Launches like NSL (or LDRS or BALLS or ...) are perfect venues for rocketeers to showcase special projects they have developed for big launches. These are usually level 3 high power certifications or group rockets, such as a big scale V-2 or Mercury Redstone. I too must have something special to fly; while my club would love to have me build and fly a level 2 certification rocket, my sights are set on a bit smaller model that's way more nostalgic, going back over 47 years.
The very first post in this blog (written 2 years ago this month!) describes how I first became interested in model rocketry, enticed by the Estes 1968 catalog and a rocket owned by a neighbor. This rocket, the design of which was inspired by science fiction of the day, symbolized everything that was rocketry to my youthful self; I still find it amazing that I have never built or owned one, in all of the rockets I have purchased and built through the decades. So I have decided to build one for NSL, and my decision became even more certain and appropriate when I realized that the kit was first released by Estes in 1966, making 2016 its 50th anniversary.
Gentle readers, I present to you my 2016 NSL project - the Estes Mars Snooper!