Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rocket Launch

Space has been of great fascination in our household lately.  The kids have been perusing all of Doug's old Space Camp stuff, and we've watched several shuttle landings and a take-off or two.  Doug thought it would be a lot of fun for our family to build and launch a model rocket.  So, Wednesday afternoon the kids and I assembled the rocket.  Olivia did help some, but for the most part she watched through the lens of her brand new camera!  (Hmmm....if this post is any indication, I might find myself in a few more pictures.  I'm not sure how I feel about that!)

Doug even managed to take a break for a few minutes and come help assemble the launch pad. 
After an hour or so we had a fully assembled rocket.
We wanted to give the glue plenty of time to fully dry, so we waited until Friday morning for our launch.  We bagged everything up and carried it out to the huge field behind the church.
After placing the engine inside the rocket, Doug mounted it on the launch pad.
Then we made sure the launch controller was ready to go.
We counted down and fired off the first rocket (using the smallest engine size to test the waters).
(Understandably, there are no pictures of the actual launch - it was hard enough to follow with our own eyes, much less try to capture in still form or even video!)  It was a beautiful launch!  The parachute deployed perfectly, and the rocket came almost straight back down to us!  After we collected the rocket, we all studied the burn patterns inside and out.
Then we mounted a slightly larger engine for our second try.  I stuffed the parachute in poorly, so it didn't deploy the second time, but the rocket was none the worse for wear.  For our final launch we try to convince Steven to press the button.  He wasn't too sure about it...
The last launch was beautiful, and the chute deployed perfectly!  But, then a gust of wind picked it up and carried it to the tree line between the church and the movie theater.  Doug was the hero of the day and managed to rescue the rocket from the tree where it landed!

All in all, a fun way to spend a sunny Friday morning! 

3 comments:

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

How fun!! We visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum last week and saw lots of rockets and a space shuttle.

Ann said...

I think your rockets might have been more fun than ours! :-) We have high hopes of making it to the Air and Space Museum in Huntsville someday soon!

Herding Grasshoppers said...

My boys would've loved that!

Glad it worked so well :D

Julie