NZ rocket boy breaks own record

NZ rocket boy breaks own record

New Zealand's own rocket boy has wowed the crowds once again, breaking his own record that he set last year.

It was part of the Rocketry Association's open day near Taupiri in the Waikato, showcasing all sorts of projectiles to the everyday public.

When Jack Davies successfully launched New Zealand's largest-ever amateur rocket last year there was no hesitation about what to do next – make an even bigger one.

"This year, we're doubling the power. So I've had to make a few modifications – making all the internal work stronger, and getting it to handle the mass of power of this new motor," says Mr Davies.

And what better place to give it a test drive than the New Zealand Rocketry Association Open Day, with plenty of people keen to see what happens when you launch a four-metre-long, 53-kilogram fibreglass tube into the sky?

Mr Davies says it takes a few months' work to put something like that together.

"So after school, working every day, yeah," he says.

Then the big moment – to see whether all the 17-year-old schoolboy's hard work had paid off.

The launch was a success, with the Marsden rocket shooting over 3900 metres into the sky, and reaching a top speed of more than 1100km/h.

It was only one of dozens of projectiles being launched today and turns out you don't have to be a rocket scientist to design and build your own.

"Kids can, and their families can, build a rocket together and launch it. Not many people can do that, so bit of an opportunity of a lifetime for some people," says Gerry Munden from the New Zealand Rocketry Association.

And if you've had problems with bored kids this long weekend, having them get involved with rockets like these could provide solutions for all.

"It would probably launch a teenager to around about 10,000 feet," says Mr Munden.