October 9, 2005

Launch!

Carter got an Estes Max Trax model rocket for his birthday and we finally got around to launching it today. Carter, Madeleine, and I drove to a deserted parking lot near a big, open field. The weather was perfect, being overcast and not too windy.

The Max Trax has an electronic altimeter in the nose cone, which is supposed to give you a reading on the apogee. According to the product documentation, the maximum altitude is 600 feet, or 183 meters. The first launch was impressive enough, but the altimeter failed, displaying only a blinking dot. The second launch, however, was absolutely amazing, and it seemed like it was going to reach orbit! I was puzzled when I checked the altimeter, because it read "306.8" meters and "06.3" feet. Is it possible that it went 1006.3 feet?

A word of advice: Even though the product is advertised as "ready to fly" it's a good idea to bring some extra tape with you, as some parts fell off as soon as the thing was out of the packaging.

I have fond memories of glueing together cardboard and balsa wood model rockets and launching them from the Forest Lake Elementary School playground when we were kids. It was really gratifying to experience it again with the next generation of Lemenheads. Time to watch the October Sky DVD.

Posted October 9, 2005 6:02 PM
Comments

That is so cool!

Posted by: anna at October 11, 2005 1:19 PM
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