“Worth the Price of Admission” HARA’s April 12th Launch Draws Big Crowd & Doesn’t Disappoint

Yesterday’s HARA launch had the energy and tempo of southern thunder and student launch initiative packed into one very exciting day. The rocket gods smiled upon us, granting clear blue skies when we expected scattered showers just days earlier. Family and friends both new and familiar and a host of SLI team descended upon the sod farm for a launch quoted as “worth the price of admission”.

HARA’s newest family, the Zajonc, (sounds like science, but with a Z) got things started with Tim’s Saturn V. After a quick refit, Tim and the family were back lofting the Saturn V once again, along with a variety of low power rockets.  Another new family dropped in to watch, but thanks to Vince, Bill, and Duane, they were flying rockets and having a great time. One of the great ideas to come out of HARA’s last meeting was to keep a store of low power kits and motors on hand at launches for just such an occasion, and thanks to our core team of lifers the club made quite an impact on a few exhilarated youngsters.

Zajonc FamilyThe low power pads were being torn up all day long by Bill Cooke, Chris Gill, Monica Helms, Vince Huegele, Shawn & Drew Parris, Mike Toole, and the Zajonc family. Checkout Bill’s blog post about the launch here: http://billsrockets.blogspot.com/2014/04/deuces-wild-onboard-video.html

April 12th’s launch felt more like a day at Southern Thunder than our typical April launch will nearly 60 people in attendance from a variety of university groups, club members and guest who just wanted to know what we are all about. Six NASA USLI teams were present to fly their full scale projects before their flight readiness reviews with NASA next week. MSU’s two stage rocket was undoubtedly the crowd pleaser, defying gravity with its two M-class motors as to thundered up to 16,000 feet for a perfect recovery. Well done MSU. Yellowhammer Rocketry from the Univ. of Alabama kicked it up a notch as well with their Hermes rocket on a CTI-M2150 and reaching just 10 feet below their predicted altitude of 14,000 feet. Auburn University did the Tigers proud lofting Nova to one mile on a Loki L-1482. Missouri S&T had some troubles on the pad and smartly declined to launch today to further investigate the anomaly. Go fever is hard to resist guys, so props on a tough call.

HARA 4.12.14 MCA couple of flyers were taking their hobby to another level, successfully completing a couple of HPR certs. HARA’s treasurer Duane Mayer and Mighty Mo got it done right on his L2 flight. New HARA member Nate Pahman made the transition into the realm of HPR with a good L1 flight. Other successful cert: Aaron Blacker (L2), Montie Cutlip (L1), Fernando Duarte (L2), Luke Humphrey (L2). Congrats again to all of you. Checkout Duane’s full video here: http://youtu.be/TRL13PRmDGY

The new range box kits worked great, and thank you to everyone who came to the clean up day at Chuck’s on April 5th. We need to replace some items and get some new and longer cables to connect the range boxes.

Also, checkout the new members area on the website. Jesse launch that part of the website just over a week ago and we are filling it with info daily. Its the best way to take full advantage of your club membership benefits.


  1. Chuck Pierce says:

    It was a great launch! Tim Zajonc’s Apogee Saturn V was the nicest build of that kit that I’ve ever seen. I believe that the scale ia1/100, or there abouts. I was in awe of the craftsman and time that he put into building such a beautiful model of the Saturn V. The Zajonc family brought an enthusiasm back to the launches that was very refreshing. I’m hoping that we’ll be seeing much more of them (Tim was already asking questions about high-power certifications ). It was a great day for flying rockets, getting reacquainted with old friends, and making new friends!

  2. Daniel Cavender says:

    Well put Chuck. I can definitely see Tim getting an L1 in short order and an L2, & 3 in the not too distance future. Tim, if you guys see our comments, we’d love to have y’all come down to HSV for a day to checkout the rocket center and then crash our club meeting. I’ll get all the photos and videos to you tonight.

  3. Jesse Jones says:

    Is there video of the 2-Stg M? Please tell me there is a video!!!

  4. Tim Zajonc says:

    Thanks for the warm comments everyone! We really had a great time. My kids all have their own project to work on now.
    We were really impressed with your plans to be prepared to get children up and flying at the event.
    You are all very talented and I look forward to learning from you and becoming friends. I have already started scratch designing what I hope to be my Level 1 and 2 certification rocket. I love open rocket!
    Tim Zajonc

  5. Daniel Cavender says:

    That’s awesome Tim. We are glad you all came out. What kind of plans do you have for the L1 and L2 rockets? Upscales of estes kits are always fun. Bill Cooke is quite a good resource for very unique looking rockets. I love to build scale NASA vehicles.

    Sorry Jesse, there was not a single video of the MSU launch. Sad day because it was awesome!

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