HARA Newsletter – May 2013

“Launching is optional… recovery is mandatory.”


On May 2nd, HARA hosted Michael Wright, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center’s chief historian for a guest speaker session. Mr. Wright shared with us the history of rocketry from Greek and Roman mythology, to their ancient Chinese use in warfare, through the age of enlightenment when rockets transitioned into tools of science, and up to the 1960’s when rockets allowed mankind to make giant leaps for all mankind. Attendance was really good, so thank you all for coming.

During club business, we discussed the recent unilateral efforts of the former MC2 rocket club’s president to drum HARA out of Manchester. The discussion was short and frustrating, but that issue has since been resolve with the new MC2 leadership reinstating the standing arrangements. MC2 club members are now deep into Southern Thunder 2013 planning and HARA will be supporting MC2 with efforts being coordinated through Chuck Pierce.  So get your rockets ready for June 22nd & 23rd.

Some money has been earmarked for the new equipment trailer. I would like to find some volunteers to help set up the trailer in the time we have between now and Southern Thunder. A general layout has been established, but we will need some hands and heads to get the job done. Additionally, we discussed looking for some local launch sites for next year if anyone has any ideas of locations, lets please talk about them and get some folk out talking to land owners. We will still be flying in Manchester with the MC2 guys, but all of us feel that having a local site for some mod-roc and mid power launches would be a huge bonus for HARA and help grow membership and give local TARC teams a practice field. It would be nice to have a 6000’ waiver for some A-H (an argument could be made for larger motors too) launches.

Club finances are in good shape thanks to dues, hat sales, the NAR safety grant, and the sale of the old equipment trailer. Beginning on May 1st, HARA membership dues were prorated to $15 for individual and $20 for family memberships. Remember that there will be a flyers fee of $5 for non HARA & MC2 members at each launch so if you have not renewed or become a member yet, you can join online, by mail, or in person. Reach out to some of your co-workers, friends, or neighbors and invite them to a meeting or a launch. HARA ball caps will be discounted to $10 each for one more month (ending June 6th). Show your support and pick up a hat if you have not already. You can order one from the HARA website, by mail, or at the meeting or launch.

Five Huntsville area TARC teams went to nationals this last weekend and three teams took some top spots. Pope John Paul II HS was 4th, Liberty middle school finished 8th & The Falcon Rocketeers team came in 11th. Congratulation teams and a “Job Well Done!” shout out to Vince, Bill, Woody, Dave, and anyone else in HARA that has been mentoring teams.

NASA SLP launch was a big success with 800+ people in attendance and Bragg Farms. The weather was wonderful and the atmosphere was electric with lots of exciting and mostly nominal launches. Alabama A&M University won the target altitude award with hitting just 12’ under 1 mile. UAHuntsville’s boosted dart performed perfectly gathering the desired data from their dielectrophoresis experiment (layman’s terms – a cool way to manage rocket fuel in microgravity). Vanderbuilt took the top engineering award. The Alabama Rocket Girl’s had a perfectly nominal flight of their rocket Dottie which employed a unique grid fin design. A huge “Good Job!” goes out to all the SLI teams.

Last week, Vince, Woody, and I went to the 4-H Urban Youth Day event to demo some small mod-rocs. Despite the weather’s best efforts, we managed to launch two rockets with lots of enthusiasm from the kids. In the coming weeks, HARA members will be volunteering at a few local elementary schools’ “Space Week” events. Thank you volunteers for stepping up.

Our next HARA meeting will be on June 6th when Bill Cooke will give a Tech Talk on how to stage and cluster rocket motors. I look forward to seeing you all at our next meeting.


Daniel Cavender,
HARA President

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