I was asked recently if I had lost interest in rocketry. Nothing could be further from the truth; I love rocketry as much as ever and can't foresee ever losing my interest in it. Time constraints have kept me from actually doing much, but I'm always keeping my eyes open for anything rocket related. That leads me to this post. A couple of weeks ago someone on the Arocket email list mentioned a long out of print book called Amateurs and Rockets by Humphreys. I was surprised because with as few books that have been written on the subject, I thought I knew them all. I immediately went to Alibris and found that they had three copies, one seller was asking $280, one $180, and one seller was asking just $20. I ordered the twenty dollar book and forgot about it. When I got home yesterday I found that it had arrived and after a quick flip through I was a really happy. The book was written by two members of the Pacific Rocket Society and contains numerous photos and technical drawings from the 50's and 60's. Many of them from the Reaction Research Society of which I am a member. One of the coolest images that I found was of the RRS's newly constructed launch tower. The photo was taken before I was born! The other photo is of me at least 35 years later using the same launch tower. There are a ton of other interesting photos and stories that I hope to share here.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
These are pictures of the very first rocket that I launched at the RRS back in 2002. I hadn't bought a lathe yet and the motors were constructed primarily out of PVC pipe and fittings. It was the largest PVC motor that I have ever constructed and the last before moving on to fully machined motors made of steel and aluminum.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
This is a rocket I flew back in March of 2004. My friend Peter and I got a lot of ribbing from the guys as the vehicle was constructed almost entirely from sewer pipe. The motor utilized an unrestricted burning grain, which basically means that it lept off the ground like a bat out of hell. That's me holding a propellant segment, Peter with the rocket, leaving the ground with a bit of an arc, straightening out, and the landing site. Fun Day!