Sunday, March 02, 2008

bummer day at the Atlas site

Northern Colorado Rocketry launches on the first Saturday of every month. In the winter and spring, we launch on the south side of the Pawnee National Grassland; in the summer and fall, we launch on the north side. The north launch site has a much better altitude waiver and very few fences, so it is the preferred site; however, when the ground is soft we risk damaging the environment: the south launch site is paved everywhere - even where we launch the rockets because it is the roof of a retired Atlas missile silo.

The March 1st launch was on a beautiful day. Greg and family went up for a day of launching and I drove up as well. Greg certified Level 1 on his PML Black Brant - a nice kit and excellently built / finished by Greg. I forgot my Tripoli papers, so I couldn't attempt to certify, but I could still fly practice flights.

I flew my Talon 2 on an H128. The Talon 2 is very light so it really popped quickly off the pad. The ideal delay, according to RockSim, would have been 8 seconds but the H128 does 6 or 10 second delays: I went with the 10 second delay so deployment was a couple seconds after apogee. Chute opened fine and the Talon 2 drifted out of site during decent because I used a larger chute than normal to ensure a soft landing. Apparently, the large chute didn't help with the landing because the rocket broke - like completely broke:

Broken Talon 2

Zoom of Talon 2 Break

Next launch in 34 days - I better get building...

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