. 30, 2023: ULA notifies teams of their status
- Mid-May 2023: Critical design review with ULA executives and program team
- Mid-June 2023: ULA check-in to review payload production process, and ensure design is suitable for integration with launch vehicle. 
- July 10, 2023: Fit check and open house at the ULA warehouse in Centennial, Colorado (outside of Denver)
- July 15, 2023: Planned launch

Additional Information


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Rocket Science

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