The Voice for Industry
|March 11, 2010|
Join the Mile High Club
The Ingraham High School Rocket Club is headed for a national NASA rocket exhibition in Huntsville, Alabama next month and you are going to help them get there.
The club earned its way to the national NASA rocket show by finishing seventh in a nationwide rocket contest last year and by making a successful proposal to NASA to build a rocket for the April exhibition. Only two members of the club were able to attend last year's competition. All 10 club members now have air fare to Huntsville, but they still need $2,500 for the hotel bill.
Seattle Industry is going to pay for the hotel by raising $100 from 25 individuals or companies. Sally Bagshaw, of the Seattle City Council, was the first contributor, followed by the Taylor family at Capital Industries, Terry Seaman at Seidelhuber Ironworks and Bert Cehovet at Washington Chain, with one check from Bert and a matching check from the company. We want to raise the remainder ASAP so the kids can focus on fine tuning the rocket instead of fund raising. Call or email Pam Romine with your donation at 206-762-2470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations are tax deductible. Make checks out to Seattle Industry Foundation. All the money goes to the rocket club. Anything over $2,500 will go toward club activities next year. All contributors, who want to, will be acknowledged in a future issue of Seattle Industry.
The club is coached by Ingraham HS science teacher Peter Schurke who made contact with us through the Manufacturing Industrial Council, publisher of Seattle Industry. The MIC is engaged in a number of efforts to support local schools and Schurke called to see if the MIC could help him find someone to help the club design and create the rocket's sensor package.
The sensor package will measure the rocket's yaw, pitch and roll, creating data that can be downloaded to a computer so the students can analyze the effectiveness of onboard gyroscopes to help stabilize flight characteristics of the rocket. The sensor package is the scientific "payload" carried by the rocket and it's waaaaay complicated.
The MIC contacted Tina Meadows, an electrical engineer at Ederer Crane, to see if she could help out. She did and the kids were able to create a sensor package that worked. "Tina was really fantastic," Schurke said. "She's someone who really knows her stuff and she could tell the kids what they were doing right, and what they were doing wrong, and what they needed to do next."
The students are also assisted by Carl Hamilton, a Google employee who volunteers as a club mentor through the National Association of Rocketry. The engine for the rocket was donated by Puget Sound Propulsions.
Students worked on the rocket throughout the winter and on March 6th, they traveled to the town of Mansfield, north of Wenatchee, in eastern Washington to test launch the rocket at a shooting range surrounded by miles of fallow wheat fields and a few remaining snow fields. Mansfield's mayor, Tom Snell, a retired wheat farmer, gives the club permission to conduct test launches, a fairly significant contribution to the cause since many local governments might not have the guts to do such a thing.
The club's NASA rocket is far larger and more sophisticated than any it has built before.
It is 10 feet tall, it weighs 14 pounds and it is equipped to achieve NASA's performance goals of traveling at least one mile into the air and returning safely to the ground with no damage to the rocket or the payload. That requires horsepower, an electronic system to determine altitude attained, and a parachute system for the descent.
The rocket is equipped with two parachutes that are deployed by small, controlled black powder blasts linked to altimeters that determine when the chutes should burst out. The rocket is also designed to separate into two sections that will fall to the earth while connected by a cord.
As the students assembled the rocket at the test site, it turned out the entire electronics system would not work. Dead. Nada. After about two hours of trial and error, they got the system working.
The rocket took off with a robust "whoosh" and an orange tail flame, achieving an altitude of 5,978 feet in 19 seconds and disappearing beyond eye sight. Puffs of clouds in the blue sky signaled deployment of the first parachute and the rocket dividing into pieces. The second parachute failed to deploy, and the rocket landed faster than it should have, resulting in some scuffs but no real damage.
Schurke said the club figured out what went wrong with the parachute and they are now making changes as they prepare the rocket for Huntsville. Only 20 clubs are invited to the NASA event. You can help Seattle's entry get there by donating $100.
Check Seattle Industry for updates.
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Rain cancels I-5 construction work in Fife
Crews cancelled weather-dependent work shifting southbound I-5 onto new pavement scheduled for March 10 due to a poor forecast with a high chance of rain. When a drier weather opportunity appears, crews plan on completing striping and barrier removal and will shift southbound traffic into new pavement that ultimately becomes the first I-5 HOV lanes in Pierce County. That opportunity could come as soon as this weekend, March 12 – 13.
WSDOT recently completed widening a 1.5-mile segment of median from Port of Tacoma Road to 54th Avenue East. Shifting I-5 traffic into the median area allows widening activities to begin on the outside shoulder and on- and off-ramps. Widening I-5 accommodates new HOV lanes.
A similar shift for northbound I-5 traffic is scheduled next week. Widening in the median from north of 54th Avenue East to the King County line continues through May 2010.
US 97A, SR14
Dog Mountain Area Closure:
March 10 - June 14
SR 14 just east of the Dog Mountain Trailhead (mile post 54) will be closed from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
June 15 - September 2
SR 14 just east of the Dog Mountain Trailhead (mile post 54) will be closed in two-hour intervals between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week:
Before 7 a.m. - OPEN to single-lane traffic with automated signal
7 a.m. to 9 a.m. - CLOSED
9 a.m. to 10 a.m. - OPEN to single-lane traffic with automated signal
10 a.m. to noon - CLOSED
Noon to 1 p.m. - OPEN to single-lane traffic with automated signal
1 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CLOSED
3 p.m. to 4 p.m. - OPEN to single-lane traffic with automated signal
4 p.m. to 6 p.m. - CLOSED
6 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day - OPEN to single-lane traffic with automated signal
White Salmon Area Closure:
Starting March 15, SR 14 just east of the SR 141 Alternate (mile post 64) will be closed between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., seven days a week for no more than 30 working days.
More info: www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/SR14/RockfallMitigationWhiteSalmon
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