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July 2013 Launch Report
July 13-14, 2013 at the Central Sod Farm

Ben and I each threw a rocket into the Highlander and headed to Marylandís Eastern Shore Launch 182 (ESL) hours ahead of the expected beach traffic. We stopped at Hollyís for breakfast before perusing the hardware stores until it was time to setup the launch.

We arrived at the sod farm to soft lush green grass and super high corn that were the result of the wet summer so far. The sky was cloudy but the temperatures hovered in the mid 90s with the humidity not far behind. We made slow work setting up the field in between constant sips of water. Once the field was set up, Ben and I flopped in our chairs to cool down and observe those eager to get their flights in the air.

Once I recovered from the heat and was satisfied with the wind direction, I took the once again repaired Shaken, Not Stirred to the pads with a CTI H152 Blue propellant stuffed into the aft end for propulsion. I meticulously adjusted the launch rail angle until I was convinced that I had achieved the most optimal trajectory to keep Shaken, Not Stirred out of the corn. A short countdown later and Shaken, Not Stirred took to the skies where it camouflaged itself in the bright skies. I did not reacquire sight of Shaken, Not Stirred until the decent. Shaken, Not Stirred ejected its main on queue and slowly headed towards the tall corn. I did not relish tramping into the very muddy corn field but my time adjusting the launch rail paid off. Shaken, Not Stirred came to rest ever so slightly in the corn with the main parachute landing in the open field and acting as a bread crumb trail to the rest of the rocket. See Shaken, Not Stirred redeem herself from last monthís flight here.

Ben was next with his Queen Anneís Revenge. Ben chose a CTI H143 Smokey Sam for his flight. Ben soon had Queen Anneís Revenge on the pad. Queen Anneís Revenge is not duel deployed and thus deploys its main recovery at apogee so Ben spend a little more time adjusting the launch rail to his liking. Queen Anneís Revenge quickly ascended on its dark smoky plume until arching over at about 1,550 feet and deploying its main parachute and the famous Black Beard pirate flag. Queen Anneís Revenge came to a soft landing in the soft soggy sod. See Queen Anne's Revenge plunder the skies here.

That was the only flight for Ben and I. We helped other flyers but for the most part we tried to stay cool in what little shade could be found. We soon closed the field for the night and relished the air condition on the journey home.

Sunday morning Toni and I headed back to the sod farm with her Sally Ride and my Mars Lander. Sunday proved worse than Saturday with the heat and humidity and we found ourselves not wanting to spend the energy to prep and fly our rockets. Instead, we stayed in the shade of the Range Safety Officerís awning conducting rocket safety inspections and tried to enjoy any puff of breeze that attempted to make its way across the green humid sod. It was hot, hot, and hot. Once again, we made slow work in packing up the field before heading home with the much anticipated air conditioning. As veteran rocketeers we know that we cannot control the weather and try to make do with what the rocket gods choose to throw our way. Hopefully August will bring better skies. Until the next launch . . .


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By Peter E. Abresch Jr.
ESL 182 was well attended despite the hot weather

By Peter E. Abresch Jr.

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Shaken, Not Stirred gobbled up by the corn
Good thing Shaken, Not Stirred left a bread crumb trail

Ben with Blackbeard's themed Queen Anne's Revenge
Good thing Shaken, Not Stirred left a bread crumb trail
ESL 182 was well attended despite the hot weather
Shaken, Not Stirred gobbled up by the corn 
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Ben with Blackbeard's themed Queen Anne's Revenge