|By Carmelo Turdo|
|Dan Crank, SLRA Secretary|
The St. Louis Rocketry Association (SLRA) held their monthly model rocket launch June 30 at Buder Park in west St. Louis County. Association members gathered to launch their rockets of various designs from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the designated range adjacent to the RC Aircraft flying field (home of the St. Louis Aeropilots). It has been several years since The Aero Experience featured the SLRA at the 45th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 moon mission at the St. Louis Science Center, so it was high time we met again to capture the excitement of some rocket launches.
We met SLRA Secretary, Dan Crank, at the range. It was set up and operated according to the National Association of Rocketry Model Rocket Safety Code, ensuring that experienced and novice rocket builders alike can launch together in a safe and orderly fashion. Included in the launch sequence is the countdown and the use of an electrical launch controller. There is a fraction of a second delay to ignition and launch of the rocket; though once ignited, the solid rocket motor will burn until the fuel is exhausted. Solid construction of the rocket, especially concerning the control fins and recovery parachute, is critical for the successful recovery and scoring (in competitions) of the launch.
The first two launches of the day: Mad Science and Goony Max rockets.
Science meets science fiction: Star Wars Trade Federation Battleship!
Another round of launches: Large Vector Force and the short flight of Tiberius.
More rockets were launched as the morning drew toward noon, with some of the die-hard modelers remaining for more individual launches. The Aero Experience thanks the members of the St. Louis Rocketry Association for their hospitality during our visit to their monthly launch, and we encourage anyone in the St. Louis area with an interest in model rocketry to contact the St. Louis Rocketry Association to get involved in great activities like this one.
And now for a parting thought...It really is rocket science!