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Jeff Halstead launch report

April 18, 2010

April showers may bring May flowers, but today it brought an afternoon of great launch weather. As SPARC members gathered at Emerson's field before 9 a.m. this morning, rain fell and temperatures hovered in the high 40's. Jim Jopson's motor home became the staging area for coffee, doughnuts, and conversation.
About 15 minutes after 9 a.m., the rain stopped, and Joe Cooney, the Weather Man (no relation to the terrorist group we hope), hustled us out of Jim's motor home to set up. Weather Man Cooney predicted clear skies and 65 degrees by the afternoon. As the launch day progressed, the weather improved as predicted. About two dozen people attended today's launch -- reasonable by April standards, but that doesn't mean the day was without drama. Probably the biggest loss of the day was David Glass's "Goddard's Ghost," a near scale model of one of the great rocket scientist's creations. Dave may be the Northwest's most creative rocket builder, and "Goddard's Ghost" was a good as any we have seen. Dave suspects an overly greased forward closure kept the ejection powder from igniting, resulting in no chute deployment and destruction of the rocket. "Goddard's Ghost" appears to be aptly named, since at this time, it may be communing with the specter of Mr. Robert Goddard himself. Joe Cooney was nearly dethroned from his title as SPARC's most compulsive rocket flier. Joe commonly begins lofting rockets before any of us arrive at Emerson's field. Today, though, he had serious competition. Joe scored 13 flights, as did Mark Howe. Due to igniter problems, both left rockets on the pads at the end of the day, so Joe is still secure in his title. David Powers, though, was one rocket behind both of them with 12 flights to his credit. Nearly all flights were low powered, with no I or J motors posted. Here is the record of motor use by impulse: A - 7 B - 8 C - 31 D - 12 E - 15 F - 2 G - 4 H - 6 As we broke down the launch equipment, Joe's forecast had become a reality. Blue skies and temperatures in the high 60's prevailed. Can Joe pull this off again? We'll see come Mother's Day weekend, when Weather Man Jim Cooney is the launch director for SPARC's May launch. Faithfully reporting, Jeff Halstead, April Launch Director

Posted by bobble at April 18, 2010 8:04 AM

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