Christine Rial's 2002 Big Trip
To Delamar, Nevada
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|The Tripoli Vegas Cherokee P Group Project sitting in the back of Les's truck waiting for the 1/2 mile drive out to the launch tower.|
|Here is the rocket getting loaded onto the launch tower. It took the whole group to lift the 200 pound rocket onto the launch rail.|
|The Tripoli Vegas group project getting ready to be lifted vertical.But with their new tower it was easy to lift the rocket into position.
|The Tripoli Vegas Cherokee P almost vertical. They did take there time just to make sure everything was all right.|
|All ready and armed to go. the Cherokee P rocket was going to make some noise this early morning launch. Hmm, I wonder if the radars at Area 51 picked this rocket as it rose into the sky.|
|One last picture before the rocket fly's Here are the Tripoli Vegas members that build and flew the Cherokee P rocket.|
|5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1.. Liftoff!!
Here goes the huge P motor heading for 17,000 feet.
|Almost to 17,000 feet, while leaving a big column of smoke trailing behind. It was really something see this 200 pound rocket flying so straight and true. At apogee the deployment charges went off ejecting the nose cone and the 16 pound bowling ball. It was quite a site to see a bowling ball that high and with that big of chute. They did get 19 minute duration out of the ball but they did miss the record my two minutes.|
|After ejection the booster unfortunately dove though its own chute not letting it deploy and letting the booster hit hard on the side of a mountain. What this picture doesn't show is how high up and that ridge the booster landed and how steep it was. Surprising that they wasn't more damage due to the hardness of those black rocks.|
|Another neat project was this father and son team that built this very nice V2 rocket. Inside taking up the whole length of the rocket was an experimental hybrid rocket motor.|
|Here is the father and son team that made the hybrid. It was the sons design that he had enter into a International Science fair where he won third place for the design. At an earlier launch this same rocket/motor flew to over 20,000 feet. The father is holding a RC remote control. The used RC gear to remotely pressurize and lit the rocket. Also different on this bird was that they had a manifold with a lot of little tubes entering the rocket to make the flight tank fill a lot quicker. It was a very unique design.|
|Unfortunately at this launch the motor CATO at the start of ignition. The wasn't much left of the rocket afterwards, which was an shame do to the fact they had some more interesting rockets that were going to fly on this motor.|
|Here is Tripoli Vegas / NASSA master machinist Jerry McKinney getting ready to fly his Pegasus rocket on a NASSA N size motor. You can easily see why Jerry is a master craftsman. He also build the tower he is standing on. That tower has seen some very big rockets.|
|Here is the Pegasus waiting for launch. I love seeing this rocket being made last year. It has an internal network of aluminum supports that hold the rocket together during boost. At BALLS this year this rocket will fly with the same P size motor that the Cherokee P flew on.|
|Launch of the Pegasus rocket with an NASSA N size motor. In this shot you can see the very neat blue flame of the NASSA motor. The rocket flew to 18,720 feet and had a prefect recovery.|
|And once again here is the Kosdon team O motor attempt. They hope that the rocket would reach 100,000 feet. It is an all composite airframe which is also the motor casing. This year it did fly higher than it did last year, but at around ~4000 feet the rocket did a couple of very wild turns at mach plus speeds. I haven't seen anything turn that fast before.|
|A close up shot of the rocket. Yes the flame was larger than the rocket. They had a second rocket to fly this year but they put that flight on hold so that they could strengthen the airframe / motor casing. I have to say they are getting very close to getting to that magic 100,000 foot level.|
|End of the first day. You must click on this picture to see the full size version on this shot. Its the best shot of this years trip. I took this while prepping my rocket for its night flight. With the clear skies we had this year the moon was really something to see. But it did make it hard to sleep that night out on the lake bed it just stayed too bright to sleep.|
There weren't too many flight on the second day. Vince Serkus started it off flying his Orange / Yellow Barracuda on a NASSA M size motor. It was a perfect launch and recovery. Pictured with him is his son.
|Another perfect lift off. Look at the dust cloud that was kicked up by the rocket.|
|On of the neat groups at the launch this year was an group from Colorado who flew two liquid fuel rockets. They also had a very nice launch tower builded onto a trailer bed making it easy to transport.|
|Their first flight was a test launch. The fuel for the liquid motor was just water. They used this flight to make sure that they were able to fill and pressurize the rocket before it lifted off. At first we thought this was just going to be a ground test, but they wanted to test the rocket itself by lighting the two SRB I motor sold fuel rocket.|
|Not a bad flight it went to +2000 feet and the liquid motor could be heard sputtering out its water all the way. Unfortunately they used an too thin of shock cord to hold the booster to the parachute, so the booster part separated and felled to the earth. Lucky for them there wasn't that much damage.|
|Now it was time for their second flight. This time they were using real rocket fuel. For the fuel they used alcohol and for the oxidizer they used 50% Hydrogen Peroxide. They want to use 90% but they weren't able to find any. It took them a long time to prep the rocket but once they were ready the pressurize the tanks and then lit the liquid motor. After the motor came up to pressure they then lit the 2 SRB sold fuel motors to help it get off the pad.|
|Here is a close up shot of the motor's going. The rocket didn't leave the tower this time due to the fact that one of the fins got rung up on a pressure hose. In this picture you can clearly see the two SRB's burning, but hidden from view is the liquid motor. They used the SRB's to get the rocket moving due to the lower trust of the liquid motor. But the nice thing about the liquid rocket was that it burned for a lot longer time. It seemed like as much as 20 seconds of burn time.|