Two UI students headed to rocket school in Norway, hope to make it a yearly trip

Published: Jan. 16, 2018 at 6:35 PM CST
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For the first time, two University of Iowa students are going to Norway for Rocket School.

It could serve as the launching pad for some long term benefits for both the students and the university. Lots of kids grow up wishing they could launch rockets. UI sophomore Hannah Gulick and junior Josh Larson get to actually do it.

"So to be able to experience something like a rocket campaign that takes 15 years normally in four days is invaluable experience that I will have," said Gulick.

Canada and Norway have held the rocket school for years. Teams of students work together to launch a rocket that will collect data on the atmospheric and magnetic fields.

"Being able to experience the way people work in different countries will help me then to either get jobs here or get jobs even in another country," said Gulick.

Most rocket launches take years of planning. Rocket school does it in just four days with the help of pre-designed rockets.

"Cramming it all into four days is kind of a crazy challenge," said Larson.

"They physically build the hardware, they integrate the hardware on the rocket and then they staff all the positions on the rocket range including being the person who presses the button and launches the rocket," said Professor David Miles with the University of Iowa Physics and Astronomy Department.

"The hope is that we get a great experience out of this but also that we're able to bring back what we did and show the university that it was worth it and maybe we can send more students for years to come," said Larson.

The University is paying for the week-long trip and is applying for a federal grant to hopefully turn it into a yearly opportunity.