Anthony’s First Model-Rocket Launch

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Unbridled Excitement
after shooting off his first model rocket

As one would expect of a four-year-old boy, Anthony has a keen interest in rockets. If it wasn't clear enough the other day when he explained to me in detail how the space shuttle launched (see the middle of this post), it was clear today when we shot off a model rocket.

I was into model rocketry when I was a kid, so I thought to share that experience a bit with him. Yesterday we bought an Estes starter kit and built one of the rockets, and today we went to a park to shoot it off. (I used to shoot them off in the fields at my folks' place, but 25 years has added a lot of height and bulk to the surrounding trees, so I worried that we'd lose the rocket on the first launch.)

Pre-Launch Photo Op -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/2500 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pre-Launch Photo Op

I set up everything for launch, then while I held down the fire-permit button on the fire controller with one hand (and the camera with the other), Anthony counted down and pressed the launch button.


Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 38mm — 1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Anticipation
Launch -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 48mm — 1/4000 sec, f/5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Launch
Clearing the Tower -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 48mm (cropped) — 1/4000 sec, f/5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Clearing the Tower

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 17mm — 1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
WOW!

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm (cropped) — 1/8000 sec, f/5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Parachute Deployed
(above the parachute is a tissue that protected the parachute from the engine's ejecting charge)

As luck would have it, it landed very close, so he rushed right over and was simply unable to contain his excitement. He jumped up and down, pumped his arms, and cheered with abandon.


Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 44mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Pumping His Arms

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 44mm — 1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Cheering

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Jumping Up and Down
(note air below feet)

Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
All of the Above

The tissue that protects the parachute landed quite a bit further away, so he went off to get it.


Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 22mm — 1/1500 sec, f/4, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Our Own Little Cape Canaveral
Launch padMission control siteLanded rocketSearch and rescue
Blast Effect on the launch pad -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2007 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 + Nikkor 17-55 f/2.8 @ 55mm — 1/400 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Blast Effect
on the launch pad

He's wearing the same shirt today as he did in this post from March, but this time it's backwards instead of inside out :-).

I love to capture him in his “unbridled joy” state, as I did here and in the links in the “Followups and related posts” section below.


All 3 comments so far, oldest first...

Yah know, he looks just a little excited over this launch (my favorite is “cheering”). But I was kind of surprised to see you with a rocket – I thought you had about 11 years left before you’re not grounded from them anymore.

Apparently you remember more than I or Mom and Dad do, since none of us remember any of the stories you fed them, much less any stories about grounding. Unlike you, I was never grounded as a kid. (Not that I didn’t do things that deserved it, of course….) —Jeffy

— comment by Marcina on August 13th, 2007 at 6:58am JST (10 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

I used to use those same Estes rockets when I was a kid. I loved ’em. We used to dig the powder out of the engines and do incredibly dangerous things with it, if I recall correctly.

— comment by Zak on August 13th, 2007 at 8:31am JST (10 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

Yeah, the grounding in question had, I believe, something to do with out-dug powder. Have your eyebrows grown back yet? I’ll admit, thought, the, uh, *incidents* that Mom & Dad never knew about were the most impressive. Any of your really cool ones, done now, would undoubtedly result in the Homeland Security Threat level being raised to ORANGE at the very least.

— comment by Marcina on August 13th, 2007 at 10:13am JST (10 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink
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