May 21, 2004


This story was posted to the newsgroup Rec.Models.Rockets by Chuck Rogers, one of the team members who launched the amatuer rocket that reached space:

Fred Brennion and I were traveling back from the awesome flight to space of the CXST rocket. As we're heading back from Black Rock, being the yuppie that I am, I had the hankering for a raspberry mocha with soy milk, topped with whipped creme. Of course, heading back from Black Rock, once you're past Reno, you're traveling through the middle of nowhere. But, low and behold as we went through Bishop, CA, we found a great coffee shop, the Kava Coffeehouse.

Well, Fred and I are in the Kava Coffeehouse, and as I order my raspberry mocha with soy milk and whipped creme, Fred takes note of a good looking young lady at the other end of the counter. I don't really notice her, being totally enamored with my lovely wife Brenda, but Fred moves on down the counter to introduce himself to her.

Well, Fred says "hi", and then says "I'll bet you'll never guess why I don't have my driver's license". The young lady looks at Fred like that's the lamest pick-up line she's ever heard, and she says "let me see, I bet you had a DUI". And then Fred says "No, I put my driver's license in a rocket that went into space, but they haven't found the rocket yet."

I wish I could have taken a picture of the young lady's face! It was a mix of incredulousness, but yet a strange realization that Fred's comment was so completely off the wall, it probably was true!

Yes, in a strong vote of confidence that they'd recover the rocket, Fred asked the CXST team to put his driver's license in the CXST rocket payload bay. Bruce Lee also put one of his credit cards. These guys were confident that the CXST team was going to get that rocket back!

I told the nice young lady that the CXST flight was already on (the Kava Coffeehouse had a couple Internet terminals, we checked Internet news sites and found it), and that she could check it out herself. Another incredulous, stunned look. If she caught it on TV later, she probably turned to her friends and said, "you're not going to believe this, but I talked to these two geeks in the Kava Coffeehouse...", etc., etc..

Needless to say I drove the entire way home. Although if Fred was driving and we got pulled over, it would have been hilarious to watch him explain to the Highway Patrolman how he'd lost his driver's license. "You see officer, I flew my driver's license into space on a rocket, and they haven't found it yet".

Yea, right buddy!

I'm sure the CXST team will be mailing Fred his driver's license. Fred's already getting a new one, because his old one has been to space and needs to be framed, or something!

Kudos' to the CXST team! Great flight! Fred knew he'd get his driver's license back! And if you're going through Bishop, stop in at the Kava Coffeehouse for a great mocha.

Word is that there was quite a collection of keepsakes and momento's in the payload (also posted to Rec.Models.Rockets, from Pat G):
You left out the part that Bruce Lee threw his credit card in, and after the launch and recovery, he used it at Bruno's, still worked, btw, after being in to space.

Plus Ky recovered an Aerotech 38mm motor case that went to space, plus a lot of other memorbilia, coins, letters, etc.

There was mention in the reports about plastic in the nosecone melting from the friction heat generated by going mach 5.5, so apparently this stuff wasn't that far forward. Still a neat story. Congrats guys, again!

Posted by Ted at May 21, 2004 06:39 AM
Category: Rocketry

So, is there some actual physical evidence to brag about, here?

Posted by: Justthisguy at May 24, 2004 01:39 AM

As in, the rocket was recovered? The main section was, but last I'd heard, the booster had not been. Now if you're talking proof of space, yep, they got that too.

Posted by: Ted at May 25, 2004 05:32 AM
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