WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three different teams from the Minster Rocket Club competed in the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) outside of Washington, D.C. The weather was perfect as the three teams had a fabulous day launching rockets.
Team Wildcat No. 1 made up of Kyle Riethman, Craig Monnin and Cory Schulze launched their rocket in the cool 60 degree morning with calm wind. Their rocket launched perfectly into the morning sky as it reached for the newly rising sun. The flight lasted 42 seconds, meeting the exact duration requirement. Upon inspection of the altimeter the team was ecstatic at the altimeter reading blinked out an altitude of 794 feet; six feet from their goal. After their first flight, the team had a score of 6.
Team Wildcat No. 3 made up of Jack Kohne, Caleb Kies, Andrew Kogge, Tristan McDaniel, Lucas Stammen and Eli Rindler launched their rocket at mid-morning as the temperature increased to 67 degrees with calm winds. Their rocket launched perfectly into the bright sky. The flight lasted around 44 seconds, a little over the required duration of 41-43 seconds. Upon inspection of the altimeter the team was optimistic as the altimeter reading blinked out an altitude of 827 feet; twenty seven feet from their goal. After their first flight the team had a score of 33.12.
Team Wildcat No. 2 made up of Nathan Oldiges, Alex Frimel, Owen Barhorst, Logan Kohne, Johnny Nixon and Austin Wellman launched their rocket in the early afternoon as the temperature increased to 73 degrees and winds increased to 4 mph. Their rocket experienced a motor malfunction not igniting fully as their rocket leeped off the pad veering violently to the right only achieving an altitude of 581 feet. Prior to this unfortunate launch, the team had over 20 successful launches. This demonstrates that in rocketry anything can go wrong at any time, and many times it’s out of your control.
With the preliminary round complete, Team WIldcat No. 1 ranked seventh place, Team Wildcat No. 3 ranked 30th place, and Team Wildcat No. 2 ranked 89th place. The top 42 teams advance into the final round for the scholarship money and prizes.
In the final round, the temperature soared to 85 degrees and winds kicked up to 15 mph, very dissimilar that the cool and calm early morning the teams had previously launched in and very different from any launch the teams from Ohio had practiced in back home. The requirements for the final round also change, as teams are now shooting for an altitude of 825 feet and a duration of 42-44 seconds.
On their final launch Team Wildcat No. 1 rocket again launched perfectly into the blazing sun achieving an altitude of 843 feet and a duration around 45 seconds. Finishing with a second round score of 23.92, and a combined score of 29.92.
Team Wildcat No. 3 rocket also launched perfectly achieving an altitude of 787 feet and a duration of 40 seconds. Finishing their second round with a score of 39.64, and a combined score of 72.76
After all the smoke had settled, Team Wildcat No. 1 finished 4th and team Wildcat No. 3 finished 20th in the TARC competition. Team Wildcat No. 1 collected a cash prize of $10,000 plus $1,000 for the sponsor.
Everyone was excited finishing in the top 25 as this earns you the opportunity to submit a proposal to compete in the NASA Student Launch (NSL), the next level in rocket science where you build a high power rocket for NASA. The Minster Rocket Club competed in this event back in 2013.
This was the eighth time a Minster Rocket Club team has competed at the TARC finals. Their prior best finish was 12th place back in 2013. The club began in 2009 under the direction of Ted Oldiges and is sponsored by the Minster Journeyman’s Club.
The members have worked hard for eight months preparing for the TARC competition and it showed.
“They were fabulous! They all knew what needed to be done and how to do it. I am so proud of all the Rocket Club members for the time and dedication they put into getting here. The engineering process can be frustrating through failures and unforeseen circumstances. These team members have worked through these failures and complications to come out stronger and wiser on the other side,” said Ted Oldiges, mentor/adviser.
“The team will not get much time off, as it must prepare for the April 2019 NASA Student Launch where teams must build an 8 to 10 foot rocket that must soar to exactly 5280 feet and perform a scientific experiment. Let the engineering begin!” he said.
For more information about Minster Rocket Club visit www.minsterrocketclub.com, Team America Rockety Challenge visit www.rocketcontest.org, NASA Student Launch visit https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/studentlaunch/home/index.html