Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Preparing for the Spooknik Rocket Launch

It's been a busy day of rockets, guys. Oh, plus, you know, going to work.

I like to name our rocket launches. When I say "our" launches, I mean "my" launches, as I am the only person I know who does rockets, besides Chad. And Chad has recently moved to upstate New York, to the Adirondacks, for most of the year - but he's coming back!

On October 4, I scheduled a rocket launch in honor of the anniversary of Sputnik, which I called the October Sky Rocket Launch - after the film based on the book Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam. Chad immediately messaged me that he would have gone to New York by then. I asked "When are you coming back?" He said the 29th.

So, I replied, "No problem. You'll be just in time for Spooknik."

So Thursday is our Spooknik Rocket Launch. I've promised anybody who comes in costume gets to press the launch button, and we might have some kids - which will be good. We need a new crop of rocket nerds I can talk shop with some day, because non-rocket nerds have no idea what I'm talking about or why I'm into this.

Anyway, I've been so busy preparing. Today alone, I finished building Chad's Apogee Aspire rocket - a 33-inch tall rocket capable of going over a mile high. And I painted the first color - white - on my very first scratchbuilt rocket - and first two-stage rocket (that's two firsts for me in one go) - which I call the Janus I.

Janus I is in pieces at the moment, but here's an OpenRocket rendering of what it looks like:

After I'm done with the Big Bertha build, I'll take you through designing and building your own rocket, and give you details on this one I've designed and built - which has taken me remarkably little time. It's much less daunting than you might think.

On top of that, I put finishing touches on my first cluster and payload rocket, the Quest Magnum Sport Loader - a two-motor cluster capable of carrying a payload of two raw eggs (the point is to launch something fragile and not break it).

On top of that, I took a motorcycle battery I just bought to be charged - this will be used for launching cluster rockets and bigger rockets - and built the connector to hook that battery up to the launch controller I built a few weeks ago.

And I bought a steel rod for launching, and feel like I did six or seven other things as well.

All of this is stuff I hope to get to on this blog - DIY stuff, design stuff, more complicated stuff for beginners. I'm here to share my knowledge and mistakes with other people just getting into rocketry.

But it's been a long day, and I'm tired. I will probably have to save the very end of the Big Bertha Skill Level 1 series until after Thursday - too much to do tomorrow! But I hope to have video to share with you.

Alright. Bed time for Bonzo.

(Just realized I should probably buy candy for Thursday. One more thing for the To Do list...)

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