The Air Force Association announced the winners of the national high school space challenge StellarXplorers III, held earlier this month in Colorado Springs, Colo. The “Sky Dragons” team from San Pedro High School in San Pedro, Calif., is this year’s national champion. The “Scintillators” team from the Kaiserslautern American High School in Kaiserslautern, Germany, finished in second place. The “Rocketeer Steers” team from Graham High School in Graham, Texas, finished third. Ten teams participated in the event, which was held at the Space Foundation’s Discovery Center. Each student in the top three teams received educational grants, which were sponsored by the USAF Science, Technology, Education, and Math Program and the United Launch Alliance. During the first day of the competition, students had eight hours to define an optimal satellite orbit, choose spacecraft components, and select rocket boosters that meet a set of mission requirements. The students then presented their plan on the second day, which was scored by a panel of experts.
An Air Force C-17 transport jet recently tested a new technology that could help aviators stay on course even if the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) that much of modern-day aviation relies on is compromised.