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South grad breaks rocket launch record
Patton a senior at U.S. Air Force Academy
Rocket
U.S. Air Force Academy cadet Chris Patton graduated from South Forsyth High School in 2005. - photo by Submitted
The ambitions of a 2005 South Forsyth High School graduate soared to new heights after he helped a team of fellow cadets launch a record-breaking rocket into the sky.

Chris Patton, a senior at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., assisted in the design of the rocket, which reached an altitude of 354,724 feet, burning past the former record of about 30,000 feet.

The rocket launch was part of FalconLAUNCH, a program for seniors at the academy. This rocket's flight on April 17, lasted 10 minutes as it rose above the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Patton's mother, Rosanne Patton, said Chris, 21, has always been interested in flight “ever since I can remember.”

"He did what he needed to do in school to get prepared for it,” Rosanne Patton said. “We're proud of him.”

She said cadets are given a group assignment from the academy, and have to design and build the rocket from start to finish.

E-mail Frank Reddy at frankreddy@forsythnews.com.