March 20, 2004

non-Launch Report

Well, we drove to Culpeper, and things weren't looking good. Flags were standing straight out from the poles, and despite the weatherman calling for 'diminishing winds', the trees were whipping around pretty good.

When we pulled up into the field, there were a total of four vehicles there. Not good at all. Nothing was set up to launch, it was just too much wind. So we visited with some rocket friends we haven't seen in a while, and talked about new projects and 'EX' rocketry.

'EX' is a part of rocketry where you actually make your own solid propellant motors. You take the various chemicals and additives and mix it up like you would a cake, following a recipe, and you wind up with a slug of homemade rocket propellant. It's similar to the process that Homer Hickam and the Rocket Boys did in the movie October Sky. I've never done 'EX', and although it fascinates me I don't know if I ever will. It would certainly be a royal pain to get the permits where I currently live. Maybe someday, but for now I'm satisfied with buying and flying the commercial stuff.

Ken, the owner of Performance Hobbies was showing off this neat little beastie. It was a 3" diameter rocket, completely built of carbon fiber veil. Very light and incredibly strong. In fact, the rocket was built to take a 3" motor, meaning that this ~5lb rocket was designed for a motor that can lift 150lb rockets. I have no idea what the max speed would be, but I don't think mach 2+ would be out of the question.

We've got the cell phone number of one of the guys who'll be there tomorrow. We'll call in the morning and see what it looks like before heading down again. It's supposed to rain tonight, and today was supposed to be the better weather day.

Oh well, Mookie and I had a nice day together, and we got to visit with friends. Not at all a wasted day.

Posted by Ted at March 20, 2004 02:16 PM
Category: Rocketry

Dunno about Virginia, but in Gaithersburg the wind is howlin' something fierce right now.

Posted by: Victor at March 21, 2004 07:47 AM
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