It’s the kind of story that makes you ask yourself, "How big does a model rocket have to be before it stops being a model and becomes real?" Also, if you’re anything like me, it makes you really want to rearrange your schedule so you can watch the 8,000 pounds of thrust take it into the air.
If all goes well, this coming Saturday, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, the dream of a man named Steve Eves will be realized. Eves has created, at great expense of both money and time, a 1-10 ratio scale model of the Saturn V rocket that took the Apollo astronauts to the moon. If successful, Eves will enter the record books for launching the largest-ever model rocket. He will also simultaneously fulfill a longtime dream of his and create an awesomely huge spectacle for all those watching.
This is an absolutely enormous rocket, standing 36 feet tall and weighing at least 1,700 pounds. It’s big enough that, according to this awesome article about Eves and his quest to build the rocket, a spectator asked him where the astronaut was going to sit. The propulsion piece of the rocket is so heavy it will have four parachutes attached so it will, hopefully, land without sustaining damage. If it weren’t made to look like a Saturn V, there are few people outside of the world of high-powered model rocketry who would call it a "model." For my money, this is a real rocket.
Price, Maryland, is a rural spot only about two hours from my home, so I’m awfully tempted to try to take my kids to watch the launch. If I do, I will of course post pictures to GeekDad.
Photo: Rocketry Planet