Polar Bear Launch
A few HARA members braved the cold to start the new year flying rockets on January 1. Greg, Blake, Patrick, Vince and all the Aguilars convened at the Pegasus field for some low power fun. Even as a casual launch there were several interesting flights either on ascent or recovery.
HARA’s Holiday Party
Thanks to Doug and family for hosting a festive get together. The food was great with a house full of rocketeer celebrants. Bill Cooke was Santa Claus bearing wonderful gifts.
The monthly HARA launch for December was rained out. The next scheduled launch at Woodville is January 13.
ARC Registration Ends with Participation Up
At the close of registration 12/1 there were over 900 teams signed up nationally for the American Rocketry Challenge, the most in the program’s 22 year history. Alabama had 34 teams listed which was less than the 38 last year, but the Huntsville area number had grown to eleven from the 2023 eight teams.
Game on for this year-
Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering (2 teams)
Civil Air Patrol – Redstone Squadron (SER-AL-119)
Columbia High School (2 teams)
Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama
St. John Paul II (4 teams)
Bob Jones High School
Note St. John Paul II came in third nationally last year.
Their official local qualification flights must be done by April 8 (solar eclipse day) to get flight scores that will earn one of the 100 spots at the National Finals on May 18 and a chance at the program’s $100,000 in prize money.
The winners of the 2023 NAR Section Website Excellence Awards were announced in July and HARA’s website came in Third Place. This was up from last year in finishing 4th. The judging was conducted by volunteer NAR members and this website ranked third out of over 120 websites that were judged. There are currently 240 NAR sections. See details at https://www.nar.org/find-a-local-club/section-guidebook/communications/website-excellence-award/
HARA’s website won first place in 2014.
Congratulations to all that contribute!
The winners of the 2022 NAR Section Website Excellence Awards were announced during the NARAM banquet in July and HARA’s website came in 4th Place. The judging was conducted by volunteer NAR members and of the scores received, this website ranked in 4th Place out of over 120 websites that were judged. There are 220 NAR sections. See details at https://www.nar.org/find-a-local-club/section-guidebook/communications/website-excellence-award/
HARA’s website won first place in 2014.
Congratulations to webmaster Bill Cooke!
Here’s a few notes and photos. Alabama was respectably represented at TARC with Tharptown coming in tenth and Muscle Shoals at twentieth. The Tharptown team is shown in the pink shirts, MS in red. HARA’s school outreach continues in the summer with a presentation and launch at Dutton Elementary.
Big rockets flew for three days at the NAR National Sport Launch in South Carolina.
The HARA trailer has been cleaned out and all the range equipment inspected and restored for the first launch of the season on October 9. Officers and members spent a day checking clips, derusting blast plates and sorting cabling. The big test will be of the new club built wireless firing system for the distant high power pads.
Fifty years to the minute that Apollo 11 lifted off the US Space and Rocket Center set a Guinness record for mass launching the most model rockets. Of the 5000 Pathfinder models loaded on 1/2A62 engines, 78 failed to launch and 44 failed to reach the required 100 foot altitude, but still beat the Teylingen College in the Netherlands record of 4,231 model rockets launched in summer 2018.
The event was under the direction of the USSARC assisted by local aerospace sponsors and employee volunteers. Aside from some local members helping on their own to load the racks and a few who built kits, there was no connection to NAR. HARA had approached USSARC last year but they already wanted to do this Guinness record attempt rather than a scale Saturn V model launch or a Land the Eagle type event.
The weather Tuesday morning was great but getting hot as the Sun rose on fifty pallets each of a hundred rockets. Each nozzle sat on an e-match pushed through a hole in a wooden slat and as long as it stayed aligned it was good to go. The loading was completed on time with no technical glitches as the large digital countdown clock rolled along. A thousand space campers, a thousand more spectators and 175 volunteers chanted the seconds and watched as the wall of smoke rose in the flight field. A large cloud instantly formed in the sky as 4922 ejection charges fired to deploy mylar streamers. Then it rained rockets. Fortunately all pieces landed in the prescribed area well away from any spectators. What earlier had been an immaculately orderly range was now littered like a Mardi Gras parade route with landed rockets and, oh yes, all that wadding.
Wearing his NAR cap Rus Hardy of Birmingham corrects an alignment.
HARA Prefect Art Wooding and VP Allen Owen rack them up.
“as my first act with this new authority, I will create a grand rocket clone army of the Republic.”
The launch had the collective impulse of an ‘L’ motor.
Meanwhile later that day Hope Rising’s TARC team flew models at Pegasus East to commemorate Apollo 11. For another report on launches that day see Bill’s blog at http://billsrockets.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-celebration-begins.htmlreoprt
Last June we told about HARA’s project to help Levi’s jeans do a photo shoot for a fashion ad- http://hararocketry.org/hara/vintage-rocketeer-jeans/ and promised to post the pictures when they came out. Well, the spring collection is released and here are some representative shots from the portfolio, mainly ones with our rockets in them. It’s a nice homage to the ‘rocket boys’ style of the fifties and the amateur dreams of spaceflight.
We get calls about many things related to rocketry. This latest “interesting idea” was a proposal from Levi’s jeans that wanted to do a retro ‘Rocket Boys’ type promotional layout for their vintage line of jeans, shirts, coats, etc. They were looking for models, props and locations for a period photo shoot about the beginning of the Space Race in the 1950s in Huntsville, Alabama. The pitch was; “The main story opens with people staring at the October sky in 1957 trying to see Sputnik. We will then focus on a group of young high school kids (wearing Levi’s) with a passion for building rockets. They will be taught about rockets by teachers in a rocket club and build and launch model rockets.” The photographer found several scenes of old classrooms, labs and garage workshops in which to stage shots. We had plenty of vintage rockets for props and did a launch for them. It’s a bit strange to be able to readily provide authentic fifty year old model rocket equipment, but the recreation was very realistic. It may be the first professionally staged scenes that are digitally imaged of early rocket club launches.
The pictures will be compiled into a book that’s distributed to their prime retailers to be released next spring. We’ll post some of them here then. Shown here are a few of the “looking into the sky for the rocket” scenes being taken by a fashion cameraman who’s about to learn about Alabama fire ants.
HARA was well represented at NARCON this year by three members, Art, Bill and Vince. For a nicely detailed report see http://billsrockets.blogspot.com/2017/02/bills-narcon-adventure.html
Here are some additional pictures of the weekend which ended with a tour of the Udvar-Hazy Museum.
Carl Curling shows results in his “Painting and Finishing” talk.
Bart Merkley demonstrates laminating fiberglass onto a cardboard tube to add strength.
Some display items were brought to the motel.