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Spokane brothers’ Christmas tree rocket a YouTube hit

Fri., Jan. 8, 2010, 3:10 p.m.

Two Spokane-raised brothers have scored a YouTube hit with their experiment in Christmas tree aerodynamics.

John and Jeremy Ulmen started plotting their Christmas tree rocket launch on Thanksgiving.

John Ulmen, a Ph.D candidate at Stanford specializing in robotic control systems, did the math. Jeremy, a recent English major graduate of Seattle University, collaborated.

The launch went exactly as planned two days after Christmas on some friends’ West Plains property.

The Ulmens used the same Christmas tree they celebrated around in their childhood home during the recent holiday.

The men’s parents, Dave and Liz Ulmen, are Spokane School District teachers. They loved the post-Christmas show.

The YouTube video of the rocket had nearly 140,000 hits as of late Friday afternoon. Watch it below.

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