Sunday, November 9, 2014

So Much Rocket Stuff Coming Up...

Rocketry is so fascinating, and I've got so many ideas for this blog, I kind of don't know where to start. I'm working on three new rockets right now - two kits and one scratch-built - and I barely got any of that done today.

Yesterday, I spread all my rocket stuff on the dining room table to take a picture for this blog - and it was a mess! I have a ton of stuff, and just ordered more stuff from, and a new midpower rocket - the Quest Aerospace Big Dog - from Amazon.

This rocket is over 32 inches tall, and apart from the cheesy name, I really like the looks of it. It will by my third Quest kit - the first being the Magnum Sport Loader, and the second, which I'm just about to start building, being the Quad Runner - a four-motor cluster that I'm really excited about!

The Magnum Sport Loader was my first cluster - that's a rocket which uses more than one motor side by side, and they are so cool! Here's the video:

Check out the flame on that thing!! That's only two motors. The Quad Runner has four, which, I predict, will be freaking awesome.

I'm also building a sequel to the Janus I - the Janus II, another two-stage rocket. This one will have larger motors - one D and one E - and will go much higher. I'm also designing it to carry a camera payload:

This teeny-tiny cheap video camera will look down the body of the rocket at the ground as
the rocket launches into the sky - and will hopefully see the first stage fall away!
The Janus I prototype had to be retired, guys... While attempting to put the two stages back together for display, I snapped off one, then two fins from the booster.


Also, the body tube of the sustainer - the main part (second stage) of the rocket - did get some damage in flight. And while repairing the broken fins, I saw that the centering rings in the sustainer had been pushed in - probably while I was trying to get the two stages together for the first flight, since I got things glued in slightly the wrong spot, and there was a tiny gap between the two stages. I pushed hard to get them together!

I got the fins glued on, and the rocket back together. I could try to fly it again, but this was a test model for me. It's going to sit in a place of honor as my first successful design. And I'll have a future post where I'll show you how I built it - and will show the changes I'm making to Janus II.

Sad little fin - still, check out the airfoil on that baby!
Here's an OpenRocket screenshot of the Janus II with the camera payload bay (you'll have to imagine where the camera is in this picture):

Finally, I'm also currently building the Nautilus II by 3D Rocketry. This was the first non-Estes kit I bought, but I'd held off building it until now. But it's cool looking!

Also, if I can stop spending all my rocket funds on kits and parts each week, I'm planning on joining the National Association of Rocketry soon - and perhaps find a club (or... start one?). I think it's an important next step for me.

So, upcoming on the blog:
  • Rocket motor basics (there are lots of resources on this subject, but I think I should address it before moving on)
  • Rocket stability basics (ditto)
  • Rocket safety and the NAR code (you can find this everywhere, but I am starting to feel like I have a responsibility to at least write something about it)
  • Launching Your First Rocket (For N00bs) - a follow up to the Skill Level 1 Building the Big Bertha series of posts
  • A post on designing a really simple rocket and building it from scratch - so any rocket n00bs out there reading this will see that it can be done!
  • Pictures of my current and future builds
  • A new regular segment - N00b Mistakes - where I show you some things I've screwed up on some of my builds, and what I've done to correct them
  • What's in my toolbox?
  • A few cool tools you can make for yourself
  • Building technique videos
  • More launch videos (which means I gotta go launch some more rockets soon!)
Wow. That seems like a lot, now that I've written it down... But I enjoy doing this.

Some of this stuff might just be turned into pages in the sidebar so new readers can find it easily, and more experienced rocketeers who stumble upon this blog won't need to bother with it if they don't want to.

I have gotten some nice feedback on this blog lately, which is really nice. When I started writing it, I had no idea what it was going to be about, other than my own rocket building experience. The other day, I actually got a subscriber!

Oh, I nearly forgot! If you'd like to keep up with posts on this blog, please go to the Rocket N00b Facebook page -

I hope you'll continue to enjoy reading this as I've enjoyed writing it. 

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