3..2...1...Blast Off At Clarkson University

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It took just under two seconds for the 7 foot tall, 24 pound rocket to lift off before reaching nearly a half mile in altitude at a speed close to 350 miles per hour and before tumbling back to the ground when a parachute malfunctioned.

But for the team of Clarkson students who built it, the launch meant a lot more than just modern rocket science.

"We actually have an on-board computer system and that controls all the ignition as well as the decent system," said aeronautical engineering major Matthew Kane.

The rocket's design and construction was the culmination of more than a year of work and hundreds of hours of planning and hands-on skills as part of a senior project by Kane and Conor Cullinane, both aeronautical engineering majors.

The Clarkson students took a childhood passion for model rockets and elevated it to a new height. 
 
"This project started as a class project and then we developed it into something we could actually build," said Cullinane.
 
The battery-powered rocket uses seven igniters that will help lift it to its altitude in the sky.
 
"You can't teach that kind of thing on a blackboard. You have to have the kids experience it," said Ken Visser, Clarkson University professor.
                                                       
Preparing for the launch was a team effort that put the students' engineering skills to the test.
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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