Now that IS Rocket Science!

On Tuesday 30th November the ‘Skybolt’ (9m, 30ft) rocket arrived at Walkden High. The rocket arrived on a truck and was raised to a ‘launch’ position. Skybolt is one of 2 rockets built by the British company ‘StarChaser Industries’ in an attempt to develop space tourism. Their larger ‘Nova’ rocket is the only commercial space rocket to have launched from the UK mainland (Morecombe Bay).

StarChaser then worked with a mixed group of pupils from Discovery Club (who arranged the activity) and Mr Toogood’s year 9 and 10 Astronomy classes. During the day pupils had talks on the company and an introduction to Rocket engine design including a ‘whizz-bang’ style presentation. 

The 80 pupils involved then spent the rest of the day building their own 0.5m high rockets equipped with parachutes and a solid fuel rocket engine. At the end of the day these were launched from the back field where they achieved average heights of 100m or 330ft. Parachutes then deployed as planned and the rockets returned to Earth after flight times of up to 33 seconds.

The day was thoroughly enjoyed by staff and pupils alike and the sight of the rocket parked in the snow covered car park was an inspiration which sent a buzz around school infecting even those not directly involved.

The rocket team whose rocket stayed aloft longest won a special prize of StarChaser Astronaut mission patches.

Here are the photographs from our Flickr photo set:

Videos from our YouTube channel are shown below:

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