Personal — photos with commentary from my husband on kids model rockets

Sunday, August 13, 2006
Here is Jim’s version of last Sunday afternoon: First of all, my usually understanding wife doesn’t like the name Beaver Lodge for our house. I, on the other hand, like it because it helps create a mystique that we are living up in the mountains away from civilization. We actually have lots more deer, bear, turkey, hawks, raccoons, squirrels, bats, snakes, caterpillars, spiders, and ants than beavers, but those names just don’t fit well as a name for our “lodge.”
This past Sunday (8-6-2006) Marita’s Mike and son David came by for a visit. Christopher and Edward love hanging with David so Mike’s and David’s arrival was eagerly anticipated. The first thing that came out of the boys’ arsenal (literally) was an eight-foot long three-stage rocket built by Christopher.
This “Long August” rocket is mounted for takeoff at the top of the wood frame, with the tail fins level with Edward’s hairline. David is on the left. The rocket’s tube is an 8-foot plastic fluorescent light bulb protector available from Home Depot. The first stage is an “E” motor, designed to be pushed out when the second motor, a “D”, fires after being lit by the expended “E.” The white one-foot long object within the tube, at the top of the fins, is a finless third stage using an “A” motor. After being lit by the expended “D” motor, the third stage is supposed to blast its way up the tube, through the green nose cone, and continue higher.
Here we have a magnificent takeoff.The weight of the three motors makes the first stage exhaust nice and thick.
The Long August rocket near the end of the “E” motor firing. The delay before “D” motor startup was a wee-bit too long and the rocket nosed over and headed straight down back to Earth. Then, just when it seemed we were watching a catastrophic failure, the rocket did something we’ve never seen before, the “D” motor ignited, and the rocket made a “U” turn and started heading straight up again. We were all completely amazed.
This rocket was guiding itself to new heights!
Below we see the second (“D” motor) stage bring the Long August way up. You can make out the very faint rocket at the top of this picture. This is really far up at this point – I would guess between 600-800 feet.
After topping out again, the rocket nosed over for its second time, and crashed on the pool deck.
The three rocketeers inspect the spent rocket, after removing the third stage which never fired. Christopher is holding what had been the 8-foot clear plastic tube; David is holding the third stage white tube. They feel that the third stage moved up the tube after the rocket nosed over, and was too far from the second motor to be ignited.
Edward and David took a PVC pipe and fired the third stage bazooka style. Without fins it lost its directional stability. Uncle Mike’s comment was that he sees a future for Edward, in the military.
Christopher checks out the tail. It appears that the second motor, that was mounted a few inches up the tube, must have melted the tube enough to bend it to bring the rocket out of its first dive. It then melted the tube the other way to make the rocket fly straight up again. Improbable as this may sound, it is the only explanation we have at this point.
Front end of the rocket showing the crumpled top of the rocket tube. Uncle Mike is in the background, perhaps wondering how he managed to marry into this family.
The full rocket team: Christopher, Edward, David, Uncle Mike. Where are they all heading? Fourth year H.S., Third year H.S., Fourth year college, back home again.
Heather’s notes: A fun time was had by all. I love that they create their own rockets rather than use kits. Where was Katherine – she was taking movies of the launches.


About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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