The NASA Student Launch Team had to roll out of bed at 3:30 a.m. to ready their rocket in the dark as they prepared for launch. When the team launched their rocket into the crisp early morning blue skies and calm winds at Bragg Farms outside of Huntsville, Alabama, they had hoped for a smooth flight up to 5280 feet and a gentle parachute-aided, soft landing. This is exactly what they got as the team bested 19 high school teams from around the country.
The Team's rocket flew great, taking off like a bullet in a burst of bright red flames soaring to a height of 4791 feet. At apogee, the point where the rocket is arching over, the drogue parachute deployed on cue. Dane Dahlinghaus the team’s parachute specialists said, "the parachutes are the most beautiful part of the whole flight.” As the rocket fell to earth at 100 feet per second, the on-board computers deployed the main parachute as programmed at 600 feet above ground level - a perfect flight completed as all members celebrated their accomplishment.
Minster STEM Club was one of twenty high school teams in the country to receive an invitation to participate in the 2013 NASA Student Launch competition.
Team members include: Bella Shurelds, Austin Dwenger, Brooke Monnin, Dane Dahlinghaus, Hannah Kuether, Jessica Berelsman, Kyle Heitkamp, Pierce McGowan, Reid Frick, Trent Carlon, Sam Bornhorst, Carlin Elder, Danielle Monnin, and Nathan Riethman.
Homer Hickam, author of "Rocket Boys" which was made into the movie "October Sky" signed the team rocket.