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This year at NASA Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) marks another successful launch for the RockOn student workshop. The RockOn vehicle, a Terrier-Improved Orion, lifted off from the shoreline of Wallops Island at 6:40 a.m. local time June 21, 2012. Weather conditions provided a near picture-perfect launch setting for the students, with cooler early morning air allowing for high visibility and subdued mosquitoes.

The program is a collaborative effort between the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and NASA WFF. The workshop provides undergraduate-level university students and instructors with a space flight opportunity that involves minimal cost, time investment and complexity, as well as minimal impact to WFF programs. RockOn allows students and instructors to focus on rocket payload construction and integration. It’s the first step in the RockSat series, leading up to a complete payload design process.

The RMMO had a somewhat subdued but highly important role in the launch. No telemetry was needed, as the students were responsible for their own. Range personnel provided radar tracking, optical tracking, meteorological support, project planning, timing, communications and photography for the mission. Support was needed for both a launch dress rehearsal and the launch itself.

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