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CSXT Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Amateur Space Launch By Doing It Again

In May of 2004, theĀ Civilian Space Exploration Team (CSXT) launched a 21-foot long rocket to an altitude of 72 miles. The “Go Fast” rocket became the “first American civilian sounding rocket to reach outer space” and the first verified launch into space by an amateur group.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the achievement, the CSXT did it again.

The rocket carried a military grade Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) which had previously flown on four commercial space missions launched from the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Analysis of the data from the recovered IMU shows that the GoFast rocket reached 385,800 feet (73.1 miles) with a top speed of 3,580 miles per hour.

 

Model Rockets Take to the Sky

On Juky 22, KTVN Channel 2 aired a new story about Reno Rocketry, the Northern Nevada chapter of Tripoli.

 

The station’s videographer placed GoPro cameras under and near the launch pads to obtain dramatic video of the launches. The “drag race” shot was accidental. “User error” resulted in several rockets launching at once.

 

Presidio, Texas, Rocketry Teacher Gets Green Card

Two years ago, Shella Condino, a Texas teacher known for using rocketry to inspire and educate, received a letter from the US Immigrations Service saying, “You are not authorized to remain in the United States and to depart as soon as possible.”

A Texas congressman investigated and learned that the letter had been sent by mistake. Shella Condino now has a “Green Card” and continues to inspire her students in Presidio, Texas. Earlier this year, she once again, lead a team of kids to the Team America Rocketry Challenge finals. The team finished fourth over all in the nationwide competition.

Jose Galindo, Lizzbeth Jordan, and Marissa Gray

Estes Phoenix Bird at 50% Off

As I write this blog post, Amazon.com is offering the Estes Phoenix model rocket kit at more than 50% off its regular retail price of $23.99. If you are an Amazon Prime member, there is no extra charge for two-day shipping.

I was alerted to the special price by using the RocketReviews.com Rocketry Deals Finder.

 

Flight Log Improvements

You can now manage your Flight Log at Community.RocketReviews.com. Log in using your RocketReviews.com email address and password. Then click the “My Flight Log” link in the “My Account Menu.”

The Flight Log dashboard will be displayed with brief statistics about the information in your Flight Log. At the top of the dashboard is a menu bar.

Click the “Rockets” button in the menu bar to see a list of the rockets in your Flight Log. Click “Add Rocket” button to add a new rocket.

Click the “Flights” button in the menu bar to see a list of the flights in your Flight Log. Click the “Add Flight” button to add a new flight.

The new Flight Log feature in the RocketReviews.com Community uses the same database as the existing Flight Log feature at RocketReviews.com. But, it offers a much nicer interface for entering and editing flights.

The new Flight Log interface allows you to

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The RocketReviews.com Community

After a false start a few months ago, I’ve reintroduced the RocketReviews.com Community. RocketReviews.com Community adds a new layer of social interaction on top of RocketReviews.com.

The most obvious new feature is the collection of Forums where members may discuss various rocketry topics.

The RocketReviews.com category of the Forums includes content originally posted to RocketReviews.com. Currently, it has just one forum, the Reviews forum, but more will be added later.

When a review is published at RocketReviews.com, a topic is automatically created in the Reviews category containing a summary of the review and a link to read the full review. You can comment on the review by posting a reply to the topic. This replaces the review comment feature which was a part of RocketReviews.com. Replies to a review’s topic will be displayed on the review page at RocketReviews.com along with a link to the Community forum.

For example, look at the Scratch – Uranus

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RocketReviews.com Moved to New Server

Over the past weekend, I transferred the RocketReviews.com website to a new server. One of the hard drives on the old server began showing signs of failing, so I decided to move RocketReviews.com and the other sites I host to the new server.

The new server is very similar to the one used before. It has an Intel Xeon Quadcore processor and 4GB of memory. It’s running RedHat Linux and is located in one of Softlayer’s data centers in Dallas, Texas, with direct connections to the largest and fastest internet backbones.

The only real difference between the new server and the old is that the new server has three 500GB hard drives in a RAID 5 configuration while the old server had just two 500GB drives configured individually. The RAID system provides protection in case a drive fails. If one of the drives fails, a new one can replace it without turning the system off.

Continue reading RocketReviews.com Moved to New Server …

Supporting Bruce McLawhorn of Semroc

Earlier this year, Carl McLawhorn passed away leaving his wife, Sheryl, and son Bruce to run Semroc. Now, the family is facing more emotional trauma as Bruce is in the hospital. Admitted suffering from an intense form of the flu and pneumonia, his kidneys stopped functioning forcing him to be placed on dialysis. Bruce’s long-term outlook is good, but he has a long road to recovery and the family is already experiencing financial hardship.

Members of the rocketry community are coming together to support Bruce, Sheryl and Semroc by sending donations by PayPal to sales@semroc.com.

Jeffery Smith is auctioning a built and finished FlisKits Nomad with the proceeds going to support Bruce and his family.

2013 Holiday Rocketry Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching. The shopping (and, coincidentally, the holiday) season is upon us!

Below is a list of Holiday Sales offered by rocketry vendors this year. This list will be updated as new information becomes available. Please leave a comment if you wish to add or update any information. Thanks!

Altus Metrum

This weekend only, Friday, 29 November 2013 through Monday, 2 December, 2013, the first 40 TeleMega direct orders placed through the Altrus Metrum web store will receive a special $50 pre-order discount (regular $400, now $350).

Archetype Rocketry

During Archetype Rocketry’s Black Friday Weekend Sale you can purchase a Cable Cutter at the following discounts:

Friday (Nov 29) Single Packs – $20 Redundancy Packs – $30 Saturday and Sunday (Nov 30 – Dec 1) Single Packs – $22.50 Redundancy Packs – $35

Binder Design

With the purchase of any of Binder Design’s

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Performance Improvements

I’m aware that the RocketReviews.com web site has been performing slowly at times, but I’ve addressed the issues and the site is performing much better now.

If you found RocketReviews.com to be slow in the past, please visit the site now and let me know if you are still having problems. You can use the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page at RocketReviews.com to contact me.

For those interested in the details, a number of issues were causing the problems. These issues came together in a “perfect storm” a few days ago causing the site to be down for a few hours.

The main issue was that the database engine’s parameters were not tuned very well. It was using more memory than physically exists on the server. Combined with some inefficiencies in the way the database was being used, this caused a high load on the entire server. A monitoring program rebooted

Continue reading Performance Improvements …