Rockets! May 14, 2007 6:36 PM   Subscribe

Last August, I asked Metafilter about launching model rockets with my young son. I received lots of encouragement and some good advice. This past weekend, we finally launched our first rockets (photos, short video) and I wanted to say thanks.
posted by bevedog to MetaFilter-Related at 6:36 PM (38 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Particular thanks to JJ86, who suggested that we look up COSROCS, the local rocket club. Doing it that way--with experienced adults around, a site where we actually had permission to launch, someone other than me to impress upon my son the importance of basic safety procedures--took a huge load off my mind.

We got the full experience of launching our rockets, retrieving one rocket from the roof of the school, watching other people's rockets fizzle or turn into lawn darts, etc.

So anyway, no complaints, no pony requests, just thanks!
posted by bevedog at 6:37 PM on May 14, 2007

posted by Aloysius Bear at 6:47 PM on May 14, 2007

Very nice.
posted by Duncan at 6:47 PM on May 14, 2007

Excellent fun!

I can imagine the "O wow" face on your son when the rockets launched.
posted by selton at 6:53 PM on May 14, 2007

I remember my experiences with model rocketry as a lad. That poor kid, he must've been bored to tears. No, wait, the other thing.
posted by Eideteker at 7:00 PM on May 14, 2007

I used to launch rockets with my father when I was a kid. Your son's gonna have great memories.
posted by brundlefly at 7:03 PM on May 14, 2007

At first I thought this was going to be about the record-setting simultaneous launch of 965 model rockets by some Austin Scouts that made the blog rounds today. (I fully expected to see it turn up on the blue but I guess it didn't.)
posted by Rhomboid at 7:11 PM on May 14, 2007

Is there nothing a librarian can't do?
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:19 PM on May 14, 2007

er, wait ... I mean ... is there anything a librarian can ...

ah, hell. Nice job.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:20 PM on May 14, 2007

The one thing about model rocketry, though, is that it is basically a 101 course in everyting a kid needs to know in order to remotely detonate improvised explosives. At least, that's what happened with me. I still don't know how I have all my fingers. So, lock that stuff up, especially all the rocket engines and primers.
posted by Mid at 7:39 PM on May 14, 2007

bah Mid. Don't be a spoilsport threadcrapper. This thread isn't about your or your fingers. It is about a dad expressing thanks to a group who encouraged him to do something cool with his son - and which his son will likely never forget. I have every confidence in Bevedog that he doesn't just leave ignitors and rocket engines laying around the house. Is that what your dad did?
posted by isopraxis at 8:20 PM on May 14, 2007 [2 favorites]

Metafilter : Having its way with yet another generation.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:36 PM on May 14, 2007

Rhomboid - cool video. Someone do a rocket FPP, and quick!
posted by blahblahblah at 8:43 PM on May 14, 2007

Beautiful shot of Pikes Peak!
posted by hortense at 8:43 PM on May 14, 2007

Anyone with an operating brain can figure out how to build explosives Mid. Heck I did and I didn't even have the internet to draw on.
posted by Mitheral at 8:46 PM on May 14, 2007

Don't worry, all. The motors etc. are in a paint can as Gungho suggested in the AskMe thread, not so much for dampness (not a huge problem in CO), but because it is practically impossible for a 5y.o. to open.
posted by bevedog at 8:49 PM on May 14, 2007

I was totally smitten with the model rocketry bug as a kid. Mostly parents were not involved though ((I was older than four), we just rode our bikes down to the football field and let them rip. Sometimes the folks would drive us out to farm field or the dunes for more precious rockets where we wanted a larger treeless launch area (pretty windy at the dunes, we lost too many rockets there). We would make disposable rockets too, by gluing fins onto a rocket engine and using a marble (yes, it was stupid and really dangerous) as a nosecone. These would be launched in our yard full of trees. You could find a treeless path for the ascent, and we didn't care about recovery. Just hope that marble didn't fall from 1,000 feet to hit you on the head. We used golf tees too, but the ones with marbles flew straighter. My boys, eh, they would rather play wii. :(
posted by caddis at 8:50 PM on May 14, 2007

Aww. That's adorable. Thanks for sharing :)
posted by Phire at 8:57 PM on May 14, 2007

Went on a rocket-launching expedition a few weeks back with the family and, particularly, my 3.5-year-old cousin. She was frightened by the first launch, but got over it pretty quick and was rarin' for the second.

Good stuff, bevedog. Love some of those photos.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:59 PM on May 14, 2007

caddis, check out the golf ball rocket. Hell, check out all of jurvetson's rocket photos. Amazing stuff.
posted by bevedog at 9:03 PM on May 14, 2007

L sized motor? I was 12, the best they would sell to me and all I knew was a D. They were pretty impressive to a 12 year old.
posted by caddis at 9:24 PM on May 14, 2007

If I had a rocket launcher...
This is great.
posted by Abiezer at 9:26 PM on May 14, 2007

Aww! That's so very cute!
posted by flibbertigibbet at 9:31 PM on May 14, 2007

Model Rocketry: A gateway drug to terrorism, and NASA.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:35 PM on May 14, 2007 [2 favorites]

The picture of your son with his first flight certificate is adorable - as is he. Thanks so much for sharing these - nice to see this kind of real world follow up, and the joy of a kid experiencing something for the first time is priceless. It's like seeing matthowie's pics of his kid *glasses steam up, eyes well up with tears, etc. etc.* Good stuff, kids.

Hehe Abiezer - glad I'm not the only one who thought of Bruce Cockburn.
posted by rmm at 10:44 PM on May 14, 2007

I'm very glad to hear that worked out for you! Not too much else to add, but major kudos for doing something awesome with your son. As someone who had a pretty awesome father who'd do things like that, I can say with some confidence that yes, we do remember. :)
posted by Alterscape at 5:55 AM on May 15, 2007

MetaFilter: isn't about your or your fingers.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:21 AM on May 15, 2007

I've been thinking about my dad all morning. I remember when he drove me to the schoolyard the day I was ready to launch my first rocket. He stayed in the car and watched while I lugged all my stuff, the rocket, launch pad, remote control, etc. down to the middle of the soccer field. It took me awhile to set it up, attaching the ignitors and stuff. I am not at all mechanical and it was a great challenge for me. Finally I fired that bad boy up into the air. It came down with the streamer onto the field itself, not 75 yards from where I launched it. Packed it all up and headed back to the car. Dad was sitting there with a huge shit-eating grin on his face and he said, "Hmm, I didn't think you'd be able to get it to work. Good job."
posted by vito90 at 6:29 AM on May 15, 2007

Great way to start off a morning. Thanks for the follow-up.
posted by veggieboy at 6:40 AM on May 15, 2007

Let me just say that the Kennedy Space Center shirt is very cool. I want one.
posted by srboisvert at 7:08 AM on May 15, 2007

Great post, I had brief love affairs with the three rockets I built and launched on top of school rooftops as a kid. Good times, good times...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:35 AM on May 15, 2007

Glad you guys had some fun with it, now my son and I need to dig out our kit again.
posted by shinynewnick at 7:50 AM on May 15, 2007

I'm gonna do this with my kid.
As soon as he stops drooling.
Great post!
posted by Dizzy at 8:31 AM on May 15, 2007

Yay! You're a good dad, bevedog.
posted by deborah at 11:37 AM on May 15, 2007

I have every confidence in Bevedog that he doesn't just leave ignitors and rocket engines laying around the house. Is that what your dad did?

Um, yes, which is why I said something here. Jeez.

posted by Mid at 1:38 PM on May 15, 2007

Did you guys experience the rotten egg smell on the way home? Or was the gear in the trunk? We usually blame it on Mom which is pretty fun but gets us in trouble.

Anyway, kudos to you and the kids!
posted by snsranch at 1:45 PM on May 15, 2007

This is great. I was one of the words of caution in your original question. I'm glad you went ahead and did it and that it worked out so well. My son's only 13 months old. We'll see what he's into when he gets a little older, but it sure would be fun to give Estes a little more business before I die.
posted by alms at 7:13 PM on May 15, 2007

Thanks, alms. I appreciated your words of caution the first time around. Made me feel like I wasn't silly to be a little worried!
posted by bevedog at 8:44 PM on May 15, 2007

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