Lessons in Rocketeering

[doug]This should also satisfy those of you who want pictures of our new house.(Well, not really, but there’s a picture of part of one room.)

Phil Luchon gave “The Boys” (which includes me) an Estes complete model rocket kit for Christmas. We got permission from Pastor Miller to use the church ball field for launching (try that in Brockton!), and got two flights up on Saturday. The first photo above shows David when it was his turn to launch. John missed out until the next day due to what I thought was bad batteries, but turned out to be a dud engine. So, I bought fresh batteries, and some extra rocket engines, and we planned to have another try at it on Sunday.

Sunday included the regular church service, a pot luck feast (dinner is too small a term for it), and an early afternoon service. We had a guest speaker, a pastor from Arkansas who is being interviewed to become principal for the Christian School. There was a lot of teasing about the weather and his accent—Pastor Miller has a great sense of humor, and both services were a lot of fun, while being spiritually fulfilling as well. Bryan Harrington may be interested to learn that his Temperature Conversion Chart got read from the pulpit.

After the afternoon service, we went back out to launch the rocket again. After discovering that the engine, not the ignitor or batteries were to blame, John got as near flawless a launch off as we’d seen so far. Then I decided to put in a size B engine….

The flight was spectacular. The B engine took off with enough power to send the rocket at least a couple of hundred feet into the air (we haven’t done the triganometry on any of our flights yet), leaving us cheering, “Wow!” and gazing awestruck at the power demonstrated by the rocket’s flight. (The blast was hot enough to mis-shape the steel splash plate where the engine fired.)

Unfortunately, the chute deployed at an altitude high enough to carry the rocket about 100 feet downwind, just enough to get tangled in the top of a tree at the edge of the church property. Despite John’s bravery (see the second image above), he couldn’t get a decent grip on the branch it was on, so the nose cone and parachute are still up in the tree, until we return with some rope or a saw. Thankfully, we shook the body of the rocket (which is not weather-resistant) loose, and that is safely at home.

That evening the church hosted a SuperBowl get-together, at which I dropped John off, while David, Isaac, and I built with Lego. (See the third photo above.) You can see that our new family room has more than enough space to spread the Lego boxes out while we build. The pinball machine and pellet stove are in the background, as are sundry other items that have yet to be unpacked. Nichelle is going to kill me when she sees which photo I’ve posted, but the fun is worth it.

While I was at it, I put up a newer photo of Naomi, for her many fans.

5 Replies to “Lessons in Rocketeering”

  1. Thanks to the SuperHuman climbing (and sawing) skills of my son John, who braved bitter temperatures and great heights to conquer the rocket-eating-tree, we now have recovered the nose cone and parachute assembly.
    I just need to figure out how to reattach the elastic shock absorber to the rocket body, and we will be ready for another flight. I think I’m also going to get a Lego astronaut keychain and include him in the payload area…

  2. wow, thank goodness he did'nt get hurt. well I got a chance to go see you all . and the house is great, it has alot of space. I will try to be up there again. but i don't know with all those[ hillbilles] up there !! haha ok talk to you all soon much love and prayers:{ felicia&andy} nichelle : remember only buy fresh squrriel !!!!!!! haha just joking love you guys !!

  3. [doug][john]Our rocket is once again stuck in a tree at the church. This time, John’s science class was launching model rockets, and he felt a B engine would get him a better grade than an A engine. Unfortunately, some wind came up on what was otherwise a fairly windless day, and the rocket is up a taller tree this time.
    Mr. Small, the science teacher, is going to try to get it down (4 rockets were lost that day), but it’s going to rain tomorrow.

  4. good going john! well praise god we got an apartment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!we move in april 1st. my new address will be felicia Pandele
    20 third st. #2
    brockton,ma02301
    God is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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