WIRED: "Pyro Geek Hobbyists"

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    My buddy Erik took this photo as Rockets Magazine was interviewing me before my L3 launch. (video montage... the pad camera footage at the end is awesome!)

    The other WIRED reporters just published their fun story in the November issue, with the loving heading: "Pyro Geek Hobbyists Experiment With Homebrew Rockets."

    The opening photo is of my night rocket on a sparky motor (I think it looked better the next night, flying a green gorilla from Animal Motor Works)

    Midway through the article, they describe this Level 3 Certification flight. A selection:

    "In the bleak, seemingly lifeless terrain, the dozen or so RVs and tents look like a moon base. At the center of the camp is the Rocket Mavericks trailer. A supersize satellite dish positioned to pick up a GPS signal looms overhead. Inside the trailer are a 24-megabit satcom unit able to pump out live webcasts, a pair of Wi-Fi systems that can light 4 square miles of playa, and a Silicon Graphics workstation. Two men sweat in the cramped, un-air-conditioned space as they wrench on a black rocket 7 1/2 feet long that looks like a scaled-down cross between a '60s-vintage X-15 rocket plane and a surface-to-air missile.

    Jurvetson is ready to assemble his motor…. Then he screws everything together and walks his rocket out to the launchpad. There he discovers a problem: He can't switch on one of the two onboard flight computers—essentially a microcontroller that serves as an altimeter and orchestrates engine stages and parachute deployment. After a quick-and-dirty fix with superglue and a soldering iron, the rocket is ready for liftoff. Jurvetson lets his son press the red button. The launch is perfect. Five seconds into the flight, as the rocket carves into the clouds, his son asks plaintively, "Can I let go now?"” –WIRED

    Yohei Yamashita, brentdanley, and 9 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Mark-B [deleted] 67 months ago | reply

      thanks for sharing this photo, and the video. wow. i wish i could go and watch your group do these launches. black rock is a beautiful place. freedom!

    2. Leino88 67 months ago | reply

      just read this last night b4 bed. kudos.
      i LOVE little J's question at the end!
      :)

    3. brentdanley 67 months ago | reply

      I read the article yesterday. Very cool. This is a great picture, too.

    4. ActiveOptics 67 months ago | reply

      Congrats on the Cert :)

    5. PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE 67 months ago | reply

      Great Story picture and final question Mister ! =)
      Geeky is good for health and the Mind !!!
      (how synchro for posting =)

    6. jurvetson 67 months ago | reply

      Thanks! Bob the videographer also has a great video montage from BALLS, where RocketMavericks launched the Q-P two stage rocket. Many more wipeouts there… =)

      Videos best viewed full screen size.

    7. Jim Rees 67 months ago | reply

      You don't use a dish for GPS signals. I think they were confusing it with the satellite internet link.

    8. jurvetson 32 months ago | reply

      P.S. I am reminded that Sport Rocketry magazine ran a great sartorial guide for rocketeers, with the memorable line:

      "Wear baggy shorts to store stuff and hide your physique..."

    9. jurvetson 30 months ago | reply

      P.S.S. I have a X-15 contractor's model here for comparison (with a couple of the pilots signatures):
      X-15 Model

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