Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rocket Flying

For his birthday last month, Jen and I got B a model rocket and everything he needed to launch it. But since we had to wait for the weather to cooperate, we didn't get a chance to launch it until a few weeks ago.

After picking up a couple of his friends, we headed over to a nearby park where my boss said he always used to go to launch rockets back when him and his kids were into it.

For the first launch, we had to use a less-powerful engine that would only send the rocket up 200 feet. So after scoping out a good spot (based on the wind, which was barely blowing, and far enough away from everybody else) we got everything set up and ready to go.

5... 4... 3... 2... 1... lift off!

I went through a rocket phase when I was younger, and ever since I met B I've wanted to get back into it with him. Back when he was four, I remember trying to get him into it by having him watch the movie October Sky.

He wasn't having it.

But I was hoping that since he's a little older, he'd get into it a little more.

I think all of us suddenly became NASA engineers when that little rocket took to the sky. It only flew up 200 feet, but it was really exciting!

So after repacking the parachute, and moving the launchpad back a little, it was time to try the 1,200ft engine (yep, I definitely went for the highest engine the rocket could handle...).

This one didn't go as well.

The rocket shot up a lot faster this time around, and actually turned into the wind a little before disappearing from sight. We all stood around saying "where did it go??' -- it. was. gone!

Eventually it came down enough that we caught sight of it, just in time to watch it disappear behind a treeline on the other side of the field. We looked for at least 30 minutes before throwing in the towel. It was either caught up in a tree, or it made it out to the river. Either way, it was gone.


Luckily, everyone was still really excited by how cool it was that they didn't mind that we couldn't find it.

Next time, we're going to have to do a little more physics and account for the wind better, or just buy some engines that don't go as high (yeah, right).

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