Rainy Day Launches

The September CORSA launch forecast was pretty good. But as soon as we got the launch site set up, the skies opened with rain. We took shelter in our tent, talked rockets, and watched the skies. After about an hour, our hopes were fading. But the rain did ease, and we thought we might at least get a few launches off before we succumbed. We quickly prepped and flew a few rockets during what looked like it would be a brief lull. But the rain didn’t start again. We didn’t have a huge turnout, but we had a great day.

Our next launch was a special launch. Cub Scout Pack 701 joined us on a day whose forecast was pretty marginal. We hoped for the best, and set up our launch site. We got rained on a few times – but we protected out gear and rocket fleets. The Scouts and their families had a great spirit, undamped by the rain, and patiently waited out a few interruptions. It paid off big time; we launched 65 times!

Thank you Pack 701 – we had a great day working with you!


This comic summarizes CORSA’s mission:
The 1960s Space Race to the moon inspired me, and the other CORSA members old enough to have seen those amazing missions, to pursue science and engineering, at least as hobbies. Every rocket launch that we attend brings back at least a touch of that thrill that we got watching Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon. How can that be 50 years ago?!

Launch Weather

Ohio weather has been unkind to us of late. I hope I’m not the only one who is frustrated with scrubbed launches – CORSA makes every effort to keep our launches safe!
We’ll scrub a launch if the weather would make it unsafe to be outdoors in a open field, though we do have and use a lightning detector, which gives advance warning of storms moving in. We won’t launch if the field is too muddy to set up without damaging the site.
We’ll also scrub if the weather would not comply with the NAR safety code. At Freedom Park, we don’t have a lot of room, so if winds are predicted to be consistently near the 20 MPH NAR limit, we’ll likely cancel the launch.
We can withstand a little rainfall or snowfall, but not steady precipitation.

Come out and launch with us!

Clippers Space Weekend 2018

Clippers Space Weekend 2018

The Columbus Clippers celebrated National Space Weekend again this year, and again invited CORSA to participate. We had a great time, and talked to lots of people about hobby rocketry. Kids were fascinated, and grown-ups remembered their days building and launching rockets.

Hobbyland donated kits for giveaways Saturday and Sunday. Lance won on Saturday, and Logan won Sunday. Congratulations!

Logan was our prize winner Sunday

March 2018 Launch

Our March launch was small, but Bob and Ed had fun. Just as we finished preparing our first launches, a few visitors stopped in and got to see a few nice flights.

The next day was a big day for Bob. He attended the WSR launch in Cedarville, and successfully completed his Level 2 High Power Rocketry certification. Congratulations Bob! We’ll post videos in a separate post.

Cub Scout Pack 701 Launch

Cub Scout Pack 701 Launch

Our third time launching rockets with Big Walnut Cub Scout Pack 701  was the best yet! We hope to see these scouts and their families at future launches.

We used the following motors:

30 – A
9 – B
4 – C

The scouts brought a wide variety of rockets, and they performed extremely well. We had several igniter failures; we’re planning additional study. The modern Estes igniters seem to occasionally burn, but fail to start the motor. A recent Sport Rocketry magazine article had a suggestion that we plan to try at our next launch.

We used the new launch rail that Chuck built – it worked and looked great! He has a few finishing touches to apply; it should be finished for our October launch.

David Nulter shot these photos:

Cub Scout Pack 116 Launch

The weather was nearly perfect Saturday as we welcomed the Cub Scouts from Dublin Pack 116 to Freedom Park in Sunbury for a great day of rocket launches. The scouts were eager and attentive, and they did a great job of preparing and launching their rockets. Thanks to Lara and Eric, and the great Cub Scouts of Pack 116.

On August 14, Kevin, Curtis, and Ed had gone to Bailey Elementary in Dublin, to meet with the scouts. We discussed rocketry concepts and safety, and assisted them in the construction of Estes UP Aerospace Spaceloft kits. These are minimum diameter mini-motor (13mm diameter) kits with one-piece fin cans. The black body tubes were tricky to mark, but the scouts did a great job – as they did with all aspects of construction.

The Cub Scouts flew those on 1/2A3-4T motors, with excellent results in 42 launches. There were a few that had issues like shock cord separation, but generally they worked well. We were able to help repair most of the damaged rockets and fly them again. We had nagging problems with igniters; I believe that much of the cause was those tiny little mini-motors (and maybe to some extent, fidgety Cub Scouts!). Most of the failures were shorts at the motor nozzle – it was just difficult to keep the leads apart in that tiny opening.

Some of the scouts brought a few other rockets to launch, and club members and visitors had some too. After the scouts flew the rockets from their build session with us, we started launching the others. The winds were a bit tricky, and there were some searches in the weeds. I think they were mostly successful – it would be a shame to lose some of that great craftsmanship.

Motors used:

47 – 1/2A (including 42 build-session rockets)
3 – A
6 – B
6 – C

A special thanks goes to the CORSA club members who came to support the launch. Thanks for making our range operations so smooth and efficient!

And thanks to Hobbyland for bringing such a great group of people! I hope to see some of them at our meetings – there is clearly a lot we can learn about great finishing techniques. Hobbyland put some pictures on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hobbylandstores/

Someone took this great launch shot and gave it to me – I’d credit him, but didn’t catch his name.