MASA MASA   Join the National Association of Rocketry Minnesota Rocketry Network

About MASA


  Join MASA

Events Schedule



  Meeting Reports


  Launch Reports

Planet Newsletter

  Planet Online




  Email List


  Outreach Reports

Photo Gallery


Files -n- Forms

MASSY Awards

Open Contest



Last updated: Mar 27, 2010
Site hosted courtesy of the
Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

November 2012 launch report

On Saturday, November 17, MASA held its regular monthly launch at the sod fields near Nowthen.  This launch had been planned for the VFW soccer fields, but was relocated when the weather and field conditions allowed us to use the sod farm instead.

It was definitely a mild day, with high temperatures reaching the mid 50s.  There was a very annoying wind (10 - 15 mph) out of the south that resulted in some very long recovery walks.

Turnout was light, but we had fun closing out the year with a bunch of high power flights.  Launching started around 10am and wrapped up by 2:30pm.

Theme:  Christmas / Winter and so forth

Special Events:

Snowball Fight Drag Race

David Whitaker, Neal Higgins, and Alan Estenson came up with 5 Snowballs to drag race, plus Alan added a Snowflake.  All except for one of Neal's launched.

Thanks to everyone who helped set up and tear down the launch range.

Thanks to the RSO/LCO volunteers!

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

Michael Farrell writes:

A mild but windy day, good for long, contemplative walks in the sun, but records fell, so the walks were worth it. Congrats to MASA for breaking the annual records, and thanks to those hardy few who came out on Saturday bravely burning N/s in pursuit of the new mark. When Alan started things out with a J flight right off the bat in that wicked breeze, I knew it was ON! Thanks to Alan for crunching the numbers and letting us know we were close before the day started.

Thanks also to Alan for lending his tenacious tree-beating skills to the recovery of my battered old Mean Machine while his Cyclotron was dangling even farther off of the ground in the midst of a thorny bramble patch. I only realized after we'd retrieved it that I'd put the wrong 'chute in; it was bigger than the standard size for that model, not smaller as I'd intended. All of those Estes 'chutes look the same when folded up, and it was the wrong day to make that mistake. I had my first lawn dart, from about 1900', and it completely destroyed the upper two thirds of my Estes Leviathan, so I've a got a remodeling project ahead of me this winter. It never fails to be a good time, and I got my 100th flight for the year.

Alan Estenson writes:

I was determined to get in a high power flight or two, so my first flight of the day was to put a J350 in my trusty LOC I-roc.  The flight was beautiful, and it drifted off and seemed to land in the field just beyond the trees to the northeast.  I went walking off to get it...  Once in the field beyond the trees, there was no sign of it!  Cue wandering around...  Maybe it drifted further than I thought?  I started walking further NE on my mental bearing.  Hey, what's that flash of orange waaaaaaay off in the distance?  Well, it's on the right bearing, no other clues, so I'll walk that way.

To sum it up, I got kinda lucky.  I had no clue that it had drifted as far as it did.  If the wind hadn't flapped the orange chute around and caught my eye, I don't know if I would have walked that far looking for it!  In the pic below, the launch pad was roughly at the orange square just left of center.  My I-roc landed roughly at the blue square way off to the north and east.  I figure that it landed about 4,000 feet away from the pad (in a straight line).  The blue lines roughly recreate my walking route there and back.  As you can see, I thought it landed about half as far away as it actually did.

Having walked only a couple miles so far, I then launched my LOC Cyclotron on an I161.  Another nice flight, drifting north, and it landed in a tree.  (the yellow square in the pic above)  I grabbed one of Neal's telescoping poles from the equipment trailer.  Michael Farrell accompanied me since his Mean Machine had drifted off in the same direction.  After another walk around the drainage ditches, we found my rocket way up in the top of a mostly-dead tree.  I had expected the rocket to be hanging down about 15 feet lower, but most of the shock cord was still stuck inside the rocket.  The pole was nowhere near long enough to reach.  It was long enough to reach Michael's Mean Machine - stuck in a smaller tree off to the NW.  So, walk back, grab another telescoping pole, walk back to the rocket, duct tape the two poles together, duct tape a big allen wrench on the end to act as a hook, coax it up and onto one of the rocket's tube fins, YANK, and the rocket came tumbling down!  Thanks to Michael and [guy whose name has embarrassingly slipped my mind] for your help!

The Details:

Full launch tally (PDF)

The totals were:  58 flights, 61 motors.  The cumulative total impulse was 4172 Ns.  The motor breakdown follows:


# Burned

MicroMaxx 0
















G 3


I 2



(Alan Estenson)

Back to Launch Reports