With a series of practice launches on a nearby golf course, the Green Vale Rocket Club has gained valuable experience in order to refine their rockets in hopes of qualifying for the Team America Rocketry Competition (TARC) in Washington DC this spring. For this year's contest, the flight duration goal is 41-43 seconds, the payload is two raw hen's eggs which must land intact, and the altitude performance goal is 800 feet.
Under mostly favorable conditions, i.e. low wind, each Green Vale "team within the team" was able to test their rocket multiple times, collecting valuable flight data suggesting how the rocket might need tweaking. For example, one rocket needed to overcome too much drag to gain the target altitude of 800 feet, so the team set about to redesign it with a more powerful motor. While two test flights landed in trees and a fin or two were damaged, supervisor Peter Zaloom attests that "this is the nature of flying high powered rockets." One team flew a near-perfect flight (799 feet/41 seconds) for an exceptional score of "1", making qualification for TARC a strong possibility.