As part of the celebration surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center hosted an attempt to set a world record with a Global Rocket Launch.
From the Space and Rocket Center:
Facts about the rockets:
We launched Estes Pathfinder rockets that are 15-inches in length, weigh 1.4 ounces total, with 2.6 grams of propellant each. They are made of paper with plastic fins and nose cone.
Each 8-by-8 wooden frame contained 100 rockets. Each frame was wired with e-matches and connected to one of five controllers. Those five controllers were connected to a central control that launched the rockets. The frames were placed in five circles to represent the five F-1 engines that launched the Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 crew to the moon 50 years ago today.
Standing at the controller to launch the rockets were Col. Al Worden, Apollo 15 command module pilot, Brooks Moore, a retired NASA engineer who managed the Instrument Unit that controlled the Saturn V rocket, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director Jody Singer and Lillian Duran, 12. Lillian is a five-time Space Camp attendee and a native of Houston, Texas. Her sister, Penny, 16, is a six-time Space Camp attendee, and her brother, Dexter, 9, has been to Space Camp three times. All are attending Space Camp this week.
Al Worden turned the key to prime the rockets, and Lillian flipped the ignition switch.
We estimate the crowd watching the launch was at least 2,500 people.
Before we can know the exact number of rockets launched and the altitude they reached the onsite Guinness certifying officials must review the video from this morning’s launch. They will then submit the video, the number of rockets launched and video of their inspection process to Guinness. It will be a minimum of 12 to 16 weeks for Guinness to confirm the world record.
A large army of volunteers assisted Rocket Center staff in the Rocket Launch preparation, with 178 volunteers working 696 hours over 13 sessions.
Twenty volunteers worked 75 hours to build the wood frames on which the rockets were placed.