Flight day 1 - Pollux Ia
Date: 31.10.2007 (14:00 - 16:00)
Weather conditions: partly sunny, cold, strong easterly wind
This was the first time we launched Pollux Ia. Our main goal was to learn how the NOAA recovery system works.
We scheduled four launches with limited pressure of 6 bar and 400 ml of water.
1: This was a good flight with the rocket going up
very straight. Unfortunately the nose cone did not fall off at apogee
rocket crashed down without being decelerated by the
parachute. The root cause was easy to find: The red tape was too
soft and the nose cone got
stuck rather than falling off. The nose was slightly damaged but could
Launch 2: The red tape had been removed but without it the nose cone fell off many times already before launch. Little pieces of tape were added to hold the nose cone in place. Now it was possible to launch the rocket but the parachute deployed much too early. Flight duration and height are unknown.
Launch 3: More pieces of tape were added in order to hold the nose cone in place. This had some effect and the nose cone fell off later. However, still some time before apogee. Flight duration and height are unknown.
Launch 4: The same setup was used as during launch #3. The parachute deployed again too early. Then the rocket fell into the parachute and for one or two seconds it looked like it won`t open again. Finally the parachute deployed fully and the rocket returned safe to the ground. Flight duration and height are unknown.
Lesson learned: NOAA recovery seems to work not very reliable.