SPIT Arsenal Raised to an Even Dozen


BELVIDERE, IL – The Space Program in Training added two new rockets to its arsenal this evening.

The first is an Estes Cosmic Cobra model rocket kit.  Christened “Spindrift”, the rocket features a dual-deploy recovery system.  The rocket body descends by standard parachute.  The nosecone has a separate system made up of three retractable helicopter blades.  When the ejection charge goes off, the blades will open up and the nosecone will spin slowly to the ground.

“That’s the theory anyway,” laughed Bob.  “We’ll see how it goes.”

The other new rocket was actually a replacement for an older rocket.  SPIT lost the Saturn 7 in early May last year during its second flight.  To honor it, Daniel received an identical Estes Patriarch ready-to-fly kit for Easter this year.

“I’m calling it the Saturn 8,” he said.

The ground crew spent the evening prepping their entire arsenal, in anticipation of good weather over the weekend.  Twelve rockets are ready to fly, though they did work on thirteen altogether.  Neptune 1 crashed onto the pavement of the cul-de-sac during a launch on April 13.  The body tube crumpled around the plastic fin assembly.  Skyhawker had similar damage following its first launch last summer.  It was repaired by using a pencil to push out the dent and strengthening the bend in the cardboard tube with tape.  Unfortunately the damage to Neptune 1 was much more severe.  The bend wound around the entire body tube and – even with the dents pushed out – the rocket had a noticeable tilt.

“Another exhibit for the museum,” said Daniel.

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