Back Yard Launch, June 8, 2011

I had two new 4-H Aerospace members over working on their rockets, along with Jaclyn, who is in her third (or is it fourth?) year in the project. As I watched the boys putting primer on their rockets, I thought about what a boring task sanding and re-priming is... and I decided we would launch a few in the back yard, just to keep their interest up.

They had never launched rockets before, nor seen it done. Jaclyn helped with the setup, and showed them how to insert the igniter and put the rocket on the stand. I had already shown them the process of putting in wadding and packing the streamers. After we found the missing safety key, we were off.

First to go up was my Mark on an A10-3T. It was a higher, faster flight than I remembered, and as it was a bit windier than I like, it drifted some. However, it was recovered undamaged, and will fly again.

Next, we flew my Applewhite 13mm Six for the very first time, on an A10-3T. As with all other flights of a Six I've witnessed so far, the nose cone failed to eject and the rocket lawn darted. However, it was relatively unharmed, having gone a few inches into the soft dirt, and will fly again.

Last to fly was my Lo Flier, also on an A10-3T. Despite having the two previous flights for practice, I still didn't aim the pad right, and the rocket drifted to the far side of the neighbor's yard and was almost lost. We found it after a short search, unharmed.

The boys had a great time, as did we all. Hopefully this will keep their enthusiasm up. Hopefully, we'll be able to have our official launch Sunday the 19th (Father's Day) or the weekend after.

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