June 2, 2013
Jupiter, Florida--The Helicat is one of the few rockets that can release a helicopter midair at approximately 550 feet. The Helicat has to be assembled exactly according to the instructions. Because the rocket comes as a set, the owner has to build it with zero mistakes.
I launched my Helicat on a spring afternoon. As we walked to the park where we were going to launch the rocket, the clouds got darker and darker by the second--but that did not stop us. We were taking the equipment in our bare hands to the launching area. Once my dad, my cousins and I got there, we met friends right outside the park. I had invited them the night before. I was very nervous yet, very excited.
Once we were at the launching area, I positioned the launch pad in the middle of the park, and carefully placed the rocket. Then, two more friends came to the launching area on their skateboard. We were about twenty people. As the scheduled launch time came closer, the tension was building up. What if it failed? I asked myself. I put the key in the ignition position, and we all counted from 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, lift off! I pushed the launch button and nothing happened. I was so disappointed, but I didn’t give up.
I put in a new engine with the help of my dad, and we started the count over, from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, lift off! The next thing we saw was a big trail of smoke coming out of the launch pad. We looked up and saw the Helicat springing up toward the sky, like a comet. All of a sudden, the little helicopter popped out from the nose cone and started a winged spiral. Then, there was a minor malfunction--the parachute did not activate. However, the rocket body was not damaged. I felt so happy when everyone clapped and cheered!
The nose cone helicopter came down and landed right by me, but the rocket body was still in the sky, being pulled by the force of gravity toward us. As soon as it landed in the big bushes, every kid there, including me, rushed toward the crashed rocket. While I was in the bushes searching for the rocket, a kid yelled “I found it!” and as I turned around, I saw my dad picking up the winged nose cone. I felt so proud of my great accomplishment, and so happy that I could share it with my friends and family, and now with you!
What inspired you to launch a rocket? On the last week of school the fifth graders had a rocket launch and invited my class to see it. That was when I saw Helicat for the very first time, and I decided to do a launch myself.
Why did you pick that specific rocket? For two reasons; first, it has a tiger on the front of the body of the rocket, and tigers are my favorite animals. Second, I really liked the nose cone recovery.
If you can’t buy a model rocket, is there a way you can make your own? Actually, you can. You could use antacids and a homemade rocket made out of paper and cardboard. You can also learn how to make it using many different websites and books, such as Myth-Busters’ confirmed bust book.
you wanted to see real rockets, where would you go? Luckily, the
Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center is not too far from where I
live, in Florida. There you can see amazing rockets such as the
Saturn that was used in Apollo 13 and even crawl into an Apollo 11
test pod. It is an astonishing place to spend a day.
- You saw a lot of interesting things in the Kennedy Space Center. Is there anything that NASA has invented that we now use regularly? Yes; Velcro and freeze dried food were both invented by NASA, as well as the ball point pen and graphite.