Rockets Away: Two Model-Rocket Launches
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Rocket Launch-Pad Assembly Photo by Josh's mommy, Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 50 mm — 1/300 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Rocket Launch-Pad Assembly
Photo by Josh's mommy, Marci Kreta

Two years ago during our summer visit to my folks', Anthony and I shot off a rocket, his first, to his great enjoyment. I still had the rocket, and with his three-year-old cousin Josh in town, I thought to fire it off again, giving Josh his first experience. (I had intended to do this last week while Anthony's four-year-old cousin Grace was here as well, but missed the chance.)

My intention was to let Anthony fire off the rocket once, then let Josh do it, and then alternate back and forth until I was out of motors or they got bored, whichever came first.

Trajectory Calculations we want to be sure to avoid the trees Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 50 mm — 1/640 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Trajectory Calculations
we want to be sure to avoid the trees
Photo by Marci Kreta
Launch Crew Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 35 mm — 1/60 sec, f/6.3, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Launch Crew
Photo by Marci Kreta
Launch-Sequence Explanation Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 28 mm — 1/300 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Launch-Sequence Explanation
Photo by Marci Kreta
Giddy Anticipation Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 45 mm — 1/160 sec, f/9, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Giddy Anticipation
Photo by Marci Kreta
Launch! Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 28 mm — 1/100 sec, f/7.1, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Launch!
Photo by Marci Kreta

All the photos above are by my sister. In the box below is a sequence I took.... mouse over the buttons in turn to see the sequence, and notice Anthony's reaction in the last one....

T minus 0.2 seconds -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
T minus 0.2 seconds

Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Takeoff

Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
T plus 0.2 seconds

Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
T plus 0.4 seconds

Nikon D700 + 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/80 sec, f/13, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
T plus 0.6 seconds
1 2 3 4 5
mouse over the buttons to see the image sequence
Technical Difficulties Upon Re-Entry Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 28 mm — 1/40 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Technical Difficulties Upon Re-Entry
Photo by Marci Kreta
Anthony and Josh Win the “Where's the Rocket?” Contest Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 60 mm — 1/30 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Anthony and Josh Win the “Where's the Rocket?” Contest
Photo by Marci Kreta

I knew that there was a chance the rocket would get stuck in a tree as it parachuted back to earth, which is why when we did this a couple of years ago we went to a local baseball field. But when we did it then, the rocket came right back down pretty much were we shot it off, so I thought it might be okay this time. A big storm was coming (an hour later a powerful thunderstorm with heavy winds and rain rolled through) so we decided to just give it a try. Fail.

It landed way way up in a tall tree (four or five stories up?), but I did make a halfhearted effort to get the rocket down by throwing apples at it.

More Fail Photo by Marci Kreta -- Rootstown, Ohio, USA -- Copyright 2009 Marcina M. Kreta -- Marcina M. Kreta
Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D @ 28 mm — 1/40 sec, f/4.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
More Fail
Photo by Marci Kreta

So, Josh didn't get a chance to press the fire button, but my one bit of non-fail is that I never had suggested to him that he'd get a chance, so he didn't know he missed out, so there were no “issues” there.

The storm that came through knocked out Dad's Linksys router, so I made a quick dash to a store to get another. When I returned, I found that Anthony had built his own rocket, replete with launch pad and launch button...

Finger on the Button -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 44 mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Finger on the Button
Launch! Lifting the rocket revealed a yellow tube of rocket blast! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 44 mm — 1/60 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Launch!
Lifting the rocket revealed a yellow tube of rocket blast!
With Accompanying Rocket Sound and the yellow tube of fire is about to fall of the launch pad -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 44 mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
With Accompanying Rocket Sound
and the yellow tube of fire is about to fall of the launch pad

All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Pretty awesomely creative of him to create his own solution!

— comment by Eric Mesa on August 11th, 2009 at 11:00pm JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

How long do you think it is before they figure out you can break apart the engine packs in those things and harvest the gunpowder to build bombs? (Can’t believe I survived to have kids of my own)

— comment by Zak on August 12th, 2009 at 8:23am JST (8 years, 4 months ago) comment permalink

If you are worried about finding it again, just tape some fins to the rocket itself, a small cardboard nose cone, and use a section of straw for the launch rod 🙂

Then you don’t have to worry about recovery, although you might litter the place with rocket motors, so would be better to have a quick look for it, considering you aren’t using a parachute, it should fall nearer.

Having no parachute lowers the fun a bit, but you could always make your own and put it in the nose cone.

Being lighter, it should go slightly higher as long as it stabilises itself well (which is why you still want to launch it off the rod).

— comment by Simon on January 11th, 2010 at 12:40am JST (7 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I stumbled across your blog by pure chance and just wanted to say how lovely the photos are. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time with your model rocket.

— comment by Paul on October 29th, 2016 at 10:25pm JST (1 year, 1 month ago) comment permalink
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