Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rockets to the Heavens

Little Tornado Boy LOVES building and setting off rockets. I am quickly figuring out that he is turning into a little adrenaline junkie. He and his daddy starting setting off store bought rockets at the local baseball stadium parking lot over a year ago and it has now moved up to them purchasing kits and building their own rockets. They decided to start with a Skill Level 1 rocket that was a big success but you know guys...the bigger the fire power...the better. I can hear Tim the Tool Man making his grunting noise and screaming "more power!!!!!"....So they went up and built the Storm Caster a Skill Level 2 rocket. It took them about a month of working evenings to build it and paint it. I loved watching the two of them work together....I think daddy enjoyed building it as much as Tornado Boy.

Launch Day came for the Storm Caster at the local baseball park and they used C engines for the initial launch....3,2,1 blastoff....and WOW - WAY up in the sky....the wind was a little bit up and picked up the larger parachute and sent the rocket about 1/2 mile off towards the local elementary school. We watched while screaming "keep going" as it hit the top of the elementary school's roof and fell onto their property. We raced to the car and drove around to the school and sheepishly, Daddy climbed over the elementary school fence and went hunting for the rocket. Success! A quick clambering over the fence in fear of police getting us for breaking and entering...we decided that maybe the Storm Caster was a wee bit too big of a rocket for the baseball stadium parking lot. So, we were on a mission to find a safe location. We had graduated to the world of rocketry.

After researching we found a local rocketry club that meets one time a month in a very desolate area of the county and Tornado Boy was thrilled beyond words! We of course headed over one Saturday with Storm Caster in tow and talk about the mother loads of rocket clubs!!! These guys were setting off giant scale rockets that screamed to the heavens! Tornado boy and daddy were SO into it that we all hung out in 95 degree weather for 3 hours watching and launching Storm Caster. He got to launch his rocket 4 times, with one time sending daddy on a long 25 minute trek to try to recover the rocket after one mighty launch!

Here they are setting up Storm Caster at the launch site

Ready for Lift Off!!!

Storm Caster soaring to the heavens! The other rocket club members were VERY impressed with the rocket they built. You can see Tornado Boy recoiling from the HUGE sound this rocket makes at lift off.

Some of the other rockets the members had were just amazing. They were HUGE - like the size of Tornado Boy and used absurdly large engines. They have special clearance at the rocket launch site with the FAA due to how high some of the rockets go local airplane traffic are aware of the launch site.

Here are some pics of the other rockets....

The last one we watched before we sweat ourselves into a pool of water, we saw the most awesome launch. A gentleman was getting a special certification in order to launch a specific category of rocket. When you really get into the high end rockets, you have to earn certification in various levels of have to build the rocket yourself, then take a written AND oral exam showing that you understand rocketry and then you have to do a launch of your rocket with an examiner present to certify the launch. This rocket SCREAMED to the had a ridiculous size engine and they had to call it into the local airport to notify the altitude of the rocket. I mean this puppy disappeared thousands of feet into the sky, it was UNREAL. Tornado Boy's eyes were the shape of saucers after he saw that one go off and said in a breathless voice...."that was just way cool....can we start building a new rocket".

Here's a pic of that last monster rocket.

The next day, my two "men" headed down to the local hobby shop and purchased the next level 2 rocket kit...this puppy is called The Express and it is supposed to travel 1,700 feet....God help us!!!!


  1. Wow! Phenomenonal, the stuff people do. So glad your son has found a community of people who share his interest.

  2. What fun! I can totally see the appeal. Toby would love to do this! What a great post, thanks for sharing.^_^

  3. Love it! just stumbled on your blog, and am enjoying your adventures already! :)