Model rockets launched to honor moon landing anniversary

Launching a model rocket at Wall High School on Saturday were [from left] Molly Estey, of Maryland, Alice Johnson of Wall, and Peter Smith of New York. PHOTO BY DANIELLA HEMINGHAUS

WALL TOWNSHIP – On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to step foot on the moon. On Saturday, 50 years later, some space enthusiasts gathered for a celebratory rocket launch event at Wall High School.

The Central New Jersey Area Rocketry Society [CENJARS] hosted the launch event at the high school’s athletic field complex. Despite temperatures in the high 90s, more than 50 people stopped by to build and launch their own rockets.

“We really didn’t have a good feel for how many people heard about it … and to have this many people come out … that’s spectacular. That’s why we do this,” said CENJARS President Charlie Kirlew.

Rocket kits for the event were donated from the Academy of Model Aeronautics [AMA] and Estes Rockets, allowing attendees to build and design their own rockets.

Mr. Kirlew himself showed off some of his unique rockets, one designed from coffee cups and another designed from a Halloween craft item and turned into a Christmas-themed rocket top.

“I like the challenge of making something and have it work. I also like watching what other people do with it; we all have different interests. Some people stay to the lower power rockets, some like the higher power rockets. Some do basic decoration for rockets, others do extremely detailed [rockets].”

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