Blog 2017

Want updates? Here’s the latest news.


Mid-March Update
QUAL Day! The old-timers around Santa Cruz say they can’t remember a winter and spring this wet in 50 years, and we feel like it’s been about 50 years between each time we could find clear skies to launch. 3/13 was our day: two NAR members came out to be our observers (thanks to Eric and Walker).

Wind kept things interesting, as did the fact they we were flying newly built rockets. Were our build instructions to ourselves detailed enough to make them the same? Yes… but like a previous flight, our first flight landed in a tree. Goodbye to another parachute and rocket. Rain was forecast for the next week, so with clear days to possibly qualify, we decided to go for it.

Our qual flight results:
flight one score: 59.36.
flight two score: 8
flight three score: DQ (it would have been a 10) but once again we had kevlar breakage.

Now we wait. We sure would love to get the chance to go fly at Nationals. But our score isn’t going to be low enough unless lots of other teams had the same weather and DQ troubles.



Late February Update
What a launch day we had! Four flights came in with scores of 21, 7, 72, and 16. We had 2 parachute tangles, 2 broken transitions, a broken shock cord (redundancy saved the day), and another broken bulkhead (one of this year’s frequent issues). This set of rockets aren’t as durable as hoped, so we’re making minor repairs before our next flights.



Mid-February Update
Valentine’s approached with the sweetest gift: a clear weekday to launch!
All of the hard work over the rainy days paid off as we had two good flights.
A good car wash was needed after retrieval challenges, though.

The car got very muddy:
Early February Update
A build day at Aidan’s and lots and lots of preparatory work so far this month. We have worked on:
our parachute/exit strategy system
egg drop testing
keeping our logs and notebook up to date and filled with photos
sharing what’s going on with our supporters and friends
Aidan adds plasti-dip to a nose cone to reinforce it:
Late January Update
Rain. Rain. More rain. We finally got a small break and got some test flights in on the new rockets:
Photos: J.Veditz, B.Kolland
Early January
Construction on a new rocket has just been finished. The new design uses a transition design simulated to decrease drag. We couldn’t launch due to weather, so a rainy day in Aidan’s garage became a very productive workday.
Late December
Round two of launches started out well, but due to high winds we unfortunately lost a rocket to a nearby pond. Despite valiant efforts from the team, we were unable to recover the egg section or altimeters.
“Rocket Science. Making everything else look easy for decades.”
-James Marino
Mid December
Let the launching begin! We’ve flown both Finn and Draggin’ now:IMG_5550.jpg
Early December
The first two rockets are ready! Aidan’s paint job makes them look seriously pro. After a run-through of launch procedures and practice, we’re almost ready to go! Our fundraising video is done, too, so please check it out. It’s fun!
Aidan holds the two painted rockets.
Check out the detail paint job on the fins?! Also note that the design of the rocket allows the launch rail to fit through one of the tube fins.
Late November
We’re in production mode! We’ve done more sims after weighing initial builds and we’ve figured out how to handle rail buttons. The booster sections are done. Our fundraising video (see it here <>) is almost done. We’re getting close to being ready to make our first test flights…. so fingers crossed for good weather and all the permissions to fly that are required signed off….
Hunter and Jennifer deep in analysis.
Hunter does some fine finishing work on a motor retainer.
With our rocketry class for grades 2-12 at AFE now over (go new rocketeers!) we’re back to work at TARC. In the past weeks we’ve finished our initial designs and simulations and are building two designs to test. Some of the more complex issues were figuring out how to house the egg safely along with electronics spaces, and putting together two different fin options. We’ve also been working on our fundraising video, writing and recording our bios, finding photos of our hobbies, and more. See the finished video here: <>
Keith & Hunter with the two initial rockets. You can tell them by their names: “Draggin” and “Finn”
Keith & Hunter testing nosecones.