FMS Rocketeers Zeroing In on Nationals

Fishburne Military School Rocket Club on Verge of Recording a Perfect Flight

Monterey, VA — The Fishburne Military School Rocketeers braved a cold day on Saturday to launch their Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) rockets at the Valley AeroSpace Team (VAST)Fishburne Military School (Waynesboro, VA) TARC Team launch site Monterey, Virginia.

The temperature at arrival was 15-degrees farenheit with a 5-knot wind from the south. This was the coldest morning the team has ever launched in but the temperatures did crawl up into the high 20s by the afternoon.

In attendance were cadets Benjamin Corsentino (Clover, SC), Michael Diaz (Providence, RI), Thaddeus Mitchell (Abingdon, VA), Joseph Montoya (Norfolk, VA), and Daniel Watson (Chesapeake, VA). Newcomers Diaz and Corsentino provided a welcome addition to the team and both proved themselves to be quick studies as the team executed a record 7 launches with one as a qualifying launch.

Diaz’s rocket design proved to be the best performer and Corsentino has a similar design under construction. Mitchell and Montoya both proved themselves to be experienced launch personnel with Watson taking the role of logistics recorder, keeping meticulous records of all launches. “If we are going to make it to nationals, these are the rockets that will get us there,” noted Fishburne Military School Rocketry Advisor, CPT Tom Galloway. “In fact, one of the launches was a perfect 800 ft with a perfect flight time of 43 seconds. We have never done that before. There can be no higher score in TARC.”

However, since the Fishburne Rocketeers did not declare that launch as a their quantifying launch, however, it was not counted for TARC.

In hurried anticipation, the Caisson Rocket Men quickly launched again as a declared qualifying launch. They used the same rocket, same mass, and same chutes; but, due to a slight variation in upper level winds, the rocket over-shot the mark by 70 ft … too far off the mark to get into nationals.

“I wonder if this is how Elan Musk felt after losing rockets on the launch pad?” Galloway added.

The Fishburne Military School Rocket Men will have two more chances to get a perfect launch at their next launch on 3-March. Meanwhile, the team has dedicated itself to further  experimentation.

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Fishburne Military School is the oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia. Its college-prep curriculum is built on the structure of an Army JROTC program. FMS has been designated as a JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction and may nominate qualified candidates to the United States Service Academies. Fishburne hosts one of only four Summer JROTC programs in the nation that is accredited by US Army Cadet Command.