The Rocketry of Central Carolina (ROCC) hosts rocket launches using their rocket pad for rockets from 1/4 A motor size all the way up to gigantic K size motors. Adam and I have gone several times just to watch the launches, and a few times Adam has launched his own rockets. I much prefer this to the times he used the car battery to launch a few homemade rockets at our home. Watching rocket launches is free and a small donation is recommended if you use the ROCC launchpad. See some of our ROCC adventures after the jump.
The first time we attended an ROCC Launch event was March of 2009. This was an interesting experience, as one larger size rocket malfunctioned. Its parachute failed to open and it torpedoed into the ground. I followed the crowd that embarked to find its landing spot.
Another time we attended an ROCC Launch event and took lots of picture was January of 2010. This is a good time to mention that rocket launches are a great venue for budding (or professional) photographers. You have lots of opportunities to get that perfect launch shot.
One of the greatest part of launching your own rockets is that your launch is announced by the Launch Control Officer (LCO) over the loudspeakers.
The launch pad is filled to capacity before launching. This means periods of dead time between launches. It is much like a tailgate during these times and many people grill hot dogs and hang out. When launching happens, all of the rockets are launched consecutively.
Many high school and college groups come to events like this for trial runs of rockets they have created in preparation of competing in rocket competitions.
Many of the launches are quite impressive. The larger motor sizes lead to launches that look like mini Nasa launches.
It is an interesting surprise to see what type of reaction will be caused by the motors – red and white flames are common. Occasionally a launch will have black smoke instead of the traditional whitish color.
Looks like a great day, doesn’t it? I will admit that I wasn’t really into all this rocketry geekery – but I went at Adam’s request. I wound up enjoying myself even more than he did! (*Update* After reading this, Adam claims that he had more fun than I did.)
Find a local rocketry club near you through the National Association of Rocketry.
Oh yeah, for those of you curious to Adam’s home-made rocket endeavors, here you go! I advise to not try this at home. (Apparently we aren’t the only ones using a creative license when it comes to rocketry. On a related crazy note, watch a child get his tooth pulled out by a rocket here!)