Rocket launch Saturday at Groveland Mine ponds

KINGSFORD – A Tripoli Upper Michigan and Kingsford High School high power rocket launch is planned for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the former Groveland Mine Tailing Ponds.

Rockets will be launched until they run out of them. There should be between 20-30 rockets launched, organizers said. “Everyone is welcome to attend. Many rockets from Kingsford’s High Power Rocketry Program will be launched.”

Applications have been filed with the Department of Natural Resources to reprocess the tails at the Groveland Mine. The heavy equipment being used will stop the rocket launches there. This could be the last or one of the last launches at the Groveland Mine, noted Bill Bertoldi, KHS science teacher.

The feature launch of the day is 6-inch diameter, 14 foot tall rocket flag. This rocket has a weight of 70 pounds and should fly to about mile up in the air.

In addition, launch pads will be there for Estes type rockets if people in the community wish to fly them. Everyone is welcome to attend. Several rocket will fly to altitudes of 3,000 feet to a mile up in the sky.

Students use science and engineering that is taught in the state of Michigan curriculum to build these rocket projects in the evenings working at Kingsford High School.

“This is a chance for the community to see what great things our students can do when a challenge like this is placed before them. A great example of this was the Adam Savage Bobble Head rocket that was featured on the Science Channel last fall.” Bertoldi said.

The launch is a family event. There is about a half mile walk into the site, but if you are unable to walk in, a phone number is posted at the parking site to call and a truck will take you into the launch.

A grill will be there with hotdogs, chips and soda. A donation can will be out to help to cover the cost of the food.

“Everyone involved with the launch would like extend our thanks to the Felch Township Fire Department volunteering to be at the launch. This event would not be possible with out their help,” Bertoldi said.

He advises those attending the launch to not run towards the rockets when they are landing or try to catch the rocket.

“Get away from the rocket as it could hurt you. For your safety, we ask that people on four wheelers not ride on the tailing ponds area. Four wheeling is not allowed on the tailing ponds and it could result in a large fine and be a safety risk with rockets landing,” he added.

To get to the launch, drive 10.1 miles north on M-95; turn right on M-69 towards Felch and Escanaba, the road is just after the Randville Bar; drive four miles on M-69 and turn right on the Groveland Mine Road; drive 1.9 miles to the mine entrance. At the right angle turn and follow the road into the mine; stay to the left and drive .6 miles in and in the marked area in front of the eight concrete silos. Signs that are blue and gold rockets will be posted to along the road and at the mine to get you to the launch.

Maps to the launch can be found on the web at