Have you heard about the Rocketry Challenge? The international final took place at the Paris Air Show!
The Paris Air Show is back with a bang after a four-year hiatus. And it hosted the final of the Rocketry Challenge – an international competition for middle-school and high-school rocket-building enthusiasts – this Friday June 23rd. Read on for more about this event that is sponsored by the Safran Museum and brings Group employees on board every year.
The four teams that competed in the Rocketry Challenge final were holding their breath this morning as they awaited the verdict at the Paris Air Lab. A few hours earlier, these boys and girls representing Japan, the United States, France and Great Britan had gathered for the decisive battle by the runway at Le Bourget. Each team launched its rocket, invariably delighting the audience at the GIFAS chalet. An array of criteria – including flight altitude and time, parachute opening and the state of the egg in the rocket on landing – underwent exacting examination to determine who would walk away with the ultimate title.
The verdict was finally announced at 3:30 p.m. and it was the British team that won the 2023 Challenge! France came second, followed by Japan and the United States. The finalists were honored to receive their medals from well-known astronauts Charles Duke, Anthea Comellini, Jean-Loup Chrétien, Arnaud Prost and Michael J. Bloomfield.
The French contenders who had reached the finals in 2020, 2021 and 2022, coached by Safran team members, were in the crowd watching the launches and ceremony. The students from Jeanne d’Arc middle-school in Melun took part in this one-of-a-kind experience with their Safran coaches Thierry Roibier, Stéphanie Fournel and Frédéric Raymond, and their math teacher Isabelle Vuillermoz, who founded the club at their school. And there was one last big surprise: an impromptu chat with astronaut Charlie Duke (who walked on the Moon) and a photo op at the end. They will not forget their day in Le Bourget anytime soon!