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Post  Kim Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:46 pm

Rockets in My Backyard...out behind the camper, actually.

Came rolling into Huntsville late in the afternoon today, and got myself a camping spot right next the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.  Just about ten minutes away from the Model Aviation Day Fun-Fly, sponsored by the Rocket City Radio Controllers.

Got the coffee made, and walked a few laps around the park.  Figure to visit the museum on Sunday, after the Fun-Fly tomorrow.

Hopefully Fun Stuff to follow!

The campgrounds are easy walking distance from the museum.

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A VERY serious model rocket launching facility a few yards away...

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Might be a good idea to instruct the future Rocketeers on the importance of policing one's debris after the launches are over !

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The Apollo Moon Rocket peeks over the trees and hotel.

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Last edited by Kim on Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  RknRusty Fri Aug 12, 2016 8:00 pm

The space center is a great place to tour. You can do it on and off a bus, and it's worth hooking up with a guide for some of it. We were there before the ISS existed and toured the mockup of its predecessor, Freedom, iirc. The Saturn V on the ground is jaw dropping. Maybe they've got a good hunk of one of the new heavy lifters now.
Have fun.
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Post  roddie Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:10 pm

Model rockets are really a LOT of fun! I remember when Kim originally posted this thread.. and how cool I thought it was. My four children are adults now.. but when they were youngsters, we flew model rockets. The rockets were Estes kits that I built. There were good-size "state-owned" fields a short drive from home. One of these fields was also home to N.E.S.T.; a control-line/precision-aerobatics club that I belonged to in the early 1990's. The club still fly's there.

I've been a "Tower-Hobbies" customer since back in those days.. and they send me emails almost daily. I usually delete them.. but today they sent info on an Estes "designer's kit" with enough parts to build up-to 8 rockets (less-engines..). At $65 bucks.. that's less than $10 bucks/rocket.  

http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXBVAN&P=E

I don't know who had more fun; me or the kids.. but it rekindled some great memories of when we used to fly the rockets! There's minimal support-gear. A couple of rockets, the launch-pad and controller can be hand-carried out to the field in one trip.

We used to fly single-stage "B or C" engine designs with parachute-recovery. The single-stage engines are designed to burn their fuel.. followed by a timed "cruise-phase".. followed by an "ejection-phase" that pressurizes the rocket-body.. and blows the nose-cone off, which deploys the parachute. The nose-cone has an internal-mount for the parachute's shroud-lines.. and an elastic "shock-cord" mounted to the rocket's body-tube. The upper body-tube is stuffed with flame-proof "recovery-wadding" just above the engine, to avoid "scorching" the chute during the ejection-phase. It's important to use the non-flammable wadding to prevent fires.. should the wadding fall into dry ground-cover.

We flew a nice little Estes single-stage rocket several times.. until I decided to put the largest recommended engine in it. It was a great-flying rocket.. dead-straight tracking on a calm day. Well..... it went WaAaAay up.... before the chute popped... and sailed away. Crying or Very sad

I have a rocket that I've never flown though.. it's a "Bull-Pup" missile.. an Estes kit that I built back when I was engaged in the hobby. After losing that "great-flying" little rocket.. I was always concerned about losing this one.

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Model-rockets require balancing, just as model-airplanes do. If the balance is off; they will usually "cork-screw" and veer off-course. Balancing requires attaching a short-length of single-line/string.. and "swinging" the rocket around you in a circle. It should fly straight. If it doesn't.. "modelling-clay" is usually added to the nose-cone. It's sort-of like a model-airplane that's "tail-heavy".. but easier to correct.

Model-rockets are a great introduction into model-aerodynamics for the youngster. "Scouting" is big on this. It's also a hobby that can be enjoyed on a low-budget.


As a kid.. I thought that parachutes were cool. Now as an adult... I still marvel at their function..
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Post  RknRusty Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:17 pm

Somehow I was surfing youtube and landed on a video that I realized was a "NASA is a LIAR" video, and we've never been to the moon. Good lord, now I realize the Tube is swarming with passionate idiots who have no investigative skills of their own and learn all of their "science" from home made video conspiracy BS. It makes my stomach hurt. There is only one truth these nuts really need to learn. We did not even have anywhere near the capability in the '60s to fake this stuff. It's all the same over and over, and there is not one shred of evidence they present that isn't simple to debunk by an intelligent layman like myself. Go ahead shoot one at me and I'll knock it down. Go ahead, make my day. And GET OFFA MY LAWN! I'm so glad Buzz coldcocked that tinhat on camera. I thought the pictures taken by the LRO of the landing sites, footprints, wheel-tracks and abandoned equipment would have put an end to any doubt... but no, that's all a fake too, I suppose. And guess what, it seems there is no shortage of Falt-Earthers on the Tube either. Gaaaahh!
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Post  Cribbs74 Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:08 am

Rusty,

I have been in around the AF for 22yrs. The moon landing happened. We have honored those great men over and over, heck there is plenty of physical evidence right here on good old earth to refute the morons. I too think it's asinine to think anything else. People can be nieve and borderline stupid. Don't think on it too much. People tend to question what they can't understand. At this very moment I am a couple miles away from the first nuclear detonation and "the fastest place on earth" yeah I bet there are those who think Hiroshima/Nagasaki didn't happen either.

In short don't sweat it. You know and God knows. That is sufficient.

Ron
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Post  Kim Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:32 am

It would be hilarious if it didn't seem that so many yehoos bought into the no moon landing crap.  Somehow, the total technical applications of the United States getting a man to the moon is crazy, but aliens flying from another planet just to give a hillbilly a ride in their flying saucer seems totally feasible.  

This silliness was just ramping up back in the 1990's while I was still working in the diaper factory.  I was often challenged by the whole scale of squirrels, from drunken rednecks seeing UFO's from their back porch that 'got capabilities far beyond anything we got' (somehow, being a cousin thumping knuckle dragger living in the sticks keeps them on the cutting edge of all this), to confrontations with a couple of the idiot cult members of 'Black Israelites' who moved to Southern Illinois to await the end of the world.  The company had hired a bunch of them and, typical of corporations then and now, gave a pass to their blatant racism because of their race.

Their leader had told them that on 'The Day' the Giant Gibladesh (my term, don't remember theirs) would descend from the sky, and they would 'hold to his skirt tails' as he flew them to Israel, booting out the Jews, and returning them to their rightful home.  The only white people that would survive would be the ones they took as slaves.  According to my wild-eyed friends, we'd never been to the moon...never even been to space, because 'the Bible says you can't measure heaven'.  It was all just an illusion that white men had brewed up.  Faced with this incredible mound of bs, I just 'let the wookie win'.  

Their leader eventually croaked, Gibladesh never showed up, and the trailer park enclave morphed into a dope hub.

It's always useless to point out, but if a white guy had said the same in reverse, the poor company managers would have crapped their pants so hard, the thrust would have lifted them from the floor.

You can't get a toe-hold arguing against this brand of nuttyness, and I apply the same 'don't argue with a fool' attitude toward the internet crazies.

On the model rocket subject, one of the few good things that came from my second marriage was the relationship with my step-son Caleb.  We were pretty much two kids,  but one with a drivers license and disposable income.  He was right at the age where grownups were still cool, and we had a lot of adventures.  One was rocketry.  We started with the Alpha training rocket, and eventually moved up to launching payload types (attempting to put florescent ear plugs in orbit).

As the rockets got more sophisticated, I stepped farther back in their prepping, letting Caleb take over the duties.  One of his early 'tricks' was with the Alpha.  I'd bought an assortment of rocket motors, and while we were still testing the Alpha with the smaller thrust motors, he decided it'd be great fun to load one of the higher powered versions.

He pulled his safety pin, did his countdown and triggered the launch.  Even with my limited experience, I KNEW that something was up as it blasted away.  The Alpha accelerated almost out of sight, and I was straining to spot the tracking smoke and chute deployment.  WAAAY up in the sky, the tiny parachute popped open.  I didn't dare to take my eyes off of it, but started fussing at Caleb about the chances of us losing it...and I WASN'T gonna buy him another if it happened (a hollow threat).

And then the darned thing drifted back down to land about a hundred feet away, with Caleb giving me the grin that he always used when he put something over on me...which seemed to happen a lot.

Haven't talked to him in a while, but know he's got his own family, after serving in the Air Force as an avionics tech for KC-135's.

Thus concludes my Saturday Morning Tale !!!

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