Sunday, September 02, 2007

Launch Log 2007.09.01

We launched at the NCR North Site which is in the Pawnee Grasslands. The launch ceiling was around 20,000 or 25,000 feet but none of our rockets were sent to even 1/10th that altitude today. We launched the Purple Rhino, Migthy Mouse, Army Man, and then Mighty Mouse 2.
Mighty Mouse 2 sitting the pad waiting for launch.Mighty Mouse 2 lifting off the pad.

Our first flight was a flash-in-the-pan ignition of the Rhino. It flew 4 A10-3T's which carried it high and straight even though only 3 of the 4 motors lit. The second flight was the Mighty Mouse on a C6-7. The 7 second delay was nice because that kept the Mighty Mouse pretty close to the pad even though it was a nice, high boost. The third flight was Army Man with the split set for the center of the rocket. Past flights of Army Man suggested that it was heavy or not aerodynamic so we used a C6-3; I'm pretty sure it hadn't hit apogee when the chute opened. We had to walk quite a ways to recover Army Man but we did find it. Finally, we launched Might Mouse 2 for the first time. We used 3 A3-4T's with a flash in the pan (but the pan in this case was a Cherry Coke can rather than our usual ceramic dish). I was worried that the flash wouldn't light all motors because the can wasn't as close as I usually like but all motors did light and it was high and straight.

We saw a couple dozen other flights. There were quite a few problems - more than I've seen at a public launch. One rocket got tangled on the rod, caught fire, and then knocked the launch pad over. Two rockets went unstable immediately and landed in the viewing area. Quite a few recovery failures; this one in particular was interesting:
The pin / ball rocket on the pad preparing for launch.Beautify flame on the pin / ball rocket.Quite a crowd went out to examine the remains and mourn for the pin / ball.

This bowling pin and ball was pretty and flew nicely, but recovery failed completely. It went ballistic and fortunately landed quite a ways away from the launch line because was a big, fast impact.

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