Article: 2105
By Peter Schurke March 2010

As the old saying goes: If at first you don’t succeed: try, try, again (and when you do, make sure you have lots of backup plans!)

We arrived at the Sportsmens’ Club at around 10:30 am Saturday and the kids immediately began setting up. They dove into their checklists and got down to business while I erected a “don’t mess with the students while they work” force field around them. 🙂

I got comments from several flyers that they were so impressed with the businesslike manner that the students were going about their work that they did not want to get in the way at all.

In a little under an hour, they had all their prep done and were ready for final flight checks, which meant that I had to build them a motor. Gotta love those CTI motors…open package, lube, insert into casing, fasten closure, done. Pre-cleaning Bill Munds’ case that he lent us took longer than the motor build. (Thanks, Bill, for setting a very low bar on the standard “return it cleaner than you borrowed it” policy!)

They headed to the pad, continued with their very rigorous checklist, and with minimal interference from me (I was the only one tall enough to activate two of their switches because the tall kid was on an airplane to Ecuador for Spring Break) they completed their preflight and retreated to Minimum Safe Distance to watch the show.

Video of the Flight can be seen on youtube at the following link:

Caveat: I can’t track a rocket with a video camera to save my life, so this video actually represents some of my best work ever…because the rocket actually makes it into the frame at a couple of points during the descent…..

The drogue deployed on schedule at apogee, and the main was ejected on schedule at 800′. It took a moment to fully inflate the ‘chute, but it did open all the way (according to the altimeter data, by about 500’) so we have a 100% “clean” flight to report to NASA.

The kids are completely stoked, and we’re getting a revised report ready for our Videoconference with the NASA review panel on Wednesday.

Huntsville, here we come!

Huge thanks to Bill Munds for loaning us his casing, and the entire Washington Aerospace Club for making the Spring Festivus launch a reality this year! We couldn’t have done it without you!!!

Peter Schurke