Who got you into rocketry?

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I got an aeronautics science kit as a kid that included rocketry — I think it was from Santa. A year or two after that, my dad brought me an Alpha III starter set. The Estes launch pad and launch controller were far better than what I'd built out of the science kit.

I still use that launch pad. The Alpha III is posted in the R.I.P. thread around here somewhere.

Additional background: Dad built models as a kid (And as a grown-up! I visited today and he's currently got a plastic model kit in progress.) and got me into building models generally, but he didn't have any rocketry experience before this.
 
My parents... By having me born on a day that an Apollo mission launched, and before Neil and Buzz got to take their famous walk together, it was a cinch that I'd be into rocketry. I'm also into volcanology for a similar reason. My birthday can be a blast sometimes.... Ya know... A real blowout....

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I got an aeronautics science kit as a kid that included rocketry — I think it was from Santa. A year or two after that, my dad brought me an Alpha III starter set. The Estes launch pad and launch controller were far better than what I'd built out of the science kit.
Does this bring back any memories?

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I got one for Christmas back in '83, and have bought two more in hopes of finally getting around to building any of it... Getting things to China, and built was a bit of a PITA (due to availability of desired supplies and ease of transportation). The 2nd got to Michigan, and will hopefully soon be in my hands.
 
Me and the rich kid in class. As a kid I wanted toys that did something. Motorized cars especially---but didn't know that there were rockets that could actually fly. The rich kid brought a rocket to school and flew it. That was all I needed till I went to college. More interested in telescopes, cars, and the female form. Not in that order...

After I came here to PartsUnknown I saw THE AD in Popular Mechanics. PML had an ad with a HUGE rocket, at least five feet tall and maybe 4" in diameter! ;) Got their catalog and a copy of HPR (migawd, these guys are spending at least ten dollars to launch one rocket!! No, wait, that one had to cost a couple hundred dollars!!!;)) The Middle Tennessee Tripoli prefecture announced a launch, I went, met the guy who was to be my mentor. Won a rocket in a raffle, modified it for L1 cert. Met Jim at the next launch, we talked a lot.

There was an old leaflet Estes used to put out, "A Rocketeer's Guide to Avoid Suicide". I remembered something like "If you want to pursue this, you should first get a degree, and have a well-equipped laboratory"....hey, I've GOT those now!! And that's how the work for *the book* began.
 
I've always been someone that has identified noise with power. Louder noise=more power...... Generally this rule works.

I like noise. I like the ground to shake. I like hearing stuff, but even better, feeling it. Maybe I need to get off this rant.

I can turn a small hobby into an epic journey before anyone wants it.
 
I had been into space since reading children's books about the planets as a kid. My parents fostered my interest by buying me books and space toys, and one summer the local community college was offering a 3-evening program on rocketry for kids. My parents signed me up, and the rocketry class was taught by an elderly lady whose name I do not remember, but she had also taught a week-long kid's astronomy course the previous year that I also did. We built Alphas and launched them on the last evening, my parents bought me a starter set and a few more kits for my birthday a few weeks later.

I remember seeing those NAR inserts showing impulse ranges and field sizes for motors up to G, which at the time I assumed was hypothetical since the biggest motor I had seen in a store was a D12, and my knowledge of what was available was limited to what was at the local Michael's. I learned later about proper hobby stores and found one in Florida and another in Wisconsin as we moved around during my middle and high school years, but still only ever was exposed to Estes products and didn't see an E motor until the E9 came out.

Enter high school. Through a connection with another student in my homeroom class, I found out that some other nerdy students were putting together a rocketry club to enter in Rockets4Schools held in Sheboygan. Through four years of doing that, I learned that high power was a thing, and about Aerotech, PML, and LOC. I was left with actual HPR experience when I turned 18 and certified level 1 with a PML X-Calibur that I built in my college dorm room.
 
My dad. His parents found a box of his rockets from when he was in the Boy Scouts in their attic and gave it to him. Spent a couple of years building various models and trying to find places to fly them. I don't think we ever got past a B impulse motor but as a kid even a 1/2 A was still lots of fun.

Last year one of the physics teachers at the school I work in got a grant to build and launch some rockets. Reminded me of when I was a kid. Around the same time my oldest was talking about wanting a toy that would go up and come parachuting back down. One thing led to another and we've been doing rocketry as a family for a year now.

Can only imagine what my dad would think of launching rockets in MPR or HPR. He'd probably have loved it.
 
Does this bring back any memories?
I'm 90% sure that's the same as the kit I got. The box and book don't look familiar, but the contents do — especially the can of helium and the rocket launch controller that uses part of the Styrofoam box. They may have updated the artwork in the 80s, I got it in probably '78 or '79.
 
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A few years ago my wife and I were biking in a local park and I found a rocket sitting in the grass (Estes Chiller or something). Nobody was around, so I guessed it was lost, but in perfect shape. I said "I can make this fly!" Remembering the one rocket I made as a kid, I got some engines, and made my own launch pad and wired it up with a length of speaker wire and scrap materials. Actually worked well!

Shortly after, I saw an ad in the paper about the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, and some local rocket club (who knew they even existed!) was having a special event. Saturn V models, flying rockets, even an actual moon rock! Cool! So much fun, I went back a month later to watch their regular launch. That really started the ball rolling.

I'm now retired, level 2 as of about a month ago, have a basement full of rockets and kits, and I'm Secretary of that Club. It's been great fun, met lots of interesting & good people, gotten my wife involved and building too, and it probably saved me from going nutz-o either in a career I was ready to end, or in a retirement with nothing to do.

That outreach event the Club organized was the key. If your club is able to do it, put on events, work with scouts, schools, and anyone else you can. Promote and advertise to get the word out. You never know who you'll attract, or what a difference you'll make in many peoples' lives. Plus, we've expanded the club dramatically over the last few years.
 
JFK. My uncle Jim introduced me to control line airplanes. I self started in model rocketry and was into it for two summers. Then my batteries needed replacement at the same time I ran out of motors. I had done everything in the Estes universe except clusters, so I decided to quit. Then "Gus" started dating my older sister. He gave me some early issues of Model Rocket News, and told me that some other rocketeers were interested in starting an NAR section. With my universe expanded, I was back, in a very big way.
 
For a week when I was in sixth grade, all of my classes were based on rocketry. In science class we built model rockets, in English class we wrote about them, in History class we studied the history of rocketry, in Math we worked out equations related to rockets. Finally, the last two days of the week, during Gym we launched our rockets.

I am so grateful for having teachers who found a way to make science and math more interesting.

When I later took classes in Calculus, I already understood concepts like derivatives (acceleration is a derivative of velocity) and integration (the area under the thrust curve equals the total impulse). And of course, it gave me a head start in Physics.
 
JFK. My uncle Jim introduced me to control line airplanes. I self started in model rocketry and was into it for two summers. Then my batteries needed replacement at the same time I ran out of motors. I had done everything in the Estes universe except clusters, so I decided to quit. Then "Gus" started dating my older sister. He gave me some early issues of Model Rocket News, and told me that some other rocketeers were interested in starting an NAR section. With my universe expanded, I was back, in a very big way.
That "Gus"?
 
I only dabble, except for this Jetex* jag I've been on, but I was in a rocketry club our school had in the 5th grade. At that time, I was into it, and read a bunch of Estes publications. I built a Sprite, but I didn't fly it because I used incompatible paint and didn't like all the little lumps.


*If you don't know about Jetex, check out jetex.org
 
It was my cousin. We moved to the Philadelphia area in 1974, and when my parents were off looking for a house, they dropped us off at my Uncles house. My cousin had several rockets hanging from the ceiling in his room, the one that stood out the most was the Orbital Transport. Well anyway we he cane home, he grabbed his V2, stuck a C6-5 in it and took my brother and I out to launch it behind their house next to a farmer's field. He lit the fuse :oops: and off it went, so high up that all i saw was a a small dot when the parachute came out. we ran like crazy to catch that thing. The next day we were over at my grandparents and they took us to the mall, which happened to have a Hobby Shop. They sold Estes kits, and my brother and I pooled our money and bought an Aero-Hi, and a blue diamond package of 4 mini motors. The next day we spent in my grandfathers basement putting it together with whatever tools that we could fins, and of course out trusty pocket knives. Our cousin painted it Orange with a blue stripe, and we flew it like crazy. most of the launches used fuse, so several fins were replaced over time, but I still have it. I built a clone several years back when Excelsior made decals for them. Oh, I don't use fuse anymore to launch the rockets. :clapping:

Aerohi family small.jpg

I believe the original only has one original fin left, the rest were burned by the fuses, and replaced with anything that we could get our hands on.
 
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