T-Minus 5 Days

Who We Are & Why We're Doing This

Global Rocket Launch is just 5 days away, and we're just over the moon with excitement and anticipation!

My name is Brad Barnett, and I'm the Mission Commander for this event. I grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, and worked two summers at the US Space & Rocket Center, so I'm a total space nerd. I also serve as Ranger for Trail Life USA Troop AL-0254, overseeing the character, leadership, and outdoor adventure program for our K5-5th grade Trailmen, including my 9-year old son Beau, who will be in fourth grade at Dolly Ridge this fall. My daughter, Leah, will be in seventh grade at Pizitz.

July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 and the first moon landing. The Saturn V rocket that sent those brave astronauts to another world was developed, built, and tested at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, so the event is a significant one in the history of our state. (It also happens to fall in Alabama's bicentennial year.) The Space & Rocket Center has a week-long celebration planned including a car show, concerts, interviews with astronauts, and a mass model rocket launch.

At 8:32 AM Central on Tuesday, July 16, the Space & Rocket Center will launch 5,000 model rockets in an attempt to set the Guinness World Record for simultaneous model rocket launches. In conjunction with that event, they asked groups around the world to host local rocket launches any time of day on July 16. Our troop had planned to host a private launch event, but when I asked Vestavia Hills Mayor Ashley Curry where we could have it, he loved the premise of the event and suggested that the City and our troop host one for the public. So that's how we got to this point: offering a fun, educational, free, and interactive event for all of Vestavia and everyone in the Birmingham metro area.

By now you should already have your rocket, but if you don't, get to Learning Express for rocket toys or to Oak Mountain Hobbies for Estes model rockets ASAP, register to let us know you'll be there, then share the Facebook event with your friends!

See you Tuesday!

Brad Barnett

Mission Commander, Launch Vestavia