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Portraits of Amateur Rocketeers in Suburbs Across America

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Driving anywhere in the suburbs on a sunny Saturday morning, you may see thin spirals of smoke trailing across the sky. Photographer Jay Gould followed the smoke and his curiosity, leading him to discover the world of amateur rocketeers. From Minnesota to Maryland, adults and children gather together to construct and launch handmade rockets, the varying communities filled with small town pioneers, adventurers and tinkers alike. The models are often made from simple, lightweight materials such as cardboard and thin plastics for safe and low-cost experimentation.

Though each group is different, all are focused on teaching, learning, and exploration. Many of the older members work in engineering or the aerospace industry and love sharing their knowledge on a miniature scale. Juxtaposing local rocketeers and images of space museums, Gould links an ingrained desire for adventure and discovery. The series reminds us of the very human longing to explore the great beyond, however seemingly small that unknown frontier may be.

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All images © Jay Gould

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