To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, Vectis Astronomical Society held several rocket events on the Isle of Wight.
On Thursday 4th October, members of the society launched rockets in front of the pupils at Newchurch Primary School. The children joined in with a very loud countdown, and the rockets flew to about 25 metres high. The four and five year olds in the reception class then launched their own air-powered 'stomp' rockets across the field, which they tried to land on a moon target – although many were more likely to leave the solar system.
At the Isle of Wight Observatory in Newchurch, more rockets were launched (reaching a height of about 75 m) and a half scale model of Sputnik was on display, along with posters and information about the start of the space age. Weather pictures were received live from satellites and, after it had become dark, satellites could be seen passing overhead. Telescopes were also used to look at the stars and planets.
School groups and a scout troop also joined in the celebrations and the event was open to the public on the evenings of Friday 5th and Saturday 6th. About 150 people enjoyed the event.
SPACE4SCHOOLS were pleased to provide some of the materials for this event.
Pictures provided and used by kind permisssion of Vectis Astronomical Society and the parents.