12/31/11

2011 Recapitulation

Way back in the beginning of the year I came up with three "Big, Fun Scary Adventures," referred to herein as "BFS Adventures." The first of these was a concrete goal: to obtain my level-2 certification for high-power rocketry. The story of this adventure was a long and comical one:

My first attempt was in June, using my rocket called "Stinger." I used a Cesaroni J285, which is a very small J-motor. For some reason, the flight was just a flop:



Next month I managed to put together an entirely new rocket (can't remember the name of it). It was a big, galumphing rocket made from thick cardboard tubes. The idea was to build heavy so that the rocket didn't go very high so I didn't need dual-deployment. That idea came back to bite me:



So I figured that the third time is usually the charm, and I came out next month with this rocket, which is the sustainer stage of a multistage project.



I figured that I had failed, but we kinda had to rush off at the end of the launch, and didn't talk much with the certifying member afterward. But a few weeks later I got my card in the mail, which read "cert level 2." So that's the story of how I got my level 2 certification.

My second adventure was less than exciting. I set a specific goal to "earn at least $5000 by working and at least $5000 of non-ISU scholarships." This one was also a success. I failed to find an internship, so I worked hard on a sod farm all summer, some weeks working 60 hours! It was quite the arduous ordeal but I earned about $4500 for school. Previously during the spring semester I had earned about $800 from working at Target. So there's my $5000 by working. And I got a pretty nice engineering scholarship for $8000 which helped me stay in school!

My last BFS Adventure was rather vague. "Invent something cool," I said. I'm counting the payload we built for USLI for this adventure. While it was not entirely my invention, I learned a lot of great stuff from being on that team and helped develop pretty cool technology for it. All of the structural components were designed and built by me. A lot of the programming was me, too. One thing is irrefutable: It was cool.

So there's 2011 in a nutshell. Of course, that leaves out 99% of my life, but now you have the 1% worth talking about.

I sense 2012 has some adventures in store that will make 2011 look like a walk in the park. Bring it on!

2 comments:

R2K said...

What ejection delay did you set for the last flight?

DTH Rocket said...

I honestly don't remember. I think it was one of those 16 second adjustable ones, and I think I left it at 16 seconds. It did fire, but 1.5g of black powder was too small for my cavernous drogue bay I guess :)

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