July 5, 2004
It seemed appropriate this weekend to finally build and launch the Meteor Rocket that Michelle bought the boys a while back. It's a kit from Scientific Explorer that results in a C02 powered rocket that is supposed to go a hundred feet into the air. The C02 is created by mixing vinegar and baking soda in a 1 liter pop bottle with fins (really). It's got a pretty cool system that keeps the vinegar from mixing with the baking soda until you're ready and that allows the C02 to build inside before shooting out the bottom.
We went to a baseball field near our house for the inaugural flight. I thought I was very swish for having had brought all sorts of nifty tools to help load the vinegar and baking soda. Feeling pretty confident, I began the first fueling. The kids and Michelle stood back as I sealed up the container, shook it up, and proceeded to shoot CO2 foam, baking soda, and vinegar all over myself. Michelle nearly died laughing, practically falling the ground.
I quickly diagnosed my errors, reloaded, and successfully launched the rocket about 50' into the air where it tipped over, and then headed right at my family. Fortunately, my mini-Scud missed all the Chors it augered into the field, cracking the nose cone and part of the body.
Buoyed by the successful launch and unswayed by the damaged rocket, I reloaded, stepped back, and waited for the second launch. And waited. And waited.
Like in a bad slapstick routine, I then walked up the stalled rocket, picked it up, shook it, and sprayed C02 foam, vinegar, and baking soda all over myself. Michelle, love of my life and my greatest supporter, was once again bent over with laughter.
Having exhausted our quart bottle of vinegar and virtually all of my pride, we packed up the debris and walked home with the kids saying, "Was that all?"
Anyway, if you can read directions, it's a pretty cool toy. They have a C02 powered rocket car and a rocket glider too (is it a glider if it's powered?)