Georgia Squadron Sends Rockets Soaring Skyward
Rocket science was the theme for the day when 22 cadets and one adult member of the Georgia Wing’s Gwinnett County Composite Squadron launched the high-power projectiles they’d assembled as part of Civil Air Patrol’s rocketry program, marking the culmination of months of hard work, dedication, and meticulous preparation.
The cadets carried out the rocketry project under the guidance of Jorge Blanco, president of Southern Area Rocketry. They built the rockets with state-of-the-art "H" motors to power their creations skyward.
Launch Day came after months devoted to various aspects of rocketry, both in theory and in practice. Classroom training sessions provided vital knowledge about the intricacies of rocket design.
Computer simulations ensured stability and optimal performance, enabling the cadets to fine-tune their designs and address any potential issues before flight.
The goal was for each cadet to construct and launch a high-power rocket while attaining their junior Level 1 rocketry certification.
That required demonstrating their understanding of rocketry principles and passing the National Association of Rocketry Junior Level 1 Certification Test.
As the parachutes gently deployed after launching, returning the rockets to Earth, the cadets were met with jubilant cheers and applause from their fellow squadron members, instructors, and family members.
After their successful launches, all 22 cadets earned their Civil Air Patrol Rocketry Badge, with seven attaining Level 1 rocketry certification.
"We couldn't be prouder of these young individuals," said Capt. Liza Montalvo, Gwinnett County Composite commander.
"Their commitment and dedication have truly paid off. Not only have they successfully built and flown their rockets, but they have also expanded their knowledge and skills in the field of aerospace.
“This accomplishment is a testament to their hard work and the guidance they received from Mr. Blanco and our dedicated team of instructors," Montalvo said.
Cadet Col. Matthew Bright and his father, Capt. Michael Bright, both earned Level 1 High Power certification with their rockets’ successful flight. Both are recipients of Civil Air Patrol’s top cadet honor, the Gen. Carl A. Spaatz Award.
Capt. Bright is the squadron's aerospace education officer.