An Active October Sky


My October weekend calendar worked out quite miraculously to be totally full of rockets. The first Saturday had the club launch in Manchester scheduled but it was rained out and doesn’t really count. On the second Saturday I gave two talks on rocketry at the Space and Rocket Center for 4-H Space Day. In the 45 minute sessions I covered the origins of model rocketry, basic launching and egglofting with a pitch for TARC. Besides the 4-H families I was addressing I was also heard by incidental museum visitors who sat down for the show thinking it was part of their admission ticket. On the third weekend in one of the more exciting events of the year, HARA supported a UNA TARC workshop directed by Lee Brownell. This build and blast was an introduction to rocketry for 26 pending teams in north west Alabama. All the student rockets flew well. Bill Cooke gives details in his blog at

On number four I was back to the SARC where I presented awards at the Reach For the Stars Ceremony as seen in the image above taken by Alan Lowrey, the Regional Director of AIAA. This chore is usually handled by Homer Hickam, but he was tied up on a book tour that day and asked me to cover this honor for him. The RFTS program brings the national winners of their model rocket contest to Huntsville every year for a memorable finale. Lastly, we had an impromptu Halloween launch on the fifth Saturday to burn off the final motors of the year. Bill covers the trick or treat action with spooky photos at  Next month I’m back to having too much ‘life’ happening on weekends to do rocketry, but I was fortunate to get in a rare run for the end of the year.

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