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Moira Jean Whitlock
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Moira with here clustered FlyballHow long have you been into Sport Rocketry?
"I've been into sports rocketry since 1980, or 18 years. It started with launching Estes, Centuri, and FSI kits with friends and with NARHAMS, a Hyattsville, MD NAR group that launches at NASA Goddard every month as a public education program." - 1/99

What attracted to rocketry as a hobby?
"It was the joy of making something and watching it perform. Also, the knowledge that somewhere out there (way back when) there was such thing as E, F, and G motors. Something to aspire to later. Building rockets is work, but relaxing work, and that's great when a person works hard at her job and has to deal with challenging people daily."

What organizations are you a member of?
"I'm now presently an active member of the Superstition Spacemodeling Society in Arizona, and also the Tripoli Rocketry Association. By the time you see this, I will also be rejoining the National Association of Rocketry and The Arizona High Power Rocketry association (AHPRA). When I reup my membership, I plan to get the magazines for both NAR and TRA. They're excellent."

What level are you certified to?
"At this time, I am just about to attempt my level 1 certification for TRA. In February, I will be attempting my level 2. I do aspire to attempt level 3 some day, but want to plan it out for months in advance."

"Updated 5/01 - I am now both in NAR and TRA, level 3 in both, and am soon to train in the NAR RSO program. My new niche lately is large composite clusters."

What is your all time favorite rocket?
"My all time favorite rocket. That's tough, as I have a lot of fun in general with this hobby. But I'd have to say that it's the LOC 4-29SS. So far, it has been the loudest and boldest at takeoff, with beautiful recoveries. But ask me again soon, as I will have tried other kits and may have discovered new thrills."

Tell me an interesting rocket related experience?
"An interesting rocketry related experience. Well, last week, I was all pins and needles, anxiously awaiting my certification 1 attempt. TRA rules state that the TRA prefect must be there to witness the assembly of the engine and rocket prep as well as the flight. He must also be able to inspect the rocket afterward as well. I had practiced with reload kits to be sure that I understood how they went together and what all the parts were for. My model was ready. I had worked its design out for months, being sure that any design flaws were remedied. I had computer drawings of it and simulated performance charts ready. On an H 97, the sims calculated a projected altitude of 4200 feet. Not bad.

The fins were in perfect alignment and strong, as they were an Acme fin canister. Sharp, if I do say so. And the nose cone was a solid conical shape, in urethane. Also sharp, with attitude. I was finally ready. I watched with trepidation as other flyers had forward seals blow in mid-air, making spectacular fires. There were murmurs of, "Ah, those reloads..." Another rocket lateraled right at me but bit the dirt a few feet short of me, ejecting its chute there. You can see why I was nervous. I wanted to do this right.

While I awaited the prefect's arrival, I launched other daring stuff, like some G-clusters, proudly showing off my reliable electric matches. I also launched my computer-designed altitude grabbers. But alas, the prefect didn't make it. He's an FAA worker who was called to special project duty in Thailand!!!

You know, I have the feeling that the flight would have been glorious. I have 2 shots to do it in January, since I'll be in two clubs by then. Wish me luck. Maybe I'll be level 2 too. That rocket is a scaled up version of the level 1 rocket...with more attitude yet."

Anything else you would like people to know?
"What I'd like other people to know is that I love to share ideas and learn how to do things better. I'd like to share ways of retaining motor hardware and preventing body tube zippering from recovery system damage."

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