Against the odds, launching the rocket was a success! We had a great time today using up all three engines. Here’s some photos from the grand event.
With the parachute inside the cap, it didn’t quite sit flush. That worked out OK, though, because I forgot to insert fireproof wadding, and the chute cord was made of yarn and melted after the first launch. Since there was enough snow to let it crash-land without breaking, the 2nd and 3rd launches were made without the parachute.
Ryan and I were just about to attach the rocket engine ignition cables here. The engine ignitior was made of two 9V batteries wired in series, two doorbell buttons (the round kinds), 4 alligator clips and 16ft of doorbell wire. The doorbell buttons fit right into the tops of two super-glue containers I had, so those formed the handles. That gave us two buttons for two people to hold. Calvin and Ryan were pleased that they could each push a button.
The first launch was the craziest. The rocket went up about 15 feet in the air and started doing loops. Caroline and I both got in position to cover a boy should the rocket come towards us. It didn’t, but Caroline took Calvin back about 150 feet in case the next launches went worse.
The second launch was much better. Removing the parachute probably helped, and I changed the angle of the launching rod. It mostly went straight, but took a little hook about half way up and then tumbled back down.
The last launch went pretty much straight up. Maybe it was the snow stuck to the fins from the previous launches!
Ryan had a blast! When we got home he started talking about when we would launch it again. He also started talking about building another rocket. I thought we were on the same page till he said “we’ll need a ladder to get inside”.
Although the launches were successful overall, I think we’ll probably get a regular cardboard and balsa rocket for him so they’ll go higher.