The Best of the Corps 84 rocket launched occurred on Saturday, September 1st. It was launched from pad 62 on one of the Away Cells at the Kloudbusters annual AIRFest launch event. The actual design and construction of this rocket is documented on this page. I am happy to say that the BOTC84 launch was a success and I received my Tripoli Level Three Certification.
I started the launch preparation two days before as I had to epoxy the propellant grains of this motor and let them cure overnight. The grains of this motor needed to be epoxied as the hollow core of each grain was not in the center of the cross section but offset to one side. Gluing the grains together aligns the cores and allows the insertion of the igniter all the way to the top of the motor.
The night before, I tested the electronics used in rocket. This included insuring the proper flight profiles were loaded and that there was continuity to the ejection charge bays. I assembled the rocket motor. I also installed the thrust plate and motor retainer.
On the day of the launch the rocket was assembled, the motor installed, and paperwork finalized for the Range Safety Officer and my Tripoli Level Three certification.
Here are some pictures after the rocket was assembled.
I was assigned to the 60’s Away Cell of pads. At the pad, I got assistance from the pad manager to get my rocket on the launch rail. I then started the electronics and installed the igniter. A continuity test of the igniter was conducted.
Push the Button Stamper!
Finally, it was time to launch. The video of the launch is below. Please excuse the wind noise on the sound track.
Here is the flight profile downloaded from one of the flight computers. Altitude achieved was 7744 feet. The simulation predicted 9900 feet. But as you can see from the video, the BOTC84 weathercocked into the wind.
The roads on the map below are one (1) mile apart. So, each square is one square mile. BOTC84 traveled about 2.25 miles from the launch site to apogee. It drifted back about a mile before landing.
Here are some pictures that I took when I found the rocket in the pasture. The rocket landed in a plowed field and was dragged until the fins dug into the soil.
Special thanks for out to Chris Short and Jim West my TAP evaluators. I would also like to thank my ground crew of Chip and Katherine Conklin and my daughter Teri.