Gavin Wuthrich spent Tuesday morning helping his daughter Sadie learn to, and practice, launching a small foam rocket powered by a rubber band in a grassy field at Whitewater Park. She would pull it back, then release it, and watch it fly.

"We thought we would bring the kids out, have a good time, and check it out," Gavin said.

At the appointed time, the Wuthrich family lined up with other story time participants to help set a world record. 

The U.S. Space and Rocket Center coordinated a global effort to launch as many rockets as possible within a 24-hour time period. July 16 was chosen as the date for the event to commemorate the launch of Apollo 11 from Cape Kennedy on the same day in 1969.

In Whitewater, participants met at the library, located at 118 E. Topeka in Whitewater, and then walked the two blocks over to the ball diamond.

About 29 rockets took flight during a group launch. The group launched those rockets twice, before librarian Jean Thiessen launched her first motorized rocket — a model available at hobby shops that stands about a foot tall — about 250 feet in the air. 

Whitewater Memorial Library gave out rockets made from foam tubes using rubber bands for launch for people to use during the rocket launch event.

The rocket launch event is one of the final events wrapping up the library's space-themed summer reading program. Other galaxy-geared activities included craft-making sessions, story times and a series of educational talks by Whitewater resident and retired engineer Bob Henderson.