WVU Experimental Rocketry team blasting off for competition

Published: Apr. 4, 2017 at 4:34 PM EDT
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A group of West Virginia University students are blasting off to Las Cruces, New Mexico to compete in an international rocketry competition. They will go against 110 teams from 11 countries by putting their own homemade rocket science to the test.

The small group will travel to New Mexico in June to compete in a five day international competition. The students started the building process in August and the work has been non-stop.

"In the competition some teams can buy parts. You could probably buy everything you need and just glue it together basically and fly it, but everything that you see here we built ourselves starting from basically nothing," said Tim Bear, WVU Senior.

The 12-foot fiber glass rocket is designed to carry nearly 9 pounds of payload 10,000 feet into the sky. This rocket is similar to past designs.

"We haven't changed the design of the outside of the rocket very much and how all of the components inside work. The main thing that changes every year is the motor. That we just did a test on this past weekend which we were very happy with," said Bear.

The scoring is based on the altitude, quality of design, and construction of the rocket. Many of the members said their passion for space started early.

"Every little boy or little girl dreams of being an astronaut, so I guess this is kind of a way for me to channel my inner child," said Cameron Hale, WVU Sophomore.

"I wanted a club that was active and that a freshman could actually participate well and rocketry was the one. It started from there and I have loved it ever since," said Kevin Nadler, WVU Sophomore.

Last year, they set a state record placing 9th against 44 teams. This year they hope to go even further.

"This is only our third year in this competition and it's only the fourth year we have existed as a club. I think this year we have a real shot at winning everything," said Bear.