Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Astronaut Farmer

I first heard about the Astronaut Farmer while looking at the CP Technologies Web site (my quest for ideas on small-scale strap-on booster designs). There was a lot of information there about the movie and skimming the info, I decided that I'd like to go to the movies on Feb 23 (opening night). It worked out that I was able to go a screening of the show today - great movie, in my opinion.

There was a point in the movie where there is a failure and I was horrified: I thought that the BATFE had worked with the Polish Brothers to help the public see the 'light' on their current case affecting rocket propellant and ignitors used by hobbyists. In the movie, it is the FBI rather than the BATFE, but a similar idea (Farmer was fine building his rocket - it was when he attempted to buy fuel that he got into trouble - even though he had attempted to follow known regulations).

There is a lot of family focus in the movie - the kind that I like because it helps me consider my role as a parent and gives me some things to think over. Some details are ignored - again, a nice thing - for example, Farmer allows the public to come into his garage and see the rocket and the line goes on for miles (apparently, these were only the most well behaved humans on the planet because there was no mess and no fights). I believe that the movie was filmed in New Mexico - I only mention it because the house, the ranch, etc. were so pretty that they really complimented the story / experience.

Good stuff.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Feb launch scrubbed but...

I'm not too down: on Monday, January 29th, I'll be attending a screening of The Astronaut Farmer and when we do get to launch, I'll be attempting my L1 cert on my second flight of the Bullet. I've been assisting with some PHP on the club Web site and one of the members showed me the casing and motor I'll be using for my L1 :) I'll have to pay for the H73 motor, but I'll be able to borrow the casing.

Friday, January 19, 2007

building a few cluster models

We have a rocket day coming in the next month or two at church, so I'm building a couple models size rockets for launching there. These are my first venture into clusters - and they are tiny clusters. The tall rocket is a Rhino and the shorter one is a Baby Bertha.
the Baby Bertha and Rhino with their cluster motor mounts
Both rockets use BT-60 size tubes, so I picked up a couple cluster mounts from a local rocket guy. The Baby Bertha will use 3 tiny A motors and the Rhino will use 4; this will give the Baby Bertha about 6.6 N-s and the Rhino 8.8 N-s of total impulse (equivalent of mid-C).

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jan 6 launch scrubbed

Disappointing :(

Regrettably but sensibly, NCR will NOT attempt to launch on Saturday the 6th. Our equipment trailer remains buried in deep snowdrifts and is pretty much in-accessible, as is the Atlas Site.
- from http://www.ncrocketry.org/