Key Sponsors Enable National High School Space Challenge

September 9, 2019

September 09, 2019

Key Sponsors Enable National High School Space Challenge

Arlington, Va., The Air Force Association (AFA) announced sponsors for its StellarXplorers program, the National High School Space Challenge. L3Harris Technologies, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and SpaceX have generously renewed their sponsorship for the coming season. RocketLab generously supporting the StellarXplorers program for the first time in this 2019-2020 season. Student registration is currently open through October 5.

A nationwide program, StellarXplorers invites teams of students to use space systems engineering principles to solve a problem remotely through four rounds. High school students involved in any youth organization, including high schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, Scouts, and home-schooled students, may participate. Winners receive an all-expense-paid trip to the National Finals, which will be held in April 2020 at the Space Center Houston.

“StellarXplorers is making great strides in introducing STEM disciplines and aerospace engineering to more students, including women and under-represented minorities,” said Jim Hannam, AFA Vice Chairman of the Board for Aerospace Education. “Students gain experience and confidence in problem-solving, analytical skills, teamwork and leadership.”

L3Harris has renewed at the StellarPlatinum level for the second year. Aerojet Rocketdyne increased its level of support from StellarSilver to StellarGold, while SpaceX renewed at the StellarSilver level; RocketLab will also sponsor at StellarSilver.

The National High School Space Challenge uses space system engineering as the means to inspire and motivate students to pursue education and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. The program has three components: analysis software and training, educational resources, and competition materials. Teams of two to six students compete from “home” for a chance to earn an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Finals.

StellarXplorers is building a pipeline of talent for the future of government and industry to supplement and succeed an aging STEM workforce. According to a survey of previous participants, students indicated they gained an appreciation of aerospace, enjoyed being on a team, and more importantly had fun. A whopping 94 percent said they intend to pursue education and a career in aerospace engineering, based on their experiences in StellarXplorers.

To register a team or find more information, visit

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.


Bridget Dongu