Friday, February 26, 2010

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to do what?

Over the years I have heard countless times that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to do this or that.

Well guess what, Pal?

I AM a rocket scientist, or at least used to be.

If you look in my High School yearbook under my name, it says I was a memeber of the rocket club for all 4 years of High School.

Now shut up.

Over the years, it has brought me great joy to explain to the person using the "It doesn't take a rocket scientist" line on me that I really am one.

It always draws a look of shock on the person's face. They don't really know what to say.

Now, granted, NASA never hired me and I am not an aerospace engineer, but I could take a sextent and figure out how high a rocket went when we launched one, or at least have some idea.

I used to calculate which engines wouuld send which rocket how high and how long of a delay a rocket engine should have before it fired the parachute deployment charge.

The latter was important, especially on a breezy day because when the parachute deployed at too high an altitude, the rocket would be blown quite a distance and often get lost.

Too great a delay and the chute would not deploy and the rocket would auger in and be destroyed.

There were a lot of little calculations and things i did as a kid in the rocketry game and I had fun doing them.

One of the things we would do is use the roof of Nick's garage as a target because it had a corrugated metal roof and Nick was a pretty good guy. He'd hear the thing hit his roof and drop what he was doing and let us climb up and retrieve it.

We didn't hit it every time, but we got pretty good at figuring the trajectory and would compensate for windage. A body shop roof really isn't a big target, but we did pretty good at trying to hit it.

In fact, as recently as a couple of years ago a neighbor , who knew I did this as a kid, drafted me to help him with his kid's science fair project and it was good to learn I hadn't forgotten much. Model rocketry hasn't changed a lot since I was a kid.

So I guess I still am a rocket scientist.

Pretty neat, huh?

So, OK. That makes me a rocket scientist

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