Steve Eves has embarked on one of the most impressive model rocket projects that anyone has ever seen. He has built - and as of today, launched - a 1/10th scale model of the Saturn V moon rocket. Although, realistically, when the device is 36 feet tall, can you really still call it a “model rocket”? At that point, isn’t it just a “rocket”? You can see read the story or a video overview of the project preparations and Saturn V construction.
Today’s launch looks like it was a complete success, and very very cool to see. The best video of the launch so far has been posted on YouTube. For all the model rocketeers out there, the bar has just been raised - considerably.
Congrat’s to Steve and this project. I too have been following it online for the past few months. Maybe someday he’ll come out west for us to see it.
I’m an L2 BAR (born-again rocketeer) and have noticed this hobby/sport coming along way in the past 20 or so years. The detail that goes into the avionics (some doubly or triply reduntant), construction techniques, and even the development of custom motors (solid, liquid, and hybrids) is astonishing. I attend launches at Black Rock Desert (BALLS, XPRS, Mudrock) each year and am impressed at the size and scope of some of these so called model rockets. At first I was impressed to watch rockets powered by M and N engines and then last summer started witnessing launches with P, Q, R and larger engines. Quite thrilling for someone who has never been to a “real” rocket launch.
Watching these folks accomplish what they do along with FIRST students do with technology and their robots makes me feel proud to be in a country where these opportunities exist for folks. What people can accomplish and the barriers they can break through continue to erode over time. When I started in FIRST, I had no idea that my students would be able to use CNC equipment, welders, and such to build a robot and then program at the level they do. Now today we see private individuals developing their own space programs like Rutan and Virgin, Musk and SpacEx, Carmack and Armadillo, Lunar X-Prize, etc… It makes me feel optimistic about our future in space once again.
MMMMPMMMM Most impressive indeed. I was just down in Huntsville and saw what I believe was a Saturn V looming over the town. 1/10th scale is still amazing!
I tend to agree with Dave. A model that is taller than a 3 story house is only a model by definition.
In Huntsville they have the full-scale upright replica, and they also have the real thing. There are three surviving Saturn V rockets that were never used and are currently on display - one in Huntsville, one in Houston at the Johnson Space Center, and one in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center.
The sound through video can not compare to the experience of being at one of these launches. You just don’t hear it, you feel it. For those that have young kids that show mechanical tendencies, I would strongly suggest that you consider giving them some exposure to model rocketry. Estes has several starter kits to get one going. While a Ready To Fly rocket may be OK for a first launch, get them into kits fast. Rocket building can be a great parent child bonding experience. If the child gets the rocket bug consider joining the National Association of Rocketry (NAR). Chances are they have a club with in driving range. Rocketry teaches the critical engineering mind set. Every thing has to be perfect or you’ll be picking up your hard work in a trash bag. Rocketry is an excellent tool to teach all the maths and sciences. Today there are many excellent design and simulation tools to help with the design and technical details. Nar has a wealth of information available. I started my son with the Este’s stuff at 6 years and eventually work him up to the big stuff (level 2 Tripoli). In 9 th grade he did First FRC and sucked me into mentoring. My son is now a senior studying Mechanical Engineering. This summer he is the only student intern at the company he interned for last year. They total shut down the intern program because of the economy. The reason he is going back is last year he showed that he had the engineering mind set to methodically solve real world problems. I directly attribute his success to this point on his involvement in hobby rocketry and First Robotics.
Yes, these excellent programs DO make a difference in our youth.
To amplify Gdeaver’s comments: If you have never seen a Saturn V rocket up close, put it on your list of things to do this year. There are no words that can describe it, aside from the obvious “big”. Even the shuttle is dwarfed by this thing.
We visited the Johnson Space Center when champs was in Houston. In the museum they have an Apollo capsule, and next to it was a model of the whole Saturn V. The girls on the FLL team could hardly believe the capsule was the only part that came back to earth.