Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Steve Eves' 1:10 Scale Saturn V - April 25, 2009

Just awesome! You have to check out the article on Steve Eves and his project to honor the anniversary of the great Saturn V rocket. It's a great story. You can read the full article at It's well worth it.

Well, Saturday he had a great launch and my hat goes off to him. It really made my day to watch the video with the kids. What an inspiration! Check out the video and another aritcle on the launch at

YouTube link:

Thanks Steve, that is one launch I would have loved to have been at to watch live. Glad they got some great video of it. Good luck on whatever you do. We wish you the best!

Desert Heat 2009 - March 28, 2009

Took me a month to get these up here, but here are some shots from Desert Heat 2009. Above you see Brenda's Big Daddy from her SARSEF science fair project on pad number 6 about to be launched. It actually had a really great flight.

Preparing the Semroc Saturn 1B for launch on a cluster of four C6-3 motors. It was the first flight of this favorite rocket of ours and it was great. Perfect flight and recovery with no damage at all. We were pretty relieved after all the work building it. You can check out the building pictures at and

Saturn 1B all hooked up and ready to go. Hopefully some of the video of the launch came out. We will have to take a look and post it if it did.

Heading out to recover the Saturn 1B.

Inspecting for damage.

We were all very happy with the results!

Our modified Executioner XL on an E9-6 motor. Perfect flight but unfortunately we couldn't find the very large payload section. :-(

Our 6 foot 7 inch "Mean Yankee" flying on an E9-6 motor. Perfect flight and recovery.

Our Semroc AeroDart sitting on the pad with an E9-6 motor. Unfortunately we didn't get to fly it as we took so long looking for the Executioner XL's payload bay.

Our 2-stage Estes Renegade taking off on its excellent flight.

We didn't make it out to the night launch, but plan on camping out and staying for both days next year. If you are in the Tucson area we highly recommend that you join SARA (Southern Arizona Rocketry Association), attend the monthly launches and the yearly Desert Heat launch. They are a lot of fun and the experienced rocketeers out there are very willing to help and advise you on your projects. Check out the site at

SARSEF Science Fair - Brenda's Fat Daddy

Brenda's entry into SSA Broadway's science fair for SARSEF. She did great and barely missed going down to the Tucson Community Center. Her display was a favorite among some though, especially when she had so much fun telling people why she named the heavier one, her "Fat Daddy."

She compared flight altitudes of a standard Estes Big Daddy rocket with those of her modified version of the same rocket that she joyously calls "Fat Daddy." She predicted the one that weighed more would not go as high when flown on a motor of the same power (total impulse). She was right! The additional weight of the X-10 wireless camera and 9 volt battery would definitely take some more juice to get it up to the same altitude.

SARSEF Science Fair - Alan's Launch Box

Alan made it down to the Tucson Community Center for the 2009 Southern Arizona Regional Science & Engineering Fair ( after placing in the top of the students from his school. His project was based on measurements taken from his home built Launch Box (Featured in an earlier post if you want to build one.) and a standard Estes 6 volt launch controller. (

Alan next to his display at SARSEF science fair.

This shot shows only about 1/4 of the competition. Unfortunately Alan didn't place this time, but it was his first year and he learned a lot. Plus he already is coming up with some cool ideas for next year's fair. If you check back here and on ( you will probably see some previews of his work.

Below are a few shots of Brenda and Alan by some of the other project displays. Notice how Brenda likes the ones that have to do with dogs? She finds them wherever she goes!

I had to point this one out to Naomi. You should check out the backpack that she carries around at BASIS Tucson. It's at least as heavy as some of the rucksacks that I carried around in the jungles in the 25th Infantry Division!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sonoran Science Academy - 2-Stage Launches - March 27, 2009

On March 27, 2009, the SSA Broadway 3rd Grade Rocketeers launched their 2-Stage rockets. These were built from Estes Loadstar kits and were flown on B6-0/B-6-6 motors. Once again they had a great day with 100% of the rockets igniting both stages! Awesome job class!

A thank you to Mrs. Jahan's father, Otto, who helped install the ignitors into the rocket motors!

Alan choosing some other rockets for a demo after the students had fired all their Loadstar rockets.
The Sonoran Science Academy students behaved very well, following instructions. I would love to teach this class again.

A few fins on the student's rockets were broken off by accident during the walk to the park. We repaired them quickly with some strong packing tape and they actually flew well. They were pretty happy we had that roll off tape in our box of supplies...

Rocketry can sure be a fun family affair!

Another special thank you to Jet's Mom, Diane Thevenot, for sticking around afterword with her husband Jim, to help clean everything up and especially for driving around and finding one of our favorite demo rockets, the 36 D Squared, that ended up in a rocket eating tree outside the park. Thanks guys!

Thanks again for parent volunteers that helped retrieve rockets with the kids.

In case you are wondering, that is Jet's motor.

A rocket launch is definitely an emotional event!

Kinda cool when your bosster lands right side up!

And now a couple demo rockets!

A Semroc Centurion with a Semroc Booster-16 for a two stage flight. That neat little booster uses an Estes A10-0T motor that is pretty hard to find now. We found a site online that had what may have been the last lot and bought all that they had left. Glad we did because it's a cool little booster stage.

Here is our Estes Outlander. Another very cool rocket that takes a while to build. Lots of parts! It had an awesome flight and actually landed perfectly on its legs that flex. Unfortunately, we were nervous because of posts online saying that it was unstable, so I didn't film it. I was too busy watching it carefully. It would have made a great video. Well, we like the kit and ours flies very stable so we are pretty happy.

Another favorite is the 36 D Squared. It gets its name from its length of 36 inches and its cluster of two D sized motors. We flew it on two D12-5 motors for this flight. Another perfect flight. This is the tree hugging rocket that landed outside the park and Diane found it after the launch. Thanks again!

the Mean Yankee is a real fun rocket to launch. It is 6 feet 7 inches tall and we flew it on an E9-6 motor. that was the largest motor of the day (It is about equal to eight of the motors that the students' Estes Loadstars flew on) . We have a blog entries at and that talk about building this rocket and painting the stars and stripes on it.

You can also find some prior launch videos at Just look for the "Mean Yankee" and "Orange Twist" videos there.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and posts. I will have to do one more short post on the SARA Desert Heat 2009 launch and then I will be back to building and documenting some more of our Roborocketry projects.

Thanks goes out to Mrs. Jahan the students' teacher and Mr. Ercan Aydogdu their principal for their support, those who donated funds to help purchase the rocket kits, and the parents who helped building, painting, chasing and cleaning up after the rockets!

Thank you!