Big blast-off at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center


5,000. That’s how many rockets were set to go off at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Tuesday morning.

On the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch, the U.S. Space & Rocket Center attempted to make history with a world record attempt for the most rockets launched at the same time. The previous record was under 4,000.

USSRC says the event was possible through the efforts of volunteers, 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.

Preparations and testing started months ago with a 300 rocket test launch. That went smoothly and paved the way for the big blast-off. People from all over showed up to see history in the making, including one couple from Utah.

Couple comes all the way from Utah to see WORLD RECORD ROCKET LAUNCH!

Posted by WZDX Huntsville on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Some facts about the rockets:
– They were Estes Pathfinder rockets, 15″ long, weighing 1.4oz total with 2.6 grams of propellant each. Materials: paper with plastic fins and nose cone.
– Rockets were mounted on 8×8 wood frames, each holding 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.
– Estimated crowd: 2,500 people
– Standing at the controller to launch the rockets were:
— Col. Al Worden, Apollo 15 command module pilot, who turned the key to prime the rockets
— 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
— Lillian Duran, age 12, five-time Space Camp attendee and a native of Houston, Texas, who flipped the ignition switch. 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.

Local girl scouts also came to see the launch.

Girl Scouts of North Central Alabama are excited for the launch!

Posted by WZDX Huntsville on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Space Camp campers also got a special treat.

We have Julia, from Space Camp excited to see on the launch!

Posted by WZDX Huntsville on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Want to see what 5,000 rockets look like before they launch? Take a look!

A closer look at the rockets !!

Posted by WZDX Huntsville on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The U.S. Space & Rocket Center says that 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.

Check out more from the event on our Facebook page.

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