Team #2 at Minster Jr/Sr High School
Finishes 12th in the Country
May 12, 2012 - Three different teams at Minster Jr/Sr High School competed in the Team America Rocketry Challenge outside of Washington, DC. The weather was perfect as the three teams had a fabulous day launching rockets.
Team #3 consisting of Nathan Riethman, Danielle Monnin, Carlin Elder, Blake Mallory, and Sam Bornhorst launched their rocket in the cool early morning. Their rocket launched perfectly into the morning sky as it reached for the newly rising sun. The flight lasted 37 seconds, a little under the required duration. After retrieving their rocket the team determined the altimeter did not engage, and after inspection it was determined the altimeter was in working order and the team was denied a re-flight. The team's score of 820.4 reflects the missing altitude reading. This demonstrates that in rocketry anything can go wrong at any time, and many times it out of your control.
Team #1 consisting of Reid Frick, Brooke Monnin, Macey Elder, and Hailey Oldiges launched later in the morning as the sun warmed the air to 70+ degrees. The team scoured their flight data and found a prior launch similar in weather conditions as they set-up their rocket for flight. The team had a beautiful flight as the rocket soared high in the sky; unfortunately it was too high as it reached 842 feet and the total flight duration was 51 seconds.
Team #2 consisting of Jessica Berelsman, Dane Dahlinghaus, Austin Dwenger, and Pierce McGowan launched in the early afternoon as the temperature increased past 80 degrees. The team used their prior data and estimated what would be needed under the weather conditions to achieve a successful flight. As the rocket left the launch rod it soared high in the sky and arched over as the ejection charge popped the parachute. As we watched the descent, the parachute did not fully unveil as air spilled from the chute and the rocket fell to the ground. In the end the team had a duration of 40, three seconds off the target. Upon inspection of the altimeter the team jumped for joy as the altimeter reading beeped out an altitude of 791 feet; nine feet from their goal.
With the preliminary round complete, Team #3 ranked 89th place, Team #1 ranked 60th place, and Team #2 ranked 13th place. The top 25 teams move into the final round for the scholarship money and prizes and Team #2 earned a place in the finals.
Team #2 was ecstatic as members jumped for joy in celebrating their accomplishment. As they prepared their rocket for the final showdown the wind started to blow and the temperature began to fall. Team members loaded the rocket then watched in excitement as it left the launch pad and soared into the sky towards its 800 foot destination.
Teams then walked to the leader board as scores were posted, after all was said and done Team #2 moved up one spot to finish in 12th place. Everyone was excited because finishing in the top 25 earns you the right to compete in the NASA Student Launch Initiative (SLI), the next level in rocket science where you work for NASA.
The members have worked hard for eight months preparing for the TARC competition and it showed.