School wins NASA rocket challenge

Published Friday, 23 March 2012
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Pupils from a special school just outside Belfast have topped a Northern Ireland-wide competition and have the chance for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to NASA.

The challenge was to design, construct and successfully launch a rocket, carrying two raw medium size hen's eggs.

The rocket had to reach an altitude of 800ft and weigh no more than 650 grams, and return the eggs safely to ground within 43-47 seconds using a single 15 inch parachute only.

The team from Longstone Special School in Dundonald beat others from Victoria College and St Dominic's in Belfast, Lisneal College in Derry and Our Lady's in Newry to become the UK Aerospace Youth Rocketry champions.

Mark Brockbank, Teacher from Longstone Special School said: "We are delighted to win the NI Rocket Challenge today - the students are buzzing with joy.

"It has been real engineering challenge and a lot of fun at the same time."

The rocket built by the team from Longstone reached an incredible 796 feet, and that means they are through to the next round of the competition, where they will be pitted against teams from the US, France and Japan.

If they win there, the team will be jetting off on an all-expenses paid trip to NASA in America.

© UTV News
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