National Association of Rocketry 
Educator's Newsletter
October 2020
In this issue:

2020 and 2021 The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC)

NAR Scholarship Program, Robert L. Cannon Awards, Extracurricular Activity Grant Awards, and the Gleda M. Estes Scholarship



Space History
Certified by Selfie

Our most recent teacher certified by NAR, Ray Tonchen Jr., asked if he could submit his proof of flight to the committee in a video instead of having a NAR member witness it and sign the form. Since it is more difficult these days to connect with people the video flight certification was a good alternative. The experience worked out so well for Ray, we decided a video launch report can now be a regular option of the narTcert process. The intent of having a NAR member watch the flight was to connect the teacher directly and personally to the rocketry community, but not to make it too much of a hardship to prevent completing the certification as it now may have become. You can still make your flight with an observer for the best value of the program, but if it is your preference you can let your phone camera be the witness and talk your launch to it. Send us a link to your video (if your flight was successful) and you're done. Give us a while to update the instructions on the NAR website https://www.nar.org/educational-resources/welcome-to-nartcert/lets-get-started-in-nartcert/ but you're getting the green light from here if you want to go that way to make narTcert totally online. We're doing what we can to be 'better in this together.'

Aim high! 
Vince Huegele
NAR Education Chairman
2021 The American Rocketry Challenge (TARC)

We've all been cautiously social distancing and limiting our involvement in group events for five months now, and I know in many parts of the US schools (and many other activities) are opening in the "virtual" mode. I hope you have all stayed safe and remained healthy, and this remains a top priority for all of us. But many of our sections have resumed flying, often under very carefully limited conditions, so we believe it is OK to re-open The American Rocketry Challenge.

Just to remind where we are, we are calling this "TARC 2021", but it is really "TARC 2020 restarted". We hit the "pause" button on TARC 2020 in March due to COVID, about a month before the qualification flight deadline, and we are now restarting it under a new name. The rules are exactly the same (only with new dates) as TARC 2020 (your flight goal is to have your rocket go up 800 feet and then land safely within 41-43 seconds after liftoff...If you need a quick refresher, be sure to download the rules from our website) so all the work teams did up through March simply carries over -- You should be well ahead of the game now for TARC 2021, even if you cannot re-convene and work in person or even fly for a few more months! 

All team registrations for TARC 2020 carry over with no new payments into TARC 2021. We are asking teams to go into the TARC registration portal and update their roster of members as well as indicate they are still active. From there, you will be able to visit our Rocket Contest Portal edit your roster and add/drop any students. Please note, even if you do not need to make any changes, you will still need to login to the portal and submit your registration so we know you are still competing. We are also welcoming new teams to register for TARC 2021.

2020 Virtual Contests
During the months since the March shut-down, we have been holding a series of optional "virtual" competitions for TARC 2020 teams, all with significant cash prizes. These attracted a lot of entries, and the entries were really good. Check out these competitions and the winners on the TARC website.

Mentoring is going to be a different kind of challenge for us, with many of the teams scattered away from their schools and working together online. I suspect we'll all be doing a lot of "Zoom" or other forms of online virtual mentoring rather than indoor, in-person sessions. There are a LOT of how-to resources for teams on the TARC website's "Resources" page; in addition, we will be offering some online live coaching webinar sessions. 

When it's time to fly, please follow all local health safety (and fire safety in many areas) requirements for outdoor activities and only do what you are comfortable with personally and what your section is willing to support. Hopefully by Spring, when the new qualification flight deadline approaches, we'll all be in a better situation.

NAR 4322 L3
TARC Manager
NAR Scholarship Program, Robert L. Cannon Award, and Extracurricular Activity Grant Awards

Did you know that if you are a NAR member between the ages of 17 and 22 attending college or a vocational school that you may be eligible to receive a scholarship?

Are you a teacher or educator who uses model rocketry in the classroom? You are welcome to apply for a $500 grant to use in your program. 

In 2001, the NAR's scholarship and Robert L. Cannon educational awards were inaugurated.  Since 2010, we have awarded up to ten $500 Cannon grants and ten scholarships per year.  

In 2015, a new program, the NAR Extracurricular Activity Grant (EAG) was initiated to provide up to ten $500 grants for after-school activities, such as rocket clubs, scout, Civil Air Patrol, 4-H, or NAR section programs involving model rocketry. TARC teams are not eligible for these awards. 

The deadline for applications is June 1st. 

All of these programs are ongoing. See http://www.nar.org/educational-resources/nar-scholarship-program-and-robert-l-cannon-award/ for details on how to apply. If you have questions concerning either program, please contact Claude Maina via [email protected] for the Cannon/EAG Awards or Mark Wise via [email protected] for the Scholarship program. 

The Solar System Ambassadors Program
The Solar System Ambassadors Program is a public outreach program designed to work with motivated volunteers across the nation. These volunteers communicate the excitement of JPL's space exploration missions and information about recent discoveries to people in their local communities.
The Solar System Ambassadors Program builds on and expands the outstanding efforts undertaken by the Galileo mission since 1997. Because of the success of the original Galileo Ambassadors program, JPL missions exploring Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Asteroids, Comets, Earth, the Sun and the Universe now come together to expand the program's scope to the Solar System and beyond.
To arrange for a Solar System Ambassador event in your community, click on Meet the Ambassador, select your state or territory and review the entries. Ambassadors furnish short biographical statements for the purpose of detailing their areas of interest and expertise. Following the biography is a list of past events conducted by the Ambassador to further aid in decision making. Inquiries about an Ambassador's availability should be made by sending an email directly to the individual.

Check the "Calendar of Events" section as well to see if an Ambassador event will be occurring in your local community.

Uses Model Rocketry for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
Rocketry is one of the most enjoyable projects 4-H has to offer. 4-H and the National Association of Rocketry have formed a partnership to help students learn about model rocketry and STEM.
Civil Air Patrol

Promotes and Supports Aerospace Education  
CAP educational programs (for its own members and the general public) help prepare American citizens to meet the challenges of a sophisticated aerospace society and understand its related issues. CAP and the national Association of rocketry have formed a partnership to help students learn about model rocketry and STEM.

National Standards-based Products
CAP offers national standards-based educational products, including a secondary textbook, Aerospace: The Journey of Flight, and the middle-school-level Aerospace Dimensions. Aerospace Education Members can get classroom materials and lesson plans from CAP.
NASA Makes Finding Teaching Materials Easy

NASA's Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is the best way to locate NASA educational resources.
NASA's Adventures in Rocket Science Educator's Guide
This guide contains 25 activities designed for 4-H Clubs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, after-school programs, and other informal education venues. Participants learn about the history and principles of rocketry and NASA's newest rockets -- Ares I and Ares V. While doing these hands-on activities, participants also learn about Hero Engines, parachutes and surface area, altitude tracking, and Newton's Laws Of Motion. Learners can also build four types of rockets and two types of egg drops. Take a look at the Adventures in Rocket Science Guide!
National Association of Rocketry (NAR) offers Teachers and Youth Group Leaders Resources
Several years ago the NAR and Aerospace Industries Association produced a one-hour instructional video "How to Build and Fly a Model Rocket" in support of student teams in the Team America Rocketry Challenge student rocket contest. Originally only available in DVD format, this useful resource and much more are now available.

TIP--Planning Considerations: 
While model rocketry offers a rich set of learning experiences, teachers should keep a few items in mind as they plan and conduct lessons.

Construction Safety

Be aware that many children have never used an X-acto knife or equivalent. It is best to hold a separate learning session on knife safety rather than during a model building session. Another alternative for untrained youth is to completely eliminate the need for a hobby knife during the build or have an adult pre-cut parts needing a hobby knife before the session begins. If you do choose to have students use hobby knives, limit the number being used at any given time and closely supervise their use.

Launch Safety

Model rocketry was created in the late 1950's as a means by which non-professional individuals could build and fly their own rocket powered models. The hobby was structured to safely pursue an activity that has a potential for personal injury and property damage. The use of manufactured motors to minimize the mixing and handling of propellants was a major factor in model rocketry's safety success. Safety procedures for the construction and operation of the models, based on aerospace industry practices, were another factor in this excellent safety record.

The primary safety officers are the Range Safety Officer (RSO) and the safety check-in officer. The RSO is responsible for safe operation of the rocketry range. The safety check-in officer is responsible for verification of the vehicle flight-worthiness. He will inspect the vehicles for structural integrity, systems condition (e.g. recovery system, motor restraint), motor certification, and dynamic properties (e.g. center of gravity, center of pressure). 

NAR Sections all over the country hold numerous sport launches each year, at which you are welcome to come fly. The Section takes care of providing the permits, field, launch equipment, and range organization and safety; just bring your rockets, motors, and flight supplies and join in the fun! With sport launches accounting for over twelve million rocket flights every year nationwide, the NAR offers a number of services for the sport modeler.
Civil Air Patrol

Aerospace Library  
Dedicated to promoting and sharing Aviation, Air Force, CAP & NASA History, the folks at the Civil Air Patrol have put together a fantastic library of rocketry resources! Check it out!

Aerospace/STEM Education Products
Additionally, take a closer look at their Model Rocketry Guidebook!
Space History:
4 October 1957: The Soviet Union inaugurates the "Space Age" with its launch of Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite. The spacecraft, named Sputnik after the Russian word for "satellite," was launched at 10:29 p.m. Moscow time from the Tyuratam launch base in the Kazakh Republic. 

Sputnik had a diameter of 22 inches and weighed 184 pounds and circled Earth once every hour and 36 minutes. Traveling at 18,000 miles an hour, its elliptical orbit had an apogee (farthest point from Earth) of 584 miles and a perigee (nearest point) of 143 miles. Visible with binoculars before sunrise or after sunset, Sputnik transmitted radio signals back to Earth strong enough to be picked up by amateur radio operators. Those in the United States with access to such equipment tuned in and listened in awe as the beeping Soviet spacecraft passed over America several times a day. In January 1958, Sputnik's orbit deteriorated, as expected, and the spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere.

Officially, Sputnik was launched to correspond with the International Geophysical Year, a solar period that the International Council of Scientific Unions declared would be ideal for the launching of artificial satellites to study Earth and the solar system. However, many Americans feared more sinister uses of the Soviets' new rocket and satellite technology, which was apparently strides ahead of the U.S. space effort. Sputnik was some 10 times the size of the first planned U.S. satellite, which was not scheduled to be launched until the next year. The U.S. government, military, and scientific community were caught off guard by the Soviet technological achievement, and their united efforts to catch up with the Soviets heralded the beginning of the "Space Race."
7 November 1967: Surveyor 6 was the sixth lunar lander of the American unmanned Surveyor program to reach the surface of the Moon.

Launched November 7, 1967, it landed on November 10, 1967.  Surveyor 6 landed on the Sinus Medii. Mass on landing: 299.6 kg (660.5 lb). A total of 30,027 images were transmitted to Earth.

This spacecraft was the fourth of the Surveyor series to successfully achieve a soft landing on the moon, obtain post landing television pictures, determine the abundance of the chemical elements in the lunar soil, obtain touchdown dynamics data, obtain thermal and radar reflectivity data, and conduct a Vernier engine erosion experiment.

Virtually identical to Surveyor 5, this spacecraft carried a television camera, a small bar magnet attached to one footpad, and an alpha-scattering instrument as well as the necessary engineering equipment. 

It landed on November 10, 1967, in Sinus Medii, 0.49 degree in latitude and 1.40 degree w longitude (selenographic coordinates) - the center of the moon's visible hemisphere. This spacecraft accomplished all planned objectives. The successful completion of this mission satisfied the Surveyor program's obligation to the Apollo project. On November 24, 1967, the spacecraft was shut down for the 2 week lunar night. Contact was made on December 14, 1967, but no useful data were obtained.

Lunar soil surveys were completed using photographic and alpha particle back- scattering methods. A similar instrument, the APXS, was used onboard several Mars missions. 

In a further test of space technology Surveyor 6's engines were restarted and burned for 2.5 seconds in the first Lunar liftoff on November 17 at 10:32 UTC. This created 150 lbf (700 N) of thrust and lifted the vehicle 12 feet (4 m) from the Lunar surface. After moving west 8 ft (2.5 m) the spacecraft was once again successfully soft landed. The spacecraft continued functioning as designed.
16 November 1973: Skylab 4 was the last Skylab mission.
Gerald Carr, William Pogue, and Edward Gibson arrived aboard Skylab to find that they had company - three figures dressed in flight suits. Upon closer inspection, they found their companions were three dummies, complete with Skylab 4 mission emblems and name tags which had been left there by Al Bean, Jack Lousma, and Owen Garriott at the end of Skylab 3.

The all-rookie astronaut crew had problems adjusting to the same workload level as their predecessors when activating the workshop. Things got off to a bad start after the crew attempted to hide one astronaut's early space sickness from flight surgeons, a fact discovered by mission controllers after downloading onboard voice recordings. The crew's initial task of unloading and stowing the thousands of items needed for their lengthy mission also proved to be overwhelming. The schedule for the activation sequence dictated lengthy work periods with a large variety of tasks to be performed, and the crew soon found themselves tired and behind schedule.

As the activation of Skylab progressed, the astronauts complained of being pushed too hard. Ground crews disagreed; they felt that the astronauts were not working long enough or hard enough. During the course of the mission, this culminated in a radio conference to air frustrations. Following this, the workload schedule was modified, and by the end of their mission the crew had completed even more work than had been planned before launch. The experiences of the crew and ground controllers provided important lessons in planning subsequent manned spaceflight work schedules.

On Thanksgiving Day, Gibson and Pogue accomplished a 6 and a half hour spacewalk. The first part of their spacewalk was spent replacing film in the solar observatory. The remainder of the time was used to repair a malfunctioning antenna. The crew reported that the food was good, but slightly bland. The crew would have preferred to use more condiments to enhance the taste of the food. The amount of salt they could use was restricted for medical purposes. The quantity and type of food consumed was rigidly controlled because of their strict diet.
Seven days into their mission, a problem developed in the Skylab attitude control gyroscope system, which threatened to bring an early end to the mission. Skylab depended upon three large gyroscopes, sized so that any two of them could provide sufficient control and maneuver Skylab as desired. The third acted as a backup in the event of failure of one of the others. The gyroscope failure was attributed to insufficient lubrication. Later in the mission, a second gyroscope showed similar problems, but special temperature control and load reduction procedures kept the second one operating, and no further problems occurred.
The crew spent many hours studying the Earth. Carr and Pogue alternately manned controls, operating the sensing devices which measured and photographed selected features on the Earth's surface. The crew also made solar observations, recording about 75,000 new telescopic images of the Sun. Images were taken in the X-ray, ultraviolet, and visible portions of the spectrum.
As the end of their mission drew closer, Gibson continued his watch of the solar surface. On January 21, 1974, an active region on the Sun's surface formed a bright spot which intensified and grew. Gibson quickly began filming the sequence as the bright spot erupted. This film was the first recording from space of the birth of a solar flare.

On December 13, the crew sighted Comet Kohoutek and trained the solar observatory and hand-held cameras on it. They gathered spectra on it using the Far Ultraviolet Camera /Spectrograph. They continued to photograph it as it approached the Sun. On December 30, as it swept out from behind the Sun, Carr and Gibson spotted it as they were performing a spacewalk.

The crew also photographed the Earth from orbit. Despite instructions not to do so, the crew (perhaps inadvertently) photographed Area 51, causing a minor dispute between various government agencies as to whether the photographs showing this secret facility should be released. In the end, the picture was published along with all others in NASA's Skylab image archive, but remained unnoticed for years.

Skylab 4 completed 1,214 Earth orbits and four EVAs totaling 22 hours, 13 minutes. They traveled 34.5 million miles (55,500,000 km) in 84 days, 1 hour and 16 minutes in space.
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