Phoenix 2 Fails to Rise
BELVIDERE, IL – If NASA could do it, then so could they. That was the belief of the Space Program in Training. Following the successful launch of Space Shuttle Discovery, SPIT packed up the Phoenix 2 for their first try at launching a camera this year.
The temperature was 24 degrees at the cul-de-sac launch site, but there wasn’t much wind. The snow that had buried the launch site two weeks ago was almost all gone. Bob and Daniel set the rocket up at home to minimize the exposure to the elements. Still, they ran into some problems.
The parachute was extremely stiff,” said Bob. “I was concerned it might not open up all the way.” Bob dusted it with baby powder and packed and repacked it several times until he was satisfied. The cold began affecting the cameras. They quickly finished their setup and Daniel prepped the rocket for launch. He counted it down, but nothing happened when he pressed the button.
“I had a good light,” he said. “It was bright and steady.” Bob checked the connections and inspected the rocket motor and igniter. Everything looked good. They tried again. Again they had a light, but again it was no-go. Another check and another try. Nothing.
“My best guess is the igniter was broken somehow,” said Bob. “It looked okay, but it just didn’t work.” They hadn’t brought any additional igniters or engines out to the launch site because they believed it was too cold to be changing the rocket much while outside.
“It was too cold out for us too,” said Daniel. “My hands were numb after a few minutes.”
If the weather holds, the Space Program in Training plans to try launching again over the weekend.