Schoolchildren launch 75 rockets as part of Space Week celebrations

The Central Stadium in the city on Sunday turned a virtual launch pad with as many as 75 rockets launched by a group of ‘young scientists’.

A Model Water Rocket Launch programme, conducted by the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in connection with World Space Week, enthralled schoolchildren and gave them an opportunity to build and launch their own water rockets.

Seventy-five groups of students from various schools in the district participated in the programme, inaugurated by Principal Finance Secretary V.P. Joy.

The students were given a water rocket construction kit by the VSSC, which included details of how to design water rockets. The aim of the competition was to promote space propulsion awareness and to familiarise the students with the basics of rocket science. After an hour of skilled designing of rockets, the young scientists gathered for a demo launch where two water rockets prepared by the VSSC were launched.

“All materials used to build the rockets are easily available at home such as plastic bottles and chart papers,” said K.P.Abhilash , Scientist Engineer at VSSC. Thus prepared rockets were taken to the launcher provided by the VSSC and compressed air and water was forced into the bottle. The rockets were scrutinised by the judges prior to the launch.

The team of PSLV 5 was sure it had followed all the rules, but as the countdown for the launch began, the team members waited anxiously. At the count of zero, there was a burst of water beneath the launcher and the rocket zoomed into the sky. “Success”, shouted the team members, who ran to ‘pick up’ their rockets.

The mission was to design the rocket in such a way that it reached the highest altitude for a given specific launch criteria. Though it did not reach the expected height, it was a good experience, said the team from KV, Pattom.