I made the drive out to Price, Maryland today for the launch of Steve Eves’ world’s-largest-ever-hobby-rocket Saturn V. Steve had the beautiful rocket – 36 feet tall and 40″ in diameter – on display at Red Glare VI last weekend and I knew I had to see it fly.
Since Steve’s incredible project got so much local media coverage, the crowd was very impressive, with at least several thousand people coming out see the one flight. Given the large number of people who had never been to a high power launch before, it was nice to see that MDRA members were clearly marked (with yellow vests), coordinating with the FM radio and walkie-talkies, and doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the crowd. The distances were safe, MDRA members made sure everyone was on their feet and aware of the launch, and as far as I saw everything ran smoothly.
Some shots of the crowd:
And here’s the Saturn V seen from the public flight line:
With a central P10,000 motor surrounded by 8 N motors, the Saturn didn’t sit around. I have some pictures of the crowd at the launch and video of the flawless recovery (the rocket stuck the landing, standing upright in the field!) but during the boost I was all eyes, so I’ll have to borrow others’ video of the launch. Here’s the first clip to show up on YouTube, and I’m sure there will be others that track the entire flight soon:
As soon as it was clear the chutes were out, I jogged over to the other side of the flight line so I could get a clear view of the landing. Unfortunately my camera doesn’ have a very strong zoom so you can’t really tell the rocket is straight up once it lands – I can’t wait to see full footage and photos of the flight.
Congrats to Steve Eves!
(Note that this was only the third P motor I’ve seen in person. The first was the ill-fated Mercury Redstone CATO at LDRS 18 in Argonia, KS and the other was the Cow last weekend. I remember when an M was a big motor!)
Update: Check out the awesome liftoff photos at Dick’s Rocket Dungeon.