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UW Students Participate in NASA Rocket Launch

July 8, 2009 — Ten University of Wyoming students were among a group of more than 100 university students and instructors from 21 states to participate in the recent successful launch of a NASA suborbital sounding rocket.

The two-stage Terrier-Orion rocket, launched from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, carried the students' experiments to an altitude of 73 miles. The experiments were recovered from the Atlantic Ocean and the students successfully retrieved data from their experiments.

Six UW students participated in the launch: Anthony Allais of Rock Springs, Kyle Fox and Jacob Thatcher of Laramie, Sean King of Casper, Jeff Parkins of Cheyenne and James Richey of Loveland, Colo. Four other students -- Erich Lichtfuss of Loveland, Anne-Marie Suriano of Auburn Hills, Mich., Justin Thornton of Littleton, Colo., and Luke Voss of Laramie -- contributed to the design and fabrication phases of the project.

All UW participants are students in Professor Paul Johnson's rocket science class. UW professors Scott Morton (mechanical engineering) and Stanley Legowski (electrical engineering) consulted with the UW student teams during construction of the experiments.

The student program is conducted in partnership with the Colorado and Virginia Space Grant Consortia with support from NASA. Travel support was provided by the Wyoming NASA Space Grant Consortium, the UW departments of mechanical and electrical engineering and physics and astronomy, the UW Foundation and the UW colleges of Engineering and Applied Science and Arts and Sciences.

University of Wyoming student Justin Thornton of Littleton, Colo., holds the two UW experiments, ready to be mounted in the flight canister.

Posted on Wednesday, July 08, 2009

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