Rocket man (and woman)

posted by Jeff | Sunday, March 8, 2009, 3:30 AM | comments: 3

This morning we headed out to the park in the next town to launch the two rockets I bought two weeks ago. Diana had never seen this go down, so it was all new for her. And man was it muddy.

I bought a kit because it came with a pad and launcher and two rockets that were relatively quick to build. The big one had plastic fins and it was just a matter of gluing it into the tube. The smaller one had foamy cardboard fins, so those required actual glue.

We set up the pad in the outfield of a baseball field, which seemed like enough room given my teen experiences. We fired off the big one first. It was a reasonably impressive launch because of the size. The wind really caught the parachute and it floated far, far away. In fact, it took it the field just to the north over the trees, as I would find later. I expected it would be gone.

I used the slightly weaker engine included in the kit for the smaller one. That was much more impressive, surprisingly, perhaps because it was so light. We saw the engine eject, and the little orange streamer was reasonably easy to track. It too went way north over the trees, and I expected it would be gone as well.

Surprisingly, I recovered them both. I had no idea that the adjacent ball fields were there, or the big sled hill. Now that I'm aware of those, I think next time I'll go plant myself out in the sled hill area. It's strange, because I used to launch those in a baseball field near my house bordered by a school and housing, and I never lost a rocket. I came damn close to losing them this time.


PKIDelirium, March 8, 2009, 9:42 AM #

Ah, recovery. I always hated that. I used to launch in a large field at the county fairgrounds where they set up like 4 soccer fields for practice, and I managed to lose a few.

I didn't have much skill at building, so I HATED the ones with the balsa wood fins, and trying to align them. Annoying. I much preferred the ones with the plastic ones.

Neuski, March 8, 2009, 9:34 PM #

I enjoyed building the rockets, especially ones as complicated to require balsa fins, as much as launching them.

Jeff, March 9, 2009, 3:19 AM #

Agreed. There's something satisfying about the rigidity of the bond between the cardboard and wood, and the success of getting them on straight. It's hard to explain.

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