Thursday, December 22, 2011

Launch Report #45: CATO 180: Part 1

First launch in seven months! Busy summer vacation plus going to college prevented me from getting to CATO, and I didn't bother launching on my own. But I'm home for a month now, and so I headed off to Durham for some fun.

My first flight was actually not my rocket. Al Gloer showed me a tiny little thing: a rocket about the size of an Estes Mosquito that was made out of one piece of solid plastic, right down to the launch lug. I flew it on a 1/4A3-3 micro motor, which despite its tiny size and quarter-second burn time can throw a one-ounce rocket about two hundred feet in the air. As expected, we couldn't find it.

But, for the first time, I bring you a VIDEO:

It's pretty interesting to look at frame-by-frame. The cloud of smoke expands for four frames before the rocket actually starts moving.

Second flight was my Cosmic Cobra - my long-ago first rocket - on a C6-3. A gust of wind hit at liftoff and it arced heavily over downrange, but it was high enough for safe ejection. The body tube core-sampled into an open area of field; finding it was a lot easier than removing the 3-inch plug of dirt inside it. I had trouble finding the nose cone in the high grass, but after backtracing the flight in my mind I was able to identify a probably location for it - and I found it.

Here's it just moments after ignition:

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