Monday, February 15, 2016

My NSL project...

At the end of May/beginning of June of each year, HARA and the Music City Missile Club (MC squared) hold our biggest annual launch, Southern Thunder. However, this year it's going to be different; for the first time in many, many moons, we are going to host a national event, the National Association of Rocketry's National Sport Launch (NSL). This Memorial Day weekend, rocketeers from all over the country are going to converge on the launch field in Manchester, and hundreds of rockets are going to take to the sky. I am very excited at attending - and probably working - this event... it will be amazingly fun!

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!


  1. Which paint scheme are you going with?

  2. Don't know yet... I was set on the classic black, white, and blue scheme, but the original decor with the checkerboard decals also has appeal - if I can figure out the colors :/

  3. The paint scheme on the catalog cover is snazzy!

    1. And also quite complicated - maybe a bit beyond my skill. But you are right - it is pretty eye catching!