New Site rocket team 'devastated' after its 'worst flight'

NEW SITE – Members of the New Site Rocket Team returned to school Tuesday with disappointing results from last weekend’s National Team America Rocketry Challenge in Manassas, Va.
The team was “devastated” by “the worst flight we ever had,” said team sponsor Ester Potts, a New Site High School physics teacher.
But their spirits were renewed a bit when they were singled out for another special honor.
The team was unable to meet the criteria for the 2011 challenge – to launch a cardboard rocket carrying a raw egg, lying horizontally in the rocket, to a height of 750 feet, with the flight lasting 45 seconds, and land the rocket with the egg unbroken using a 15-inch parachute.
“We had just unloaded our rocket and there was a malfunction,” Potts said. “The rocket didn’t reach the required height and when it came down the egg broke. We found out the engine had broken in transport, and the officials didn’t check it before the team set up.”
In each of the three years New Site has participated in the event, the school’s teams have made it to the national competition near Washington, D.C. This year, it was the only Mississippi team to make it that far.
Despite the results, New Site’s team was one of five or six teams selected to be part of a video to promote the 10th anniversary of the Team America Rocketry Challenge.
The six members of New Site’s rocket team – senior Tyler Johnson and juniors Destinie Duckworth, Courtney Morgan, Alex Ward, Katie Williams and Josette Thornton – took part in the Team America Rocketry Challenge video that will be shown to aerospace industry executives.
“That’s a really big honor to be chosen for that,” Potts said, “so they were a little more upbeat after that.”
Contact Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@journalinc.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal