Teen sets record for largest amateur rocket

  • 08/02/2015

A 16-year-old boy from Wellington has broken the record for the largest amateur rocket launched in the country.

History was made at the New Zealand Rocketry Association's public launch day in Taupiri today.

While most 16-year-old boys are infatuated with girls, Jack Davies is looking to make fireworks of a different kind.

The Wellington teen has been rocket-mad since his dad and he bought their first one when he was eight.

"It was one of the most amazing things we'd ever seen, so the next day we went back to the hobby shop to buy a more powerful rocket," says Jack.

He has since launched more than 100 rockets and built more than 40 from scratch, but nothing quite like the Marsden.

"It's the biggest rocket in New Zealand – 4m long, 25cm wide; hope it goes well."

The 800 hours of work that Jack has spent working on the 47kg rocket will only be worth it if the launch is successful.

That would give him the title of largest amateur rocket launched in the country and also certify him to launch an even more powerful rocket in Australia next month.

And while there were other spectacular rockets flying today, the main attraction was also the most dangerous.

With all the checks done, there was only one thing left to do – lift off. The Marsden reached 8383ft (2555m) and peaked at 800km/h.

With one rocket touching down, the rocketier is already getting ready to put the next one up.

"Almost finished building that – same motor but on a rocket that's only the size of the motor, so that'll be three times the speed of sound and 10km/h," says Jack.

With dreams of working at NASA one day, this bright spark has certainly blasting off in the right direction.

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source: newshub archive