NSL 2015 In Orangeburg This Weekend

NSL 2015 orangeburg

The 2015 National Sport Launch (NSL 2015) are being held today through Monday in Orangeburg, SC, at the SuperSod field where NSL 2008 and the yearly Freedom Launches are held.

Photo from Roger Smith at JonRocket.com

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TARC Finals Report

The 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) finals were held Saturday in The Plains, Virginia, with two local teams participating.  Unfortunately, neither team made the second round, which was won by Russellville City School of Russellville, Alabama which took home the top prize of $20,000 and a trip to the International Challenge, with a two-flight score of just 16.16

The team from Forsyth County High School finished 60th with a score of 52.44, while the team from Creekview High School in Canton (which won TARC last year) did not make a qualified flight.

The score is determined by adding the altitude off by feet from the target of 800 feet, to four times the time off in seconds of a flight duration target of 46-48 seconds.  The rocket must carry a Grade A Hen’s Egg and return it undamaged.

Next year’s challenge lowers the altitude to 750 feet, and the time to 44-45 seconds, and the rocket must carry two eggs, one perpendicular and the other parallel to the rocket direction.

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Launch Report From Lilly

Well, not exactly, yet. We still don’t have a text description of what went on, but we have photos, thanks to Kevin Boyd, and now, we have video from Monica Helms:


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April 11th Launch Report

The April 11th Launch Event at Mill Springs was held on a picture perfect day. Blue skies prevailed while the winds remained mostly light to calm, and what did come along was frequently down the length of the field. Many rockets landed very close to the launch pads, including some that were reaching well over 500 feet in altitude. All of this favorable weather led to a busy day with forty-two participants launching an impressive total of 152 rockets. Motor selections included one micro, one ¼ A, five ½ A, forty-three A, fifty-three B, twenty-nine C, nine D, fourteen E, two F, and one G40 by Glenn Harper on his Leviathan’s last spectacular voyage.

The most remarkable launch was of an Estes Condor by Matt Boyd that lofted twin gliders. One of the gliders circled down in a gentle downward spiral, but the second glider seem to defy gravity and appeared to keep a constant altitude as it circled down the field for what seemed like a few minutes, finally landing gently on the grass at the far end of the field. A really amazing flight. Also of note were the numerous mid-powered flights with almost all of these successfully recovered. Most impressive was a launch of a LOC Ariel by Steve Bellio on a cluster of three E16-4 motors. Wow. There were other low power cluster launches (B & D) and two low power two-stage launches (A & B). Best Triathlon contest 250 foot flight was by Joel Downs who reached 255 feet. Lots of variety and lots of action provided a thrilling day for all spectators who came out to enjoy the event.

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Sport Rocketry!

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March 28th Launch Report

daves-cone-rocketThe March 28th launch event at Mill Springs was held on a blue sky but cool and windy day. We had twenty-eight participants launching a total of eighty-seven rockets, saucers, cones, and spools. There were a good number of multi-stage and cluster engine configurations resulting in the follow total motor ignition count: One 1/4A, two 1/2A, nineteen A, thirty-six B, sixteen C, nine D, twelve E, and two F. The winds blowing cross-field proved to be a challenge throughout the day; however, the number of rockets failing to reach the ground was not significant considering the altitudes being obtained.

Herb Howe put up a generous assortment of oddities with thrilling power selections for boost. David Fields brought out his Mercury and Gemini scale subjects that flew very well, and also an amazingly indestructible (well almost) cone shaped thing he called F-14 that provided four heads-up flight performances. Steve Bellio got top billing with mid-power launches including an interesting E30-4T on center with two C11-5s on his Heavy Duty Beauty. A Radio Shack Flashlight was launched straight and true by Joel Downs, although its reintroduction to earth was a bit abrupt. Roy dug out an old B6-2 that he had for twenty-four years and launched in an Estes Black Diamond. The engine worked good as new. Glenn Harper won the A Super-Roc contest with a 76cm rocket reaching an altitude of 328 feet. Overall it was an active day with many participants and family enjoying the afternoon.

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SoAR Contest Schedule Announced

SoAR Contest Director Tom Kinard has announced a series of contests which will be held at SoAR Mill Springs launches (and one high power contest to be held at the GRITS WinterNationals) throughout 2015. These are not official NAR contests but some have similar rules and objectives. The schedule and rules may be found on the SoAR website’s Contest page.

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Dale’s Bucket O’Rockets Still Here!

At each SoAR launch there is usually a bucket (white, about 12″ diameter), whose location on the field is chosen at random, that is designated as Dale Windsor’s Bucket O’Rockets. Land any part of your rocket in that bucket (after a safe flight and recovery!) and you’ll win a jackpot of rocket kits. If no one gets in the bucket at a launch, the prizes will roll over to the next launch, and another prize will (seldomly!) be added!

In the eight+ years that we’ve been doing this, only a couple of rockets Read more

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Where Do I Fly My Rocket?

(minor updates, Nov ’14) A dilemma faced by many: “I, or my son or daughter, received a model rocket for Christmas (or birthday, or graduation, or other occasion). Where do we go to launch it?”  So here is a short guide to flying a model rocket in the metro Atlanta area.

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