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Maloney certified in high power rocketry

October 29, 2019

Dr. James Maloney, assistant professor of physics and advisor of the Space Club, launched a high-powered certification rocket in Dixon, Neb. in October.

“The launch event went extremely well,” Maloney said. “My certification flight went off without a hitch and I secured my level 1 high power rocketry certification from the National Association of Rocketry (NAR).”

To be certified you must launch your high-powered rocket and it must make it up and down without the engine falling apart, Maloney explained. These certifications must be conducted by individuals already certified by NAR in person.

The certification enables Maloney to purchase and use rocket motors that exceed the traditional model rocket boundaries, according to the NAR.

The engine for the high-powered rocket is something you would find on a commercial firework, except it doesn’t go “bang” at the end, Maloney shared.

In addition to the launch of Maloney’s high-powered rocket, student Devin Carpenter, a sophomore cyber operations major from Brandon, S.D., launched two low-powered rockets in Dixon with The Heartland Association of Rocketry (THOR).

Carpenter and other students will now work on their certification build to show they can complete a build without blowing it up on the ground. “At that point they can enter regional/national competitions,” Maloney said.

Practicing rocketry gives students experience in engineering, physics, and chemistry, allowing them to apply what they’re learning in the classroom, Maloney added.

Carpenter enjoys building and launching rockets for a few reasons. “I like being able to see a finished result, going from no parts to seeing the final result and if I built it correctly,” he said. “And if it works you can launch it as many times as you want and if it doesn’t it’s still fun to see it go up in flames.”

Carpenter is an officer of the Space Club and a national rep for the club. The Space Club was started in 2018 following the STEM Institute, a program for incoming freshman with STEM interests that focused on space science.  

The club is hosting a low-power rocket launch event and a mid-power rocketry demonstration on Monday, Nov. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. Paul and Andrea Paulman from THOR will be launching several mid-power rockets, while DSU students will be launching low-power rockets. The public event will take place in the parking lot north of the Dakota Prairie Playhouse.

DSU students will launch their own high-powered rocket later this month at a THOR event in Dixon, Neb.