Who Knew a Rocket Launch Could Be Such a Hassle?

MinerlaunchSUN_8429It’s been 18 hours since Hyperion lifted off from the dusty surface of the San Rafael Desert, and there’s still no sign of the upper stage and its payload experiments.

Chief engineer Kyle Bruer has been leading a search party since late this morning. We have heard that they are coming in from the field and haven’t succumbed to the heat, dust, gnats, scorpions, cow patties or rock ledges that make this place such a memorable place* to visit.

No telling if they’ve found other long-lost launch vehicles, or if the Miners’ rocket is coming back in a bag, in large chunks, or not at all.

*It IS amazingly beautiful out here. It’s just much more hospitable in the Spring and Fall…

UPDATE! The recovery party abandoned the search about 5:00 this afternoon, but they did find the remains of at least one other team’s rocket. Protocol requires that you don’t touch another missile since you don’t know what powder charges or motors might remain on board, simply record the GPS coordinates for later recovery. At tonight’s banquet/picnic they made another team extremely happy to know their project was found. Who knows? Maybe they’ll find ours when they get back out there.

Lastly, the motto of the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association is “Knowledge by Experimentation.” Quite fitting.