LUNAR Launch Photos and Video

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2004a   2004b

LUNAR Launches 2004b

This photo gallery contains pictures and video submitted by LUNAR members. The pictures were taken at different launches. We have identified the launch where possible, however, by the time the pictures get to this website, the photographers are often a little hazy as to exactly which launch they took the pictures. I can usually figure out the year the picture was taken so that seems to be the safest organization for this list. Clicking on a picture will display the full size one.

The page for 2004 sort of filled up so here are some more starting in the Fall.

October 2004 Snow Ranch
On the day before Halloween we had our first Snow Ranch launch of the season. A good rain the week before ended any fire danger and enabled us to hold our planned launch on October 30. Note the barbecue in the foreground. I expect it to be very popular at other launches later this year.
The first rocket I got some pictures of was this high-powered rocket in fall colors called Falling Leaves. Joe Pettinicchi got this picture before Paul launched it. It was a short, stubby thing wrapped in leaves. According to Paul Pittenger it was made from LOC Warloc parts purchased at the LUNAR auction last year.
Paul launched it on an H125-6 and I almost missed it. It didn't go up that high and arced over nicely. Now would be a good time to see a parachute. The H125-6 needs to go back to school and learn how to count.
Hmmmm. The H125-6 is already passed 6 and heading for 10. This doesn't look good. Yep, it wasn't. At 10 seconds the rocket was back on (in?) the ground and then it ejected the parachute. You may see this rocket show up again because, according to Paul, "Parts is parts."

James Marino's "Babylon Sister" rocket just kept going up and up and up until it disappeared. We weren't sure if we would ever see it again. It was a 54mm minimum diameter, flying on a J90 that got 6306 feet. But, what goes up usually comes down. (That's the rocketeer's version of the old proverb.) Luckily it had dual-deployment recovery so it would get down to where we could see it before opening its main.

This rocket started out good but something bad happened after it got up a ways. It started making all sorts of strange loops. According to Terry Swift it is a 38mm clone of the Giant Leap kit. Zooming in a little, we see the problem. Isn't the fire supposed to be coming out of the other end???
According to Terry: The burst of fire closest to the fin can was where the Pro38 I285-15 burned through the delay assembly. It was blocked through most of the "flight" by a combination ejection charge suppresser built around a coupler and a steel scrunge epoxied in. It had a steel screw anchoring 1/2 REI tubular nylon. This was tied to Doug Pratt 1/4 inch Kevlar. The kevlar looks untouched and about 4 foot of the nylon is left (had about 8 feet). Somewhere the scrunge and anchor bolt disappeared. The amazing thing to me was that I pulled the Pro38 out, wiped off the residue, reloaded and flew it on my Cirrus Dart. Unfortunately, even though I tracked the Dart down about 1000 foot (from predicted 7900), I lost it. :< So the miracle Pro38 casing and the Dart is still out there - even though I searched for about an hour and a half.

Aidan put up a Eagle Mark 1 on an I161. (Picture by Cliff Sojourner.) It flew straight and true. (Well, a little squirrley according to Aidan.)
And came back to us.

And another. This greenish looking thing is a Yellow Crayon built by Colin (age 7) flying on a G80.

We flew some smaller ones too. This is Bill Orvis' two stage known as the "Lawn Dart". It starts with a D12-0, stages to an E9-6 and reaches about 2,000 feet. We followed the parachute back but when it got down, it only had a nose cone attached. My brother spent about an hour on a 3-wheeler looking and eventually found it. Thanks Bruce!

November 21, 2004 Livermore
On November 21 we launched from Robertson Park in Livermore. The following link takes you to some pictures by Zack Sobell.

Nov. Launch

December 4, 2004 Snow Ranch
On December 4 we lucked out again. The Rocket Gods must be with us as it rained the week before and the week after the launch but we had a sunny day for flying. It was a bit cold though and the wind came up in the late morning. A few people got some good exercise chasing after rockets that were floating off into the distance. It was hard to tell what direction to run as the winds at different altitudes were going in different directions. I took a lot of pictures at this launch but didn't get the names of the owners and descriptions for all of them. As people let me know I will fill in that data on this page.
First up is Dave Raimondi's red and silver (looks white to me) PML X-Calibur. Which got things off to a good start. It made 5054 feet on an I285 with perfect dual deployment at apogee and 800 feet.
This next one is really pretty. It flies nice too.
It left a nice smoke trail. And came back.
Another from the high powered rack. And something interesting.
Away it goes. Streaking overhead.
Another really pretty one. Coming back to us.
And now some from the mid-power rack. And another.
Patrick Wagner launched his PML Excaliber on a G64-7. I think this is Greg Wong's. Isn't it the one that nailed a cow pie last time?
The barbecue became a popular place, not only for cooking but for warming hands. As I mentioned above, there was a bit of wind and some people got some exercise chasing down wayward rockets. Several of the rockets seemed to like that hill in the distance. Most of the rockets came back but there are a few still out there somewhere. I find it difficult to understand how a six foot tall, three inch in diameter rocket with flames painted on it and with a large parachute can disappear in one inch tall grass. You ought to be able to see them from a mile away.
Another high-power launch. I think this is Gary Vielbaum's LOC Expediter. Patrick Wagner's brother got this shot of the same launch but from the other direction.
And one more. I stopped taking pictures for a while to fly one of my own. Stubby takes to the sky. Unfortunately, it weather cocked and streaked into the ground before the parachute could be ejected (note the nicely folded parachute.) The nose cone split at the neck but with a little glue (a lot of glue) it will fly again.
Another very nice high-powered launch. That came back in two parts.
And then the beast arrived. Shouldn't we put a chain on that thing to keep it under control? This is Jack Garibaldi's ten foot Thumper on L1120. Thumper is a good name for it as that is what it would do to anything that got in its way.
Ooh! Look at that thing go. Cliff Sojourner got another angle on the launch. And go and go.
And it came back to us. Well, not actually back to where we were standing. From a hill top near the launch area you can just see it about a half mile in the distance.
And now back to something a bit smaller from the mid-power rack. Another mid-power launch with a really pretty paint job.
And a really pretty streamer to bring it back a little closer than the Thumper. This one went up really nice.
But had a separation at ejection. While the nosecone floated off into the distance, the body headed for the ground.
I like the color scheme of this rocket. Which also came back in two pieces but at least each piece had its own parachute.
This one went up really nicely. It used double deployment to let it fall back a little closer to the ground before opening its main chute so it landed within sight.
And one last one. That's all the pictures I took, except for some 3-D ones that have not been developed yet.  

All images on this page by William Orvis unless otherwise labeled. Previous Next

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