One of the things that has been on our to do list for a while is to build and launch a large model rocket. We finally assembled a kit towards the end of last year, but it languished unlaunched in my office for the past few months as we prepared for our big move.
I used to launch model rockets as a kid, but the biggest engines I ever sent into the sky were C level engines from Estes. I wanted to do something bigger now that I’m an adult, so Angela and I built a bigger rocket that holds an E engine.
Today, the wind was finally right for a launch and we headed out to a nearby empty area to blast it off. Here’s our bright blue rocket (in retrospect, not a great color for tracking, but whatever):
After checking the launch controller a final time and hooking up the ignition wires, Angela and Fitz were ready to launch:
The rocket went really, really high. It got to the point where we couldn’t really track it anymore, although I did see it turn over at the apex.
Unfortunately, there was a malfunction and the nose cone didn’t pop so the rocket dived nose first straight into the ground about 200 yards from where it was launched.
A cursory investigation revealed that the engine tube decoupled from its attachment points and allowed the engine to push itself up into the rocket. This caused the second “pop” to not fire on the engine, so the wadding and parachute were not ejected. Oh well – we know what to do better next time!