Kai Hori ’22 has wanted to build and launch his own rocket ever since he saw the movie October Sky and was “almost religiously carried away” by the story of a high school boy in a coal mining town who dreams of launching a rocket. Hori saw his dream come true with the help of the Williston Rocketry Club, which he and a friend founded as ninth graders. In April, a projectile he designed soared up into the skies above Sawyer Field as part of the American Rocketry Challenge.
“I pressed the ignition button, saw smoke furiously coming out of the nozzle in slow motion, and felt this sudden relief,” he said. The rocket, which was partially made on a 3D printer, rose 855 vertical feet, then parachuted back down to the turf with its payload, an egg, unbroken. Hori is hopeful about a career in the field of space exploration. “Fingers crossed, I will be working for an aerospace engineering company in the not-so-distant future.”