NASA Student Launch Club

By by Marisa Schirk '18
NASA Launch Club
Left to right, Jacob Van Brunt '20 (Frederick, MD) and Kyle Abrahims '19 (Spring Grove, PA)

A roar punctuates the air followed by a rush of smoke dusting a line across the sky. Moments later a parachute releases and it touches back to Earth; a rocket soaring over 4,000 feet above you.

This past May, the NASA Student Launch Club launched a rocket at Central Sod Farms in Centreville, MD. Central Sod Farms is part of the Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association, Inc. (MDRA) that supports the education affiliated with engineering rockets. The Club's rocket soared an astounding 4,288 feet in the air. In 2016, the Club was formed by Kyle Abrahims '19 and Adam Cavanaugh '20. Their passion for competing in the NASA Student Launch program in high school inspired them to form the NASA Student Launch Club at YCP with their faculty advisor Tristan Ericson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. MDRA allows the Club to launch their rocket at Central Sod Farms without having to acquire their own Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver if they reach a height of 5,280 feet.

The Club is funded by contributions from businesses and people in the community, including the PA Space Grant Consortium. This marks the first year of the Club with Abrahims as the Team Captain of 15 students. Next April, the Club plans to compete in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) competition in Huntsville, AL. Members also plan­­ to visit the York City School District to teach about STEM education to local schools for the NASA Student Launch program.