The Vanguard School has several students who are budding rocket scientists. The two primary programs are "TARC" (Team America Rocketry Challenge) and NASA's "SLI" (Student Launch Initiative).
In 2012, we had three teams and 17 students participating in TARC, the most ever. Two of the teams reprogrammed an existing open-source flight computer to eliminate variables in motor thrust typically found in “hobby motors” we use in TARC. If we can get this strategy to work, it should give us a leg up on the competition. The third team decided to go with the KISS principal, and focus on finding the most consistent motor. Our work and flights are fully documented here.
The 2011, The Vanguard School TARC team was all-new, with all-Vanguard School members and had an exciting qualification flight using a rocket that was duct taped together (FreshInk article here)
. The motors they were stuck with at finals had very poor consistency, but the fully documented story is here, along with a video of the Finals flight (flight 36) at the bottom of the page.
In 2010, we had two students from The Vanguard School, but the primary students were from other schools. The team did well with altitude, but our best qualification attempt hit a massive thermal and the recovery time was very long. It is shocking to watch a streamer-recovery egg bay stop in mid-air: scroll to the bottom of this page and watch flight 37.
We did not qualify for Finals.
The 2009, our TARC team qualified to go to Finals (FreshInk story here).
The only other team in Colorado to qualify was from Mitchell High School. The fully documented season is here.
We struggled with the amount of ballast and the effects of wind at Finals. We reduced the weight to account for weathercocking into the wind, but the rocket flew straight up, so it was very high.
We placed FIFTH in the 2008 TARC National Finals. Click here to read an article documenting their amazing story
. Their achievement was recognized by the Colorado Springs Rocket Society...click here to read all about it
Team "SG-1" also has their own Web site...click here to visit Vanguard's 2008-2009 Student Launch Initiative Team page
In January 2009, Vanguard's success was reported on as a feature story by Colorado Springs television station KOAA (News 5), with reporter Andy Koen documenting the team's achievements and the student's future goals, which included a trip to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama in April 2009 to demonstrate their rocket design. Check out the KOAA 5 newscast.
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