AFA's StellarXplorers Program Announces National Finalists

Mar 15, 2016, 11:30 ET from Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., March 15, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Force Association today announced the ten National Finalist teams that will compete for the title of National Champion in its StellarXplorers II National High School Space Competition in Colorado Springs, CO, April 12-15, 2016.  Teams will travel all-expenses-paid to compete for the title of National Champion and bragging rights in this, the pilot national deployment of AFA's newest STEM program.

The ten National Finalist teams advanced through extremely competitive online qualifying rounds to earn the distinction of being National Finalists.  They represent schools and other organizations from California, Colorado, Utah, and Alabama. Additionally, a team from U.S. DoD Dependent Schools in Kaiserslautern (Germany) qualified.  For a list of the Finalists and more information about StellarXplorers, visit

"Observing the growth of our StellarXplorers program has been quite exciting.  What is most impressive is these students, who are the future of our nation and its space community, and the way they have met every challenge we've set before them," said Larry Spencer, President of the Air Force Association. "We're thrilled to be offering a program that has generated such excitement amongst students and their educators."

StellarXplorers II competition is the program's pilot national deployment, spring-boarding from its proof of concept demonstration in April, 2015.  Twenty-seven teams from across the US and an American high school in western Germany registered to compete in this season, each team comprised of two to six students and supported by a Team Director.  Technical mentors guided the education and training of the teams as they designed satellite orbits, specified spacecraft components, and selected rocket boosters to meet a stringent set of mission requirements.

At this year's National Finals Competition, teams will compete to define a space system concept to meet a different, more difficult mission scenario.  Included in the competition is a briefing from each team outlining their concept and why it best meets the specified requirements. 

StellarXplorers, an education initiative established by AFA, is a one-of-a-kind space system competition designed to inspire students toward futures in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Program sponsors include the US Air Force STEM Program, Orbital ATK, Kratos Defense Company, Analytic Graphics, Inc., and the Space Foundation.

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.



SOURCE Air Force Association