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Monday, May 2, 2016

Filling the sky with rockets and excitement

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kaci Jones readies to shoot her rocket into the air Thursday at the Clay County 4-H Fair Rocket Shoot. Kaci is the daughter of Randy and Donna Jones, Brazil. Jason Moon Photo. [Order this photo]
Both Kaci Jones and Dakota Cox have shot off rockets before.

But Kaci has competed in the Clay County 4-H Fair Rocket Shoot. This year, however, was Dakota's first time entering the fray.

Dakota said he's had model rockets in the past, but was excited to get his rocket, Space Ship 1, into the air Thursday at the 2009 Clay County 4-H Fair Rocket Shoot.

"It's supposed to go about 600-feet," Dakota said.

Dakota and his parents, Shawn and Angela Cox, lived in Tennessee prior to coming to Indiana recently. Both his parents have ties to the area.

Shawn Cox said Dakota was involved in 4-H in Tennessee, but it is vastly different, explaining 4-H activities take place during the school year.

This year, however, Dakota immersed himself in several projects, with the rocket shoot being one of them.

"It's not something you just slap together," Dakota said, "because sometimes, you get the wrong parts in the wrong spots."

Dakota said it took him approximately two-three hours to put together Space Ship 1.

"Once he got started, he went nonstop until he got it done," Shawn said. "Over the last three years, he's been shooting rockets off. He likes shooting them up in the air."

Eagerly awaiting his trip to the console, Dakota said he only hoped for one thing.

"Hopefully, (Space Ship 1) will not blow up," he said.

Clay County 4-H Rocket Shoot Supt. Jim Stevenson said 33 4-H'rs signed up for the event. There are three levels of competition, including Beginner's, Intermediate and Advanced.

"They have to turn a key, flip a switch and give a count down," Stevenson said. "They really enjoy it. They have a good time."

Not only were the 4-H'rs having a good time looking up to the sky to find the rockets that were shot off, but so did the large crowd that hovered near the Horse Arena.

"It's always like this," Stevenson said. "We have lots of parents and grandparents come."

Kaci, daughter of Randy and Donna Jones, Brazil, was one of the first contestants at the console Thursday.

She said the anticipation of seeing the rocket launch is what she enjoys most about the event.

"I like to see them go off," Kaci said.

As she walked up to the console, she received help with her count down from 4-H Fair volunteer Sue Urban.

"Three, two, one, blast off," Kaci yelled into the microphone.

Her rocket, The Outlaw, then launched into the sky.

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