Jack already holds seven New Zealand rocket altitude records, and now he’s the inaugural winner of the ‘Arthur Alan Thomas Junior Rocketry Award’ to be presented at the New Zealand Rocketry Association’s annual public launch day held at Taupiri, near Auckland.
Jack started building rockets with his father Tony when he was eight starting with a small rocket kit from a local hobby store. They eagerly built and launched their first rocket (which fired perfectly, but was caught in a tree on descent). They returned to the hobby shop the next day keen to buy a bigger and more powerful rocket.
At 16, Jack is now constructing his own rockets using fibreglass and carbon fibre and filled with sophisticated electronics and propellent. His biggest rocket so far, ‘MARSDEN’ is over four metres tall — and one of the largest amateur rockets to ever fly in New Zealand.
Jack says rocketry has been very helpful with his school work, especially with maths and science needed for his calculations how high and fast his rockets will fly.
Samuel Marsden College continues to support Jack to extend his rocketry and technology skills.
The school allowed Jack to construct a rocket on the school’s 3D printer. The small 3D printed rocket’s launch and test flight were successful and the experiment demonstrated similar construction techniques could be used on a larger scale.
Jack plans to launch his 4m rocket ‘MARSDEN’ — named in honour of Samuel Marsden Collegiate and painted in the school colours — at the NZ Rocketry Association’s national launch day on Sunday 1 February.
Information on the launch is available on: www.nzrocketry.org.nz