Local group celebrates moon landing anniversary with rocket launches

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GRANT TOWN, W.Va.-The West Virginia Rocketry Association celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by launching several rockets made by club members.

Rocketry groups all across the country held commemorative launches in honor of the day astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon on July 20, 1969.

“We’re bringing in the public and club members to build and launch a variety of model rockets, including scale model rockets of the Saturn V. That was the rocket which carried the astronauts to the moon,” said association President Todd Ensign.

Model rocket enthusiasts brought their creations to the launch-including replicas of actual rockets used by NASA. Club member John Nass, Jr. has been building models since 1965 and says he enjoys it because of its appeal to a wide variety of people.

“Model rocketry is a hobby for both young and old, female and male. It’s not exclusively a boy’s kind of hobby. A lot of girls, young women, have always been involved in it. And again, it’s a hobby that anyone can participate in,” said Nass Jr.

Fellow club member Darby Criss used her experience with rocketry to get an internship at NASA and says she is ready to begin studying at WVU in the fall.

“It’s a jump start to get into the STEM fields and I feel like I have a really great foundation in STEM, so going into college I feel prepared for getting a career,” said Criss.

The West Virginia Rocketry Association meets on the second Monday of each month at Black Bear Burritos on University Avenue in Morgantown.

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