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Local cadets become rocket experts

August 29, 2012
Special to the Town Crier

After months of planning, Civil Air Patrol's Youngstown ARS Composite Squadron came together for the 2012 Model Rocketry Programs, under the direction of 1st Lt. Brian Stoneburner and led by C/CMSgt. Emily Conroy. A total of 25 cadets, made up of area youth, actively participated in the rocketry programs.

This aerospace activity focuses on the history of rockets, famous people that made contributions to rocketry, modern rocketry, and space travel. Additionally, the model rocketry programs provided hands-on experience with the building, launching, and recovery of model rockets. Model rocketry encourages the appreciation of aerospace and generates interest in modeling.

The cadets met on two consecutive Saturdays for this fun activity. The first Saturday, July 21, was at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station. Cadets began working on the construction of the first of two rockets as well as participated in launching pop bottle rockets and fizzy fliers rockets propelled by seltzer tablets as they learned important concepts of rocketry.

Article Photos

C/CMSgt. Emily Conroy of Canfield, project officer, demonstrates how to sand a rocket fin.

The second day for the program was July 28 at the Canfield Fairgrounds. Cadets painted their first rocket and assembled a second high-flier. Model rocketry safety guidelines were reviewed and launching commenced. In total, 35 rockets were launched and recovered. The cadet's favorite rocket carried a payload of a raw egg. The raw egg was placed in the nose cone, attached to the parachute, and launched after the cadets called loudly, "3...2...1.. go!"

Not all the parachutes deployed as planned, but everyone had fun during this activity. Even a few rain showers did not dampen the spirit of the participants.

Six cadets also participated in an advanced rocketry program. These cadets took a leadership role in teaching and sharing their knowledge of rocketry, after having completed the basic rocketry program last summer. In addition, they each assembled a large rocket of their own. They were tasked with reviewing and preparing the modules, the setting up of two launch sites, and providing guidance for each launch.

Conroy developed the budget and coordinated many of the program activities as well as provided guidance to the other cadets. The advanced rocketry cadets are planning a second launch date later this month to take advantage of larger rocket engines and to test their tracking abilities.



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