On Saturday, October 15th, the SSI rockets team set out on it’s 7th group rocket launch, located at the Tripoli Central California launch site. This was also the first time SSI did a night launch. While no primary projects were launching this weekend, we got a new member certified, flew an experiment camera setup, and had a lot of fun.
During the day, we had three new L1 certification attempters, Andrew Nguyen, Eldrick Millares, and Jake Hillard. Due to some complications involving a lost rocket and grease mixed in with the black powder ejection charge on one of the rockets, only Jake Hillard successfully got the certification.
Also, John Dean launched a 360 fly camera on a fiberglass 4” rocket with a clear polycarbonate notecone. The flight went well, however there were some issues with the camera before launch and it didn’t record the flight. The camera is still fully intact though, and we plan to get some cool videos next launch.
While at the launch site, we heard that they needed an “expendable” rocket with a 54mm motor mount. Some of the gentlemen running the launch had a brand new, semi-experimental Aerotech K2050 motor that they wanted to try out on a rocket that may not make it back in one piece. John bravely offered up his old Firestorm 54, the rocket that he got his L1 and L2 certifications on. It was the third ever flight of this motor, and the result was very entertaining. The motor suffered a Catastrophic failure At Lift Off (CATO), and the nozzle of the motor was blown out. Hopefully we will get pictures of the event from some of the folks at TCC in the near future.
Lastly, we had some great night flights from Marie Johnson and Logan Herrera, and thanks to Andrew we got some awesome long exposure pics.