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2017-05-18

Rocket launches at Fredericksburg this weekend

Contributed

The public is invited to visit “Rockets 2017” this weekend near Fredericksburg TX and watch Texas high school rocketeers launch more than 80 rockets May 18-21.

These students, who are in the SystemsGo STEM program, will launch on Stewart Ranch at Willow City, Texas, near Fredericksburg.

The public is welcome and admission is free, but anyone attending is required to register in advance by going to www.systemsgo.org. Registration is also available at the gate.
Food and restroom facilities will be available. Direction signs will be posted.

The event will also be livestreamed. Information, directions to the sites, launch schedules, and streaming links are posted at www.systemsgo.org.

These multi-day launch events are the culmination of the SystemsGo program, now offered in high schools across Texas and New Mexico. The student teams design and build 8-10 foot tall models that mount on launch towers. First-level students attempt to loft a one-pound payload one mile high. Second-generation projects send rockets past the speed of sound.

While launch times will vary depending on weather and student preparation, rockets are scheduled to go up during daylight hours. The area is considered an experimental testing range. Mobility will be limited, access will be controlled, and visitors need to be aware that this is the first flight of all rockets.

The SystemsGo Aeroscience program started in Fredericksburg High School in 1996 under the direction of teacher Brett Williams. Williams had students build and launch rockets as a way to develop skills and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program has been featured on NBC Nightly News, is endorsed by NASA and certified by The Space Foundation.