On July 17, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Intern Rocket Program launched three rockets named Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato from the Hudson Ranch Launch Site in Pueblo, Colorado. This was the twelfth year of the program, which allows interns from all of ULA’s sites to get experience working on hardware and network with more experienced mentors.,
The three rockets were identical, and each was powered by an O-class motor, a type of high-power sport rocket motor, that allowed them to reach an altitude of 1.2 kilometers. An O-class motor is basically like the small Estes motor you may have used in a model rocket, just bigger.
Motors of this power require the user to hold a Level 3 certification from one of the high power rocket organizing bodies, Tripoli or NAR. A Level 3 certification requires the user to have a Level 2 certification and experience flying level 2 rockets before obtaining a level 3 certification to construct and fly a rocket that meets a list of very detailed requirements relating to construction and documentation.
Many different payloads including parachute tests, airbag deployment, and even simulated Mars and lunar landers were on the rockets from twenty teams ranging from K-12 all the way to universities from all across the country, from Massachusetts to California to Texas.
After landing, the payloads were evaluated in three categories: payload design, testing, and performance, and the winning teams were awarded ULA swag packs. The rockets launched the in order of Lettuce, Bacon, Tomato. All were recovered successfully.
ULA press release