now that I have your attention...

USA TODAY has a very sweet FLASH Animation piece of the assembly of the Space Shuttle over time

I am not rocket geek... but I thought it was pretty cool

oh... speaking of rocket geeks
my older son Dean got a model rocket for his 8th birthday

it is a hobby kit... a little more than some assembly required
and well... it is fir Ten Plus... so I took on the task of assembly

so the other day when I was at home with a kid too sick to go to summer camp I assembled the rocket
I assembled the rocket while five year old Grant played Star Wars on the Wii

the timing was perfect...
I finished just in time to get Dean from camp
there had been the intention to go to the Sullivan's Toy Store for some spare engines before getting Dean
but that task had to happen after we got Dean since the rocket took longer to assemble than anticipated

Dean was stoked that we were going to shoot off the rocket
Grant wanted something other than the engines that would allow him to launch the rocket

Sullivan's had toy rockets... and they even had some replacement engines... but the wrong size
we left... I was content that we had tried... Grant was upset that I did not buy him anything
Dean had his nose buried in a Bobba Fett Star Wars book... reading as we walked

we drove around... we had to drive to my friend's Matt's house to get my Jamis Single Speed
Matt was good enough to bleed the brakes for me... a task that would have taken me longer than building a model rocket
after grabbing the bike we went in search of a good place to launch the rocket

Carter Barron was a consideration
it had the open space... but it was so close to a major road and there were so many people
I was not sure of how people would respond to a rocket being shot into the air
even if it is just a hobby toy

into Rock Creek...
there was some consideration of using the unoccupied equestrian pen
which was clearly too small
then settled in on a the field across from the nature center

on the drive to the field I had been happy about the absence of wind
but when we parked the car there was some movement of the clouds
the sky went from bright light to shaded and back again
I tossed some grass into the air and thought it was do-able
part of me was just content with getting it over with
the present had been in Dean's possession for two weeks
that mean two weeks of Dean asking.... When are we going to launch the rocket?

there was a short discussion about safety
we then set up the rocket and discussed the process and safety again
I tried to explain the device used to launch the rocket
there was some confusion
so I re-explained things
the three of us focused on the controller
only to raise our heads to chase the sound of the rocket launching into the clouds

to my surprise the dot in the sky appeared to be floating straight down towards us
parachute engaged and all!

the boys scanned the sky each getting excited as the rocket returned to earth
then after a short straight trajectory back to earth
the wind got involved
out little parachute dot in the sky which had been coming closer started to blow away further

I mapped out an estimate of where it was headed

the boys and I moved quickly
it was all for not
the search was a hopefully one with the bitter taste of reality
lost on the first launch
oh man! a bit of a let down
what a mixture of emotions
I absorbed all of the blame... which did nothing to bring back the rocket

next time we know... less wind and larger landing pad!

check out that Space Station Video
and that image of the woman on the moon

image from here


the original big ring said...

I shot our model rockets off in the field at school with my class yesterday afternoon. Nothing like handling explosive, dangerous devices with emotionally unstable and behaviorally challenged students!
I filled one rocket with confetti so that when the nose cone blew off it would be like a big surprise. Unfortunately it was too high to see, so I guess all I did was end up polluting the neighbourhood. I am so smrt. S-M-R-T.


gwadzilla said...

play that flash animation piece for your class