rockets and grasshoppers

We finally got the rockets made and yesterday afternoon was the initial lift off.

The girls gathered a bunch of friends over at the high school and we prepared the launch site.

We had thee rockets, and a friend had brought his. After some initial challenges with the fancy safety-inspired launch pad, we were ready to go. (Back when I was a kid, we just took an old hanger, jammed it into apiece of scrap wood, took a piece of waterproof fuse and jammed it into the engine, lit it and ran like crazy…But can we do that now? Noooooooooo………. we have to be all "safety conscious.")

So after so safety check issues, we were ready to go.

Five, four, three, two, one, LIFT OFF! Whewww….! and off it goes. That smell of sulphur taking me back to the field of St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Indianola Iowa. Climbing, climbing, climbing….pop goes the parachute.

Uh-oh…seems to be awfully windy…there it goes…can you see…run to the edge of the fence…still going…

For all I know, that thing is still floating along.

We made some adjustments to our high-tech launch pad and set off the rest, and had much more success getting them to land in the giant parking lot. We did have one that was rescued from the cow pasture and another that had a chute problem and smashed into a bunch of pieces in the parking lot.

But the highlight of the day was when we sent our first passenger into flight. An unsuspecting grasshopper was added to one of the last flights as a test of endurance and stress. Or we just wanted to see what happened.

Five, four, three, two, one, LIFT OFF! Off goes Grasshopper One. After about a five or six hundred foot flight, the chute popped and Grasshopper One came in for a smooth landing. The recovery team brought the rocket back and we checked out the condition of our brave grasshopper.

Seems that he survived the flight pretty well. He did soil himself, and the rocket, at some point during the voyage, so we will have to call on the cleaning crew to decontaminate before the next shoot.

Which is tentatively planned for next Sunday afternoon.

Because really, what says Easter and Resurrection better than a grasshopper flying into space and coming back alive and well. 

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Posted on April 2, 2007, in Dad stuff. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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