Intro - ROR

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Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Apr 4, 2023
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Here is a new acronym ROR for Really Old Rocketeer and my introduction post

I have been reading and posting to TRF for a bit over a year since I had gotten back into rocketry and thought it was time to introduce myself.

I’m a retired IBM executive and have been building rockets since I was a little kid. In high school. I remember making rockets with CO2 cartridge fill with various "propellants" and, later, sugar rockets with wooden nozzles. In middle school, I was a member of an Explorer scout group sponsored by IBM. We had a farmer’s field with trackers and a comm system and launched Estes motors in scratch-built rockets. Mine was made from a toilet paper tube! It ended up to be lawn dart, since I failed to seal the body tube for ejection. This group also experimented with zinc-sulfur “experimental” motors building a test motor in the leader’s garage. During the first ground test, it exploded and destroyed the static test stand we built.

In my early days as an engineer at IBM, I built some larger rockets using clusters of (Centuri?) EnerJet motors. Attached are some pictures of LEM-I launched circa 1970. LEM are my wife’s maiden name initials. I later built LEM-II but I can’t find pictures of that rocket. I do recall it was an all-black, 4” rocket standing about 6’ tall. I still have the balsa nosecones of both of those rockets.

Along the way in my IBM career, I was, myself, the leader of an Explorer scout group of middle and high school students. Again, we were using Estes motors. We built a launch control box which counted down from 10. This used discrete logic and incandescent lights since microprocessors and LEDs hadn’t been invented yet.

I continued the hobby with my son. We launched a lot of rockets. One thing I recall is when he was about 10 years old that we lost an Estes Camroc on the roof of a building. My son is a father now, and I have launched rockets with him and my grandson.

So now, I am older than dirt and continue to learn and expand my involvement in rocketry. I recently achieved my L1 certification and am about to fly a J350 for my L2 certification. All of my recent flights have been with a scratch-built 3” fiberglass rocket called… wait for it… LEM-III. (picture attached)

I figure I have been making rockets for almost 70 years and I don’t intend to stop anytime soon!

Al Testani


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To start cool job!!! Second if LEDs had not been invented yet I guess that proves the “older than dirt” claim.

ps what did you do for IBM hardware? Software?
ps what did you do for IBM hardware? Software?
I had multiple management position in Federal Systems Division which included being the Lab Director which included all hardware, software, test equipment, and field support for the site. I had about 1300 people reporting to me including sub-contractors. At the time, there were a total of 35 Lab Directors in all of IBM. I transferred to Boca Raton and was Division Director of all subsystem development in the IBM PC Division. When I retired I was General Manager of Peripheral Products which was a 1.5B revenue business unit selling all the aftermarket and accessories (e.g. memory, hard drives, etc.)

I made rockets through all of that!
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I transferred to Boca Raton and was Division Director of all subsystem development in the IBM PC Division.
So, you are the reason I didn't get the IBM PC subsystem job in Boca. I think I still have the rejection letter somewhere around here...

None the less, welcome.