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Last updated: Mar 27, 2010
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Alan Estenson, Webmaster

March 2010 launch report (3/27/2010)

On Saturday, March 27th, MASA held its third launch of 2010.  It was held at the VFW soccer fields near Elk River.

The skies were overcast and a few rain drops were felt during the morning.  The wind actually decreased throughout the launch.  While there were some early TARC flights, the MASA launch officially ran from noon until 3pm.

A total of 54 flights were recorded on motors ranging from A to F.

A few of the flights:

MASA members - please send in your thoughts about the launch! 

Art Gibbens writes:

It was ugly. Had Hope Christian Academy's Rocket club known what they were in for today, I'm sure we all would have stayed home in our nice warm beds rather than venture out into the cold dreary morning. We arrived at the school around 8:00 am to do those last minute activities to ensure success in our launches for the day. We then loaded up the van and headed for Otsego. The skies looked threatening to the North and West - the direction we were heading. We encountered a sprinkling shower just before we turned North on 101 - just enough moisture to make everything wet.

We were the first to arrive to the launch site as there was only one of the VFW ladies just leaving. So the students started prepping their rockets and I went about setting up my launch equipment. It was about the time that the launch equipment was all set up and both teams had their respective altimeters beeping in their equipment bays that we discovered that after last week's trial launches that the whip clips had not been returned to the launch toolbox where they belonged. Ugh.

So, what to do? At this point, not knowing who might be coming to the launch later that day, or if even any body else had a set of whip clips to use for launching cluster motors we had to make a decision about what to do. We had enough time to drive back to the school (an hour each way) and still get in some flights for the day, perhaps not as many as we'd have liked to; or we could wait and take the chance that someone coming to the launch would have a set of clips. So one of the students from the teams and I took off to go
get the clips at HCA while the others with two parents remained behind to watch over the gear. We were about 15 minutes away when we got the call to have us turn around, as Neil had shown up for the launch and had a set of clips with him.

We got back just as the first team launched. We did not see the rocket land, just the smoke from the launch lingering around the pad. TARC Team #8153 had their rocket lawn dart because only the single C11-5 engine had lit; neither of the two D12-5s had lit. So it got up high enough to do serious damage to the rocket upon impact. The ejection charge was not strong enough to force the two parts of the fence post apart.

Team #8152 had an even more dramatic failure with their rocket, as all 3 of their engines lit but the lone C11-7 CATOed forcing the top of the rocket off as it cleared the launch rod and causing the bottom half of the rocket to spin crazily about 30 feet in the air while the 2 D12-7s spent their energy. The parachute for the bottom half of the rocket was a molten blob of plastic and the streamer was charred almost completely through in 3 different places. Like I said at the beginning - it was ugly.

So we packed up our things and headed back to the school. Both rockets were destroyed and being that it is spring break, there is no way to work at school this week to rebuild the rockets to try to qualify next weekend. So, another TARC season is behind the HCA Rocket Club. Hopefully others had better flights today.

Alan Estenson writes:

Some sun would have been nice, but it wasn't a bad day for launching rockets.  The wind, out of the south, was light and dropped to scarcely a breeze by the time we were all packing up to go home.

Todd Carpenter's "Steam Boy" on a D21 really moved.  I asked him if he'd tied down the safeties to get a higher steam pressure.  ;-)

I somehow got in 11 flights.  First up were some odd-rocs:  Pheord X150, Sputnik, and a traditional Stomp rocket.  Then I flew a Sky Hook on an A3-4t, and it really went up there!  That was my longest recovery walk of the day - all the way down to the south end of the field.  Next, I flew a Goony Goblin and a Goblin.  The Goblin's C11-5 blew it's ejection charge about 100 feet up.  That stripped off the chute and broke a fin, but it's fixable.  Then, I flew an old Der Big Red Max clone and my crayon rocket, "Back to Cool".  I was happy with how well the crayon flew on an E9-4.

Last, I played with some more little onboard video cameras.  I flew my old Longshot 2-stager twice with a "keychain camera" taped to it.  The Longshot has gotten pretty tired and is now due for retirement.  Then, I flew my old D-powered Fat Boy with a "gum camera".

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  54 flights, 62 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 735 Ns with an average total impulse of 11.9 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0












E 7



(Alan Estenson)

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