Rockets 2017-Sunday’s Report-End of Fredericksburg Launches

Sunday is usually a light day at rockets, but not this year. Although we only had 5 schools, there were 16 rockets to launch. Out of those 15 made it to the air. The last one was still in stage 3  with some issues to be fixed, when nature decided we were done for the weekend and a storm rolled in with lightning and rain. Luckily many areas had been packing  things they no longer needed so at least it wasn’t all left to do in the down pour. We all pretty much got soaked anyway, but hey that is Rockets, the weather is always a factor.

We had a total of 81 rockets launched for the weekend and found all but 14 according to recovery captain, Braxton Roemer, seen here quizzing kids and adults on late 80’s rock and pop music during a break in the action.

This gives the recovery group about a 92% recovery rate for the weekend. It could be 93 because Steve found one late yesterday afternoon but was unable to recover it due to severe lightning, but he knows where it is, so either someone will eventually go back for it, the land owner will find it and bring it in, or it will be Team Burow’s first find next year.

Yesterday, I let Steve go solo on recovery, and I joined my daughter, Chelsea, at the pad. I was able to watch first hand all that goes on to get these vehicles in the air. The pad crew makes it look easy, but it’s a little more complicated than what you might think. The original crew of Chelsea Burow, Anissa Kneese,

Josh Hampton, Bryan Heffner,  and Cade Ottmers has had years of practice to get things right. This year they were even training some new recruits in the program, freshman, Troy Kneese, and senior, Jesse Cedillo.. Jesse will be attending Angelo State University in the fall for computer science.

It is a coordinated effort as rockets come to the pad, and they do pictures of the students with the rocket “set” on the rail. Afterwards, the students return to Mission Control so the pad crew can load the rocket properly and safely.

Crew members then attach the match and seat the motor onto the stem assembly, which is a two-part tube fit tightly together, which delivers Nitruos into the tank, and allows Gox to flow over the fuel grain to help with ignition. The stem is fed through the fuel grain and the bell of the motor into the tank of the rocket. This can be difficult as it has to go through very small opens inside the motor and has to be done totally by feel and knowledge of the different motors used in the vehicles,  and the vehicle has to be level while doing this.  It is no small task, but this group makes it look easy, most of  the time. The consensus on the pad is the “L” motors are the worst to seat.  There were quite a few L motors yesterday, but they managed them all. Jesse is seating a rocket in his photo above.

After this is achieved they do systems checks and then raise the rail, ready for launches. This is referred to as “going vertical”.

Pad members work in small groups throughout the pad attempting to load all 6 rails if enough vehicles are available. Occasionally it takes the whole crew at once to raise the rails on some of the larger or more complicated rockets.

When launching begins and a vehicle is “Armed” (this is basically the altimeter is turned on and verified to be working) then all must clear the pad except the two members working to launch a particular rocket. Next they go for fill, after which the launch count down sequence is initiated. At this point the they run for cover in the bunkers.

After the rocket has cleared the pad everyone watches skyward and hopes for a good flight and successful deployment of  the recovery system. Once the vehicle is confirmed down or determined to be too far away and has no chance of coming down near the pad, then the  crew is back out to work the next one.

If a rocket fails to leave the rail, then the pad crew determines if it is something they can fix on the rail or if it has to be unloaded and returned to Stage 3. At which point the students and technicians will re-evaluate and determine if they can fix the vehicle for another attempt at launch, or abort.

The crew members are all past students of the program and know quite well what to look for if a rocket fails to launch. Most of the time it is minor things that can be fixed on the spot, but not always. Another factor that will cause a delay on the pad is empty fuel tanks.  At that point they move to another rail while tanks are replaced.

This is just a small synopsis of what they do and not nearly all of their skills. They are an accomplished group and I really enjoyed my time there on Sunday.  I helped where I could with several rockets, took pictures of students and their rockets, and the launches, and assisted in tearing down the 1 lb/1 ml rails and other aspects of the pad that were no longer needed as we were awaiting the  arrival of the final Transonic launches.

Since most of you know that I am in Recovery out at rockets each year, I will let you know I didn’t shirk my duties completely. I recovered a nose cone, a rocket bottom ring, and two body tube shrapnel pieces from two different launches while working at the pad.

This marks the end of another great year of rockets for the smaller level vehicles. Rockets 2017 has only the Goddard level launches left which are coming up in late June. There is a fairly strong date, but I won’t be posting that until closer to time since they can still be subject to change at the Army’s need. I will keep everyone posted on that as information is available. Good luck to all those schools and safe travels when you go there. For more information as usual check their website at www.systemsgo.org .

I will be posting a final update on how the Fredericksburg STEM Academy’s junior class rocket did this past Thursday at Willow City. They are evaluating their data and then we will have more details.

The following is a link to the album of pictures from Sunday’s launch. Have a look, you and your school rocket just might be in there.

https://www.facebook.com/ginger.burow/media_set?set=a.1479975588690234.1073741892.100000334203350&type=3&pnref=story

Event details will be available here each day of any launch event. Daily reports featuring schedules, school names, results, pictures and some editorial content will also be posted.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

#SystemsGo #Rockets2017 #FredericksburgSTEMAcademy #Launcher01 #SystemsGoNewMexico

Rockets 2017-Saturday Report-Williams Retirement- Sunday Schedule

Saturday was another great day of launches. Let’s see who is paying attention, we had 21 rockets on the schedule and we launched 23. The answer is later in the story. After storms came through the area over night and early this morning, causing a two-hour rain delay, rockets finally started flying around lunch time. The sky finally opened a window of opportunity.

Even though launches started late, Stages 1 and 2 continued on schedule. This meant that when weather finally permitted launching, the spectator tent where rockets wait to go down to Stage 3, was full with more waiting than I have ever seen there.

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This evening after launches were completed for the schools, two more rockets were sent up as a tribute to retired FHS STEM teacher and SystemsGo founder Brett Williams.  They were both recovered in short order and taken to the Willow City Fire House where a dinner was hosted in his honor. He developed the program that all these schools use to teach the STEM curriculum across Texas and now New Mexico as well.

Several people gave a tribute address honoring and telling stories about Mr. Williams, including Scott Netherland, Andrew Matthes, Rebekah Hyatt, Dave Cambell, and Tom Moser.

Tom is a retired NASA rocket program member who became involved with the program. He served NASA as Deputy Associate Administrator for space station and space flight. These were just one of his many duties at NASA. Tom is one on a list of many influential people who Brett recruited to support the program over the years. After his address, he presented Brett with a NASA Citation for his work and contribution to the STEM program and student education.

 

Below is the launch schedule for today, Sunday. There are 5 schools launching a total of 16 rockets.

Sunday, May 21, 2017
School
Name
# 1st Level
Tsiolkovsky
# 2nd Level
Oberth
Alamo Heights High School
Colin Lang
3
Hardin-Jefferson High School
Mike Fogo
3 1
Manor High School
Will Davis
3
New Tech Odessa                 Richard Linder 1 1
Roosevelt High School            Jared Warsing 3 1
5
Schools Launching
Totals 11 7
May 15th Total Rockets 18

The following is a link to the album of pictures from today’s launch. Have a look, you and your school rocket just might be in there.

https://www.facebook.com/ginger.burow/media_set?set=a.1479031692117957.1073741890.100000334203350&type=3&pnref=story

Here is the second album link to the pictures from Brett William’s party.

https://www.facebook.com/ginger.burow/media_set?set=a.1479469515407508.1073741891.100000334203350&type=3&uploaded=36

Good luck to all the schools launching on Sunday. I will update the blog after we complete our day again tomorrow. Here is the link to the live stream again.

http://livestream.com/systemsgo

Please remember that although there is no charge for the event, and these launches are open to public viewing, parking and seating is limited due to safety requirements. For this reason, SystemsGo has a provided a link for you to pre-order tickets for those in your party. That link can be found at SystemsGo Events page. This also provides SystemsGo with a way to monitor the number of people in attendance each year. This is in no way meant to discourage your attendance, but is instead to help them provide a great experience for students and spectators, while doing all possible to monitor safety issues and attendance numbers at any one time during the launches.

Event details will be available here each day of the event. Daily reports featuring schedules, school names, results, pictures and some editorial content will also be posted.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

#SystemsGo #Rockets2017 #FredericksburgSTEMAcademy #Launcher01 #SystemsGoNewMexico

Rockets 2017-Friday Day 2 Report and Saturday Schedule

Friday had another slow start for rockets. The ceiling was a low again. SystemsGo was able to load 24 out of 25 rockets listed on the schedule onto the rails and launched all 24.The 25th was an abort by one of the schools.

Here are a few of those smiling faces taking their rockets down to the pad.

The north end of the range seemed to be the prime spot for landings today, which kept recovery in that area fairly busy. Unfortunately that left those of us on the south end a little bored so we went to help our northern friends quite often. So then how many recovery teams does it take to find one rocket?

As is normal, Transonics amassed most of those still missing in the field. They also made up the bulk of the final ones shot due to waiting on that cloud ceiling to clear. Coordinates for those have been generated, and the search is ongoing.

David Willden and the group from New Mexico helped out until around noon when they had to launch themselves back towards home. There help was greatly appreciated, and for them it was also further training for next year’s second launch series in Jal.

Phil Houseal was busy interviewing spectators, students and volunteers today. He even managed to catch me and coerce me into another interview this year. We seem to have a continued game between us. We both prefer to be behind the camera instead of in the pictures, so I make sure to catch him and get him in the pictures I post, and he catches me and makes me talk on camera.

Tomorrow is another big day on the range, with a full docket of rockets and extra curricular activities after launches are done as well. It will be a busy and long day. It should be fun though. Hopefully the cloud ceiling will open up earlier so we can start those rockets in a more continuous pattern. And the rain can hold off until after dark and all will be good.

Below is the launch schedule for tomorrow, Saturday. There are 7 schools launching a total of 22 rockets tomorrow.

Saturday, May 20, 2017
School
Name
# 1st Level
Tsiolkovsky
# 2nd Level
Oberth
Akins High School
Joyce Sayce
5
Fabens High School
Manny Moreno
3 2
Henrietta High School
Doug Underwood
2 1
Maypearl High School
James Herrod
1
McGregor High School
Chris Kuhl
1 1
North Lamar High School
Kathy Stewart
1
Northwest High School
Elizabeth Mitias
4 1
7
Schools Launching
Totals 17 5
May 14th Total Rockets 22

 

The following is a link to the album of pictures from today’s launch. Have a look you and your school rocket just might be in there.

https://www.facebook.com/ginger.burow/media_set?set=a.1477962108891582.1073741889.100000334203350&type=3&uploaded=221

Good luck to all the schools launching on Saturday. I will update the blog after we complete our day again tomorrow. Here is the link to the live stream again.

http://livestream.com/systemsgo

Please remember that although there is no charge for the event, and these launches are open to public viewing, parking and seating is limited due to safety requirements. For this reason, SystemsGo has a provided a link for you to pre-order tickets for those in your party. This also provides SystemsGo with a way to monitor the number of people in attendance each year. This is in no way meant to discourage your attendance, but is instead to help them provide a great experience for students and spectators, while doing all possible to monitor safety issues and attendance numbers at any one time during the launches.

http://www.systemsgo.org/events/

Event details will be available here each day of the event. Daily reports featuring schedules, school names, results, pictures and some editorial content will also be posted.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

#SystemsGo #Rockets2017 #FredericksburgSTEMAcademy #Launcher01 #SystemsGoNewMexico

Fredericksburg Rockets 2017-Thursday Day 1 Report – Friday Schedule

Thursday went well. It started off a little slow due to clouds and a low ceiling. Fortunately, it burned off in the afternoon and launches started lining up with only intermittent delays. it was basically a warm, humid, and windy day, but turned out well in the end for rockets. Recovery went fairly well with only a few Transonics still in the field at the end of the day.  Hopefully they will still be recovered before the end of the weekend.

Original Fredericksburg High School STEM teacher and SystemsGo originator and program developer was on site today. He visited with folks, observed how things were working and even worked the Pad until around lunch. It was a nice treat having him on site a while again. He even said he might drop by again before the weekend is over.

We also had working guests from the new SystemsGo New Mexico. Director David Willden was helping a mission control as well as one recovery team that was from his group too.  #SystemsGoNewMexico

The original schedule listed 22 rockets, but the final total launched was 19.

Below is the launch schedule for tomorrow, Friday. There are 7 schools launching a total of 25 rockets tomorrow.

Friday, May 19, 2017
School
Name
# 1st Level
Tsiolkovsky
# 2nd Level
Oberth
Buinger CTE Academy
Michael Skrzynski
2 3
Hamilton High School
Seaborn Achby
1 1
Marble Falls High School
Leslie Alexander
2 1
RL Turner High School
Bill Richardson
2
Tom Moore (Ingram) High School
David Bunch
4
Union Grove High School
Greg Park
2 1
University High School
Dennis Oubre
4 2
7
Schools Launching
Totals 17 8
May 13th Total Rockets 25

The following is a link to the album of pictures from today’s launch. Have a look you and your school rocket just might be in there.

https://www.facebook.com/ginger.burow/media_set?set=a.1476991132322013.1073741888.100000334203350&type=3&uploaded=143

Good luck to all the schools launching on Friday. If I get a chance to do some updates during the day tomorrow , then I will but don’t count on it. It will probably just be one at the end of day. Here is the link to the live stream again.

http://livestream.com/systemsgo

Please remember that although there is no charge for the event, and these launches are open to public viewing, parking and seating is limited due to safety requirements. For this reason, SystemsGo has a provided a link for you to pre-order registration tickets for those in your party. This also provides SystemsGo with a way to monitor the number of people in attendance each year. This is in no way meant to discourage your attendance, but is instead to help them provide a great experience for students and spectators, while doing all possible to monitor safety issues and attendance numbers at any one time during the launches. These  tickets are FREE. They can be found on the SystemsGo Events page. Look for the little ticket icon that says, “Admit One”.

Event details will be available here each day of the event. Daily reports featuring schedules, school names, results, pictures and some editorial content will also be posted.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

#SystemsGo #Rockets2017 #FredericksburgSTEMAcademy #Launcher01 #SystemsGoNewMexico

Rockets 2017-Houston, Done-Fredericksburg Launches Start Tomorrow in Willow City-Thursday Schedule Included

The SystemsGo team arrived home around 11:00 Sunday night from the Houston Rockets 2017 launches.  They had a good event with over with 39 rockets tested at the new location in Smith Point, south of Anahuac.  They transitioned to Willow City on Monday as launches begin there tomorrow, Thursday for Fredericksburg Rockets 2017.

Set up and preparations have been underway all week to insure a great event at Hillview Ranch again this year.

The schedule boasts 26 schools and 87 rockets for this year’s event.

Launches will be Thursday through Sunday between 8:30 and 5:30.  Phil  Houseal will be there providing Livestream from the site again this year so friends and family can watch the action online if they cannot be at the event. Joyce BK Abbey the voice of rockets will be keeping us informed and up to date throughout each day.

As in past years, Texas Concessions will be providing food, snacks, and refreshments. Restrooms will be available on site.

There are chances of rain all weekend, as well as sun and wind so be prepared for either while you are in attendance. Sunscreen, rain gear and a chair are recommended. Also be advised that weather will play a factor in launch time availability and may cause delays. Please be patient.

Please remember that since there is public access to this event, there are  registration tickets for order and those may be found on the SystemsGo website as well at this  link: https://www.greateventseats.com/events.php They are FREE, but REQUIRED.

Here is the link to the live stream again. https://livestream.com/systemsgo

A map to the site is on the SystemsGo website at the following link:

http://www.systemsgo.org/events/

But just in case here is a picture of the same map:

Pictures  will be available here in this blog and in Facebook albums for you to view at the end of each days launches, as well as during the day from Phil and SystemsGo on Facebook as well. Links to both our Facebook pages are below.

https://www.facebook.com/ginger.burow

https://www.facebook.com/SystemsGoEducation/

Here is the schedule of schools launching tomorrow.It boasts 7 schools and 22 rockets:

Thursday, May 18, 2017
School
Name
# 1st Level
Tsiolkovsky
# 2nd Level
Oberth
Birdville CTAL
Lynn Barrett
5 2
Fredericksburg High School
Andrew Matthes
2
Granger High School
Chaston Kubacak
1
Harleton HS
Karen Brasher
1 1
Hollenstein Career & Tech Center
Richard Griffith
2
Kingwood High School
Louis Mascolo
5 1
New Diana High School
Shawn Warden
1 1
7
Schools Launching
Totals 13 9
May 12th Total Rockets 22

I will post each days schedules in this blog. They can also be found in original format on the SystemsGo website Events page.

Good luck to all the schools and students.

Event details will be available here each day as the event unfolds in Willow City at Hillview Ranch. Reports featuring schedules, school names, results, pictures, and some editorial content will also be posted at the end of day. If I get a chance to do some updates during the event each day, then I will but don’t count on it. I work recovery so I am usually busy.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org .Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited

Have a great evening. I will see you at T minus 10 tomorrow morning.

#Rockets2017 #SystemsGo #Launcher01 #FredericksburgSTEMAcademy

Fredericksburg’s STEM Academy/Rocket Program-Rockets 2017 Willow City Launch Week Update 1

Today is Tuesday, May 16, and the juniors are just days away from testing their vehicle at Stewart Ranch in Willow City at Rockets 2017. They will be launching on Thursday, but the time will be determined on site.

Deadline for construction completion was last Thursday, and unfortunately that one they missed.  Recovering from that has taken diligence because they have their Flight Readiness Review (FRR) due today. This is a must or they will suffer another set back which they cannot afford this close to T time. Mr. Matthes is confident that they will be ready to launch Thursday.

Their payload is fast growth slime mold. It has been growing and spreading and is ready to be packaged into the rocket and sent into space. It is growing well here on earth, the question to be answered is how will space travel affect its growth, negatively or positively?

Here the juniors, Sergio Walla, Bryce Erwin, and Alex West, left to right,  working on the rocket.

In this one Chris Calzada  is cleaning excess epoxy off of a fin mount. 

Harrison Spisak, is working on the Flight Readiness Review (FRR)in this last photo.

Even though the seniors’ “Baby Bird” test stand rocket will not fly at Willow City this year, they are still hard at work and progressing well on Red Bird #18 for WSMR in June. The tank has been tested successfully and the vehicles stability has been verified by NASA. This allowed for the fins to be cut so that they can be beveled for aerodynamic purposes, and then welded to the vehicle.  The door panels on the forward skirt  and aft skirt have been cut, and will be welded to the tank this week.

Four students accumulated 12 hours of  work over the weekend fiberglassing the nose cone. According to Mr. Matthes, “Things are coming together very well, but there is still a lot to do.”

This article is the ninth in a series, new for this school year ’16/’17 of updates that will follow the Fredericksburg STEM Academy/Rocket program. This school is a participant of the SystemsGo STEM program. This series of articles is intended to support, encourage, and challenge students in the program as they share their working status and accomplishments throughout the year in the program. These publications will be available for tags and re-posting.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org . Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

#Rockets2017 #SystemsGo #FredricksburgSTEMAcademy #Launcher01

 

 

 

 

Babybird’s Successful Start Falls Just Short of Flight for Rockets 2017-Fredericksburg STEM Academy/Rocket Program-Spring Term Update #4

Hopes were that three successful tests on the new “junior test stand” nick named “Babybird” over the past weekend would result in the opportunity for the seniors in the Fredericksburg STEM Academy to fly a new Hybrid student developed rocket at Willow City.  The purpose of this teststand, as highlighted in the last update, was to test a fuel grain system designed and developed by the seniors to interface with the hyportek injector and tank. Their hope was to have 3 successful tests on this past weekend.

Saturday evening, May 6, they conducted their first ever test of the Babybird. Unfortunately according to Mr. Matthes, “the containment system experienced thermal damage which tables Babybird for this year”

Babybird may not send a rocket out this year, but she is not at her end. According to Mr. Matthes, “we will continue with the testing of it…The Baby bird still is important research that can be utilized by SystemsGo to increase the rigor of the Oberth level of the program to include motor design.”

Mr. Matthes congratulates the class on their hard work and efforts,  “Burn looks great though… well designed propulsion. Very curious to see the data which looked promising at a glance. Great job FHS Engineering Class of 2017!”

This article is the eighth in a series, new for this school year ’16/’17 of updates that will follow the Fredericksburg STEM Academy/Rocket program. This school is a participant of the SystemsGo STEM program. This series of articles is intended to support, encourage, and challenge students in the program as they share their working status and accomplishments throughout the year in the program. These publications will be available for tags and re-posting.

www.systemsgo.org as always is the place for more information on this program. You may also email them at info@systemsgo.org . Take the time to get your school involved, the future of your students will be greatly benefited.

#Rockets2017 #SystemsGo #FredericksburgSTEMAcademy #Launcher01