I have been flying rockets since I was ten years old. I had to mow many a lawn to earn the 7 dollars required to purchase the Estes Alpha III Starter kit. I ended up losing the Alpha III on its third flight on a C6 to a rocket eating tree miles away from the launch point. That was just the first of many rockets that have entered and exited our lives over the years. As my twin brother, Joseph and I grew older, we cycled through periods of rocket inactivity as education, girl friends, marriages, offspring, more education, more offspring, our children recitals and sporting events, more education, and the never ending honeydos all conspired to interfere with our rocket flying ability. Many times we attended club launches as mere spectators only. We call these inactive periods, The Dark Ages.
However, in the fall of 2006, my son, Ben, expressed interest in flying rockets. This was just the excuse I needed. I immediately approached my wife, Toni, and explained why rockets were so important in Ben's early teenage development. Ben has aspirations of becoming an engineer and what better hobby to spark and fuel such aspirations as hobby rocketry. "It sure would look great on Ben's college application", I often argued. "Maybe Ben could earn a scholarship" , I frequently exclaimed! "This is the perfect father/son activity" was mentioned once or twice. "Hey, this will get Ben out of the house and away from the M-rated video games", might have found its way into the justification. Finally Toni relented and said those much anticipated words, If you want to fly rockets, go and fly rockets. Yes, such rapture!!!
Teamed with my son Ben, my twin brother Joseph, with his son, JP, we plunged back into the world of rocketry. This time we wanted to fly High Power Rockets (HPR) and in 2007 we joined Maryland Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA) and have not looked back. In 2008 we decided to start sharing our rocketry experiences. In 2009, my wife Toni, relented and has also joined us flying rockets.
Ben has completed his studies
at University of Maryland and graduated with his Bachelorís
Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Ben is now working as a
Procurement Fabrication Planner with a contractor for the
Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office at Goddard Space Flight
Center. Ben continues to fly as his job permits. We designed
these pages to share our rocketry experiences with anyone
interested. Please Enjoy.
Peter E. Abresch Jr.