A Little About Myself

I am a BAR (Born Again Rocketeer) who was reborn into the hobby of model rocketry in August of 1996. I was looking around a World of Science store at a nearby mall when I came across an Estes Alpha III starter set on sale for 30% off. I couldn’t resist. A few days later I got some time to build the kit and within minutes I was hooked again. The last several months have been a wirlwind of rocket building, flying and rehoning my skills. After a fifteen year absense I am as passionate about rocketry and space science as I ever was. Does this story sound familiar?

One of my favorite rockets from my youth was the Estes Astrocam 110. Even though it mostly took blurry pictures of the horizon I liked the fact that it did something. There was a purpose to flying it other than simply watching it go. One of the first kits I purchased after my rebirth was another Astrocam. I flew it three times at the October 1996 METRA launch in northern New Jersey and got these three pictures. “Not bad”, I thought. I susequently lost my Astrocam on it’s fourth flight over a treeline a few weeks later. It was eaten by a tree a little ways into a wooded area. If I had a saw that day I could have recovered the rocket as the tree was only about four inches in diameter but as we will see the loss of the Astrocam led to bigger and better things.

The moderate success I had with the Astrocam got me thinking about an upgraded project. Clearly a 110 camera was not up to the task of taking really clear pictures. I stumbled upon several web pages devoted to launching modified 35mm cameras and was hooked. Like rocketry in general I saw somethig I knew I had to do. After reviewing the plans and reading the experiences of several 35mm camera projects I came up with my own plan. For one reason or another I didn’t like exactly what other people had done. I ended up taking what I thought were the best features of each and came up with A.Y.U.C.R. More about the name later.

Me and AYUCR at Fall RATS '97

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