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R.O.C.K.'s March, 2009, Launch

The morning started off cool with just light winds as Brian and the others set up the launch pads and other equipment.

I used my sore foot as an excuse to shirk out of helping set things up. Instead, I readied my "Upscale Alpha III" for flight on a G motor.

The "Upscale Alpha III" is actually a modified NCR Phantom 6000 which only looks a little like an Alpha III. I purchased the NCR kit using a gift certificate Estes gave my wife and I for helping out at one of their "Make It and Take It" sessions held at Walt Disney World many years ago. The Phantom 6000 was my first mid-power rocket.

The rocket was also the first to fly at the March launch. It carried a video camera that I enclosed in the rocket using a high-tech mounting system composed of a hole cut into the body tube, a couple of pieces of wood, two strips of Velcro, and a few feet of electrical tape. The rocket also used a Parrot Featherweight altimeter which I forgot to arm before the flight. Fortunately, the four-second delay of the Aerotech G64 motor was just about the right length and the 'chute deployed right at apogee. The parachute was a little too large and didn't fully deploy. But, it brought the rocket down slowly enough that it was safe and the rocket was undamaged.

Later that day, I launched the rocket a second time, also with the video camera. The two onboard video segments are included in the video above.

Additional photographs from the launch can be viewed in the PayloadBay Gallery. I have a few more pictures I will add to the gallery soon. I also have more video - including slow-motion (high-speed) video - that I recorded at the launch. I'll add additional videos to the site, soon.

[Posted: 2009-03-09 | Updated: 2009-03-15]

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