Amazing Kids! Magazine

Amazing Kids! of the Month – October 2012 – Tristan Jolley

Tristan Jolley, Amazing Scientist of the Month!
By Kasey Dallman, AKOM Writer


Quote of the Month

“No dream is too big.”

-Tristan Jolley, 11-year-old Scientist


Meet Tristan Jolley

Never give up on your dreams! 11-year-old Tristan knows these words well. After his project for a NASA contest just missed the cut, Tristan decided to do his own independent study where he sent a capsule into space!

We love Tristan’s spirit and persistent attitude! He is the perfect story of how we can all achieve incredible goals. Keep reading to learn more about his space project and how he is inspiring children across the nation!

Tristan posses at Kings Fork Middle School with the capsule he sent into space.


Reaching for Space

Tristan has always enjoyed launching model rockets with his father. “It got me thinking about going higher and higher,” he said.  When Tristan got the idea to try and launch a rocket into space, even his father was wary of whether the idea would work.

In the mean time, Tristan worked on a project entitled “Man on the Moon” for a NASA contest. After his project didn’t win, Tristan could have given up. But he was even more inspired!

“I was determined to show NASA and every one around me what I am capable of when I put my mind to it. “

For his gifted studies project Tristan decided that it was the perfect time to start making a capsule to launch into space. And his parents were right behind Tristan supporting him. “I have a lot of people around me who believe in me and support me,” he said.

The space capsule Tristan built after a previous project didn’t make the final cut in a NASA contest.


Marlins in Space

The space capsule Tristan built, named Marlin 1, was made out of a lunch box that fit two cameras — one to take video and the other to take pictures. The lunch box also held a lithium battery charger, a GPS tracker, hand warmers, cotton balls, and Velcro. Tristan also purchased a parachute and weather balloon so that the capsule could reach high altitudes. After filling the weather balloon with helium, his space capsule was let go!

Tristan released his space capsule in Lawrenceville, VA.

“After the launch we drove around tracking the capsule until we got the last transition,” Tristan said. The capsule is believed to have reached an incredible 60,000 feet before popping!

Marlin 1 was found a day later by a fisherman who returned it to Tristan’s family! “When I saw the capsule I was ecstatic,” he said.


Follow Your Dreams!

Since retrieving his capsule, Tristan has gotten to pour over the pictures and videos that were taken space. One thing Tristan found out is that it is “very cold in space!” He has also been able to see the area where he lives from a high altitude. “We’ve been trying to pick out landmarks.”

A wooden rod with a picture of Tristan and his sister was attached to the capsule so they would show up in the space photos!

Sending a capsule into space has even more perks than Tristan could imagine! “The most rewarding part of this experience is that I inspired other people. It has made my world a lot bigger and has given me the opportunity to talk to people and have organizations reach out to me.” Tristan says that some of the organizations taking an interest in his project include SpaceX, the Tuskeegee Airman, and NASA!

And while Tristan didn’t win that initial NASA contest, his space capsule has gotten him even further! In August, Tristan got to speak to NASA workers and their children about his project.

While Tristan continues working hard in school, he plans to also keep encouraging others to follow their dreams.

Tristan is a 2012 National All-American in Pop Warner Football. Way to go!

He is currently working on starting his own motivational T-shirt printing business. In addition to selling shirts with positive sayings, “kids can submit their art work to me and I will put it on the shirts.”

Tristan’s hard work and the success of his space capsule has certainly captured all of our hearts. Keep following your dreams. With enough hard work they will come true!