ROC January 2004

January 10th, 2004

/ Lucerne Dry Lake

1 flight, 973 N-sec burned

The January ROC launch was well attended. Favorable weather kept rockets flying right up until the sun dropped behind the mountains to the west, culminating in Jeff Anesetti's spectacular Nike Ajax flight at sunset.

Flight 1: Laser/LOC 2.1, AT J570

Well, I finally found time to repair the Laser/LOC from its last flight, with one wrap of 6 oz. fiberglass over the kinks in the tube. With the recent acquisition of a 38/1080 case, I decided to finally put up the J570W I had been hoarding for three years. We had it prepped and on the rack in no time, and the count was called out and then... nothing. The rocket sat around like a fat pig for 4-5 seconds, when WHAM! the J570W came up to pressure and the rocket TORE off the pad. Guess that old AT propellant takes a little bit to get it going ;) The (cardboard, mind you) rocket survived the boost and two seconds of flight over mach. It then coasted WAAAAAAAAAY up to apogee, which came and went. It looked like we were having a repeat of flight # 8 when the ARTS finally decided it had reached apogee and fired the deployment charge. Alas, it was too late, and the shock cord tore in two, giving the booster a 2" zipper and leaving the payload section to its own devices on a 28" parachute. The booster came in flat, aided by the giant shock cord streamer trailing it, and sustained a kink at the top of the fiberglass repair job from last time. Oh well, a little more fiberglass and it'll be all better again. The payload section, on the other hand, decided to be funny and drift off the lakebed into the bushes. It took us until 3:30 in the afternoon to find it, all the while being chased by the Lucerne yokels firing shotguns at us. Scary stuff. But we finally found the payload section, beeping quietly behind a bush. This rocket will be ready to go again soon... next time on a J800T!

Altitude: 11,291 ft

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