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Achieved my National Association of Rocketry level 1 license at the THOR launch Saturday with GORLAXIA II


18 inch tall rocket on an 8 foot aluminum rail 🙂

The launch is at about :50 If you blink you will miss it. A friend sold me the motor and let me use his case and GPS tracker for the flight. It went up on a CTI H133 Blue streak motor. It burned for 1.2 seconds at 162.3 newton seconds of thrust at near 580 MPH and prob flew 2,800 feet into the air.

I explained in an earlier post that this is a simple Estes kit that is made to fly at most E motors that use 20 newton second motors. It had to be heavily modified to do it. Used plywood fins and centering rings, 5 ounces of nose weight, and made a much bigger motor hole in its butt. At nearly a pound without a motor it was one heck of an upgrade. Like putting a Mustang engine in a Ford Fiesta 🙂

I would never have been able to get my NAR Level 1 cert without the help of many people. The T.H.O.R club hosted a sanctioned launch. I am a paid member and paid $10 to launch yesterday. They get the FFA clearance, pay a fee to use the beautiful pasture near Fairbury, and even have a porta potty. The plywood used in GORLAXIA II was laser cut by a friend in Australia who sent them to me as a gift for my launch. I had ordered my motor for the attempt over two weeks ago, but it did not show up in time. Doug sold me the H133, let me use his 29MM case, GPS tracker, and was the one who signed my paperwork for the L1 license. He gave me a temp license and will submit the paperwork. In a couple weeks I will get my new NAR card with the L1 credentials. A scan of that will allow me to purchase H & I impulse motors for future launches.

This is the thread on The Rocket Forum where I chat about the flight. The support from the community is just amazing.

First launch of the day was an insane rocket loaded with a M motor on the high power pad. It lifted off about 1000 yards away and the shock wave that finally hit me was insane. It was his 6th attempt at a level 3 cert and he was not successful. It came in ballistic and was destroyed to the point that he could not even find it since the thousand + dollars worth of electronics could not beam a signal back. He was crushed 🙁 There is a deep 4 inch wide hole in a field near the site.

I saw so many insane rockets fly. I assisted in recovery a couple times. I sunburned bad and walked at least a couple miles of pasture. I was giggling and grinning the whole day. Lost Purp Ertha with the Alt II Theresa got me, but will replace the parts and keep going.

For my next adventure I will actually be going down to a smaller 24MM motor rocket called the BADAZZ Defender MKII. The body tube is light PVC and has machined aluminum parts and fiberglass fins. It is almost indestructible and is built to scream. Oh… and another rocket forum guy is sending me a kit that will have fiberglass tube and fins that will fly to about 6000 feet on a 29MM motor. I look forward to the future adventures. I am trying to keep grounded with my movement through the hobby. Bigger, heavier, more electronics, and such is not where I want to go.

My Level 1 cert flight is a merit badge of sorts. I have no desire to attempt a L2 in any time in the future. GORLAXIA II will fly again on a H123, but that might be enough for me for a while. I had just as much fun watching others do L2 and L3 launches yesterday. I can live vicariously through them no prob.


Scott slayed with that 20 pound Wildman rocket. It was simply awesome. No video can truly represent what it is like to be at the minimum safe distance of one of those things going off.

Here is Doug shooting off his 5 inch Wildman Jart on a smoky sam. Just wow.


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