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Rocketry club launches into its 1st year

Photo by Matthew Montes ’15 — Cameron Kurtz ’15 and the Rocket Club watch a video during a meeting on Oct. 27.

Group looks to do well in competition, creates rocket that meets rigid standards

By Will Schubert ’15

Not every student can send something flying hundreds of feet into the atmosphere, unless they are members of the Rocketry Club, of course.

The Rocketry Club enters its first year as an official club with hopes of producing an unrivaled rocket.

Last year the group of students was known as the Engineering Club, but that didn’t work out as leader Cameron Kurtz ’15 planned, so he decided that he wanted to make it more specific and turn it into the Rocketry Club.

“Now I know what I am doing and the club is only focused on rocketry instead of engineering,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz and the other members of the club are working to produce a rocket that can reach a maximum altitude of 800 feet and return to the ground as fast as possible all while keeping an egg safe.

The club is working on building this rocket for a popular competition known as “TARC,” which stands Team America Rocketry Contest.

The rockets use various engines approved by TARC and even though members of the club have experience with creating their own solid fuels pre-approved engines must be used.

The club will have to compete locally as well as place in the top 100 nationally in order for them to move onto the next phase of the competition, which is the national competition in Virginia.

If the club places first in Virginia they win a $60,000 scholarship and move on to the final phase of the competition in London.

Currently the club members are each working on their own design for the rocket and eventually the club will combine them to produce the most successful rocket.

Once the club creates their rocket they will launch it in the desert with an approved TARC member watching.

“This year I am hoping that the Rocketry Club flourishes and even though it is a small community I hope it is a powerful force,” said Zephan Enciso ’17.

The club meets every Monday at lunch in P212 where they discuss their plans as well as discuss essential knowledge like how to use Open Rocket Software.

Open Rocket Software provides the club with almost everything thing they need to produce a good rocket.

“The software gives you maximum altitude, maximum thrust, center of pressure, center of gravity and basically anything you need to build a rocket correctly,” Kurtz said.

The club has until March 2015 to complete their rocket and members said they hope to do well in TARC.