Wallops Island, Va. - A Terrier-Improved Orion rocket successfully launched from Wallops Island this morning. The rocket carried experiments from the seventh annual RockOn! workshop. The week-long workshop provided 61 community college and university students and instructors the opportunity to learn how to build a scientific payload for a suborbital rocket flight.
Their experiments, built in only three days, flew to nearly 70 miles in altitude, the payload carrying the experiments then landed in the Atlantic Ocean where it will be recovered. The participants are expected to have their experiments in hand later in the day to begin data analysis.
In addition to the RockOn! experiments, a group of more complex experiments from the RockSat-C program also will be flying on the sounding rocket. These experiments are developed by students, many of whom have participated in a previous RockOn! workshop, from Mitchell Community College, Statesville, North Carolina; West Virginia University, Morgantown; Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin; Temple University, Philadelphia; and Howard University in Washington.
"The RockOn! and RockSat-C programs are part of an effort to expand students' skills in developing experiments for spaceflight," said Chris Koehler, director of the Colorado Space Grant Consortium." These two programs, coupled with RockSat-X, which requires an even more advanced skillset, will help prepare these students for future careers in the aerospace industry and at NASA."
In addition, more than 100 small cubes carrying experiments developed by pre-college students will launch with RockSat-C as part of the Cubes in Space program. Experiments vary from measuring changes in the electromagnetic field as the experiment moves through the ionosphere to determine whether the nano-computers would survive spaceflight, to observing the changes to the properties of a marshmallow as a result of the intense g-force of the launch. Cubes in Space is a partnership between Rubik Learning Initiative, idoodlesoftware inc. and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.