Rocket students launch at White Sands
Students from Fredericksburg High School traveled to White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in late June to test their rocket, a project that they have worked on throughout the year.
Fourteen students traveled and represented Fredericksburg STEM Academy with their rocket FHS Payload.
The STEM curriculum at FHS includes classes in science, technology, engineering and math.
The group was the first to test their rocket and left the rail at 6:20 a.m.
“The launch looked good but it was short lived,” SystemsGo volunteer and blogger Ginger Burrow said.
The rocket lost thrust climbing to an altitude of just over 300 feet before nosing over, re-firing and plowing into and along the range.
“It was evident to me prior to the rail that it was not achieving the desired thrust as its acceleration was poor and not matching the flight model,” FHS engineering teacher Andrew Matthes said. “The plume was initially clean but it was also visible that that there was complete combustion.”
The FHS Payload was aborted due to programming error that prevented the recording of data but the payload was saved for future efforts.
It was recorded that the vehicle only reached a speed of 100 feet per second and managed to travel 920 feet down the range.
The group’s time in White Sands is not necessarily measured by success, Burrow said.
“Success this year was a relative thing,” Burrow said. “No team was terribly successful and if you go by the new standards from SystemsGo then none of the teams were successful at all.”
Other schools participating included Alamo Heights High School, Anahuac High School, Union Grove Independent School District and Booker T. Washington School.