Blast

Kenny’s school does a model rocket launch every spring; each kid has his or her own rocket, and they have lots of fun with it. Kenny’s done it three times now.

For his birthday last month his grandmother gave him an Estes Snapshot kit. She’s given him model rockets before, some of which got completed before the parts got lost, but since he didn’t have an engine or launch system (and I didn’t run out and buy him one) they were purely for show. The Snapshot kit includes the launch pad, controller, and two engines, though, so looked like we were in the launch business.

This rocket has a camera built into it — a film camera, for those who remember film. Specifically, 110 film. The film supplied was dated early 2007. 110 film isn’t easy to find, nor are processors who develop it. I think we’ll have to mail it out somewhere.

It had to wait for a day when the weather, our schedule, and Kenny’s privileges status were in alignment. The weather this morning seemed a little dicey, rain threatening and a bit more breeze than I would have liked, but we decided to give it a try. We headed over to King Memorial Park nearby, which we found empty, though a family showed up while we were prepping for the first launch. We set up near the western end of the park, it being emptiest there and the wind being out of the west.

We used the B6-4 engine first. It ignited with no problem, and the rocket went up nicely, popped the chute, and came back to earth almost right where it started. Then I realized I’d omitted a step in prepping the camera, so it didn’t take a picture. D’oh.

So we put in the C6-5, hooked it up, and pushed the button. Whoa! Went way up. It actually headed west, embarrassingly enough, but once the chute deployed and the wind caught it it headed east and Kenny had a bit of running to do to go get it. Great flight, whether the picture comes out or not.

We hung out at the park a while longer, and Kenny had fun watching a couple families flying kites. Yeah, the wind picked up a bit soon after our activities, enough to get kites up though not necessarily enough to keep them up for long. Enough that I wouldn’t have launched our rocket had we arrived then rather than earlier.

So now we’re watching video clips from the Internet like this one.

ETA: Also, I bet it’s confusing to have a model rocket that lands before you launch it.

ETA: … of which Estes has their own variant

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