Monday, July 20, 2015

My Rocket Anniversary

July 5 was the anniversary of the first time I ever went out to launch a few model rockets, with Chad, David, Lee, and a few other people. On that day, we just flew a few of Chad's rockets. We had fun, but I wasn't sure whether we'd do it again.

One year ago today, July 20, 2014, was different. We decided to hold a rocket launch/picnic around the 45th anniversary of the moon landing, and make it an event.

By then, I'd decided to get a few rockets of my own, including the Estes Der Red Max. This rocket required assembly. It took me four days, as I was being very careful, worried I'd mess the whole thing up.

It turned out great.

Launching ready-to-fly or easy-to-assemble rockets is fun, but nothing compares to the thrill of taking something you built yourself and making it fly. I quickly became obsessed, bought and devoured The Handbook of Model Rocketry, and a few weeks later, I started this blog.

Some people thought it was weird that I'd suddenly gotten into rocketry for some reason. A lot of people see it as sort of a childish hobby. But I'm fond of saying "Rocketry: it's not just for Webelos any more."

I've found this hobby so satisfying. In the last year, I've learned a lot, built much larger rockets than your typical cub scout would ever do, and even taught rocketry to kids - many of whose parents told me they were surprised at how much actual physics the kids learned.

I still have lots to learn and lots to build - and, I hope, lots to teach other rocket n00bs, either through this blog or other avenues. I'm still settling in at my new place in Boston. But soon, I hope to join a club, and in the next year, get into high power rocketry.

Here's the video of that first launch. I haven't posted it on the Rocket N00b Youtube channel until now. I needed to edit it for language (when I shot this, I wasn't thinking about starting a semi-educational rocketry blog).

Also, note a few things: This was before I'd heard of the Model Rocket Safety Code. A couple of times, we launch without doing a countdown - something I would not do now. Also, our comment about the airplane was a joke - be assured, we never launched with aircraft flying overhead. We were n00bs, but we weren't stupid!

That said, I hope you find this entertaining. It sure makes me feel nostalgic for my friends back in Indiana.

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