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Drake "Doc" Damerau
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DrakeHow long have you been into Sport Rocketry?
"I've been into the hobby since 1973. I received an Estes Alpha starter kit for my 8th birthday and have been enamored with them ever since. I think the longest time I ever spent not launching rockets was the 6 years, around the time I was in college. In the mid 80's I built 4" diameter rockets with 7 D12 motor clusters. Living on the lower east-side of Detroit, field sizes were small at best so I thought that was as big as it would ever get. I began flying "real" high power when I moved to northeast Pennsylvania in 1998. " - 8/03

What organizations are you a member of?
"I am the president of the North East Pennsylvania Rocketry Association, (NEPRA) NAR Section 614. Outside of rocketry, I am a member of ASTM, SAE Aerospace, ASM, and The Association of the US Army(AUSA)."

What level are you certified to?
" certified to L3 at the 2003 NSL, so I'm new to the M motors. My next winter project is with a 22" diameter tube I just procured. I plan to keep launching the big stuff so that I may become an LC3 member. I would like to become a member in order to remove some of the burden of the current east coast members, and try to do my part in "Paying Forward". "

What is your all time favorite rocket?
"My favorite high power rocket would be the DG&A Armageddon. I built the Armageddon two years ago and have flown it more times than any other rocket since. I even used a DG&A L3 Armageddon for my level 3 flight. But, my all time favorite rocket would be the Estes USS Andromeda. My father and I built several of them in the 70's, and when I finally got into high power rockets, I built a 15' tall , 4.16x upscale version. I can't stand simple 3fnc birds. There is no imagination or artistry in three fins, a body tube and a nosecone."

Tell me an interesting rocket related experience?
"I suppose the most interesting experience would be hosting the 2003 NSL. We are a relatively new club, so when the NSL was awarded to NEPRA, we really had our work cut out for us. It turned out to be much more work than was anticipated, but I don't think any of us regret doing it. We learned a tremendous amount, and are now a bigger and better club for it."

Do you have any other hobbies?
"I also have a love for astronomy and the pace sciences. I particularly like to design and build university grade Newtonian reflector telescopes. The largest I have built to date is a 20" f5 that has won several awards. The two hobbies kind of go hand and hand."

Anything else you would like people to know?
"I am the Plant Metallurgist and Laboratory Director of Chamberlain Manufacturing, operating contractor of the Scranton Army Ammunition Plant. As such, I am capable of testing various rocket related materials in my laboratory. I have done some extensive strength of materials testing on various body tubes, fin materials, shock cords, and yes, even glues. Data can be found at I guess this is another part of my "Pay Forward" attitude."

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