Feb. 1, 2014 low-power launch near Raleigh announced!!!

Greater NC Rocket Community:

Plans are finally set for the first official low power rocket launch sponsored by TRA East NC in many, MANY years.? The date has been set for Saturday, February 1, 2014 (rain date Sunday, February 2, 2014), and the location is the Butner Beef Cattle Field Laboratory, affiliated with NCSU.? The date for this first event was chosen to fall one week after the Astronomy Days event at the Museum of Life and Sciences, to take advantage of any interest generated by our interaction with families from the Triangle area at that event.

As with any outside event scheduled for February in North Carolina, weather will be the limiting factor.? Common sense will be the order of the day, when the time comes.

If the weather is OK, this would be a great opportunity for those of you who live in the Central part of the state, who used to fly with the Whitakers crowd, but have not had the time or motivation to make the long drive down to Bayboro, to pack a few small rockets and come out and hang out with some old friends for a while, meet some new friends, and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells of a rocket launch again.? I don’t know whether Ken Allen from Performance Hobbies will be able to join us for this event, but if you need any supplies or motors, order them from him before the weekend of January 18-19, and I will pick them up and deliver them to you at the event.

How to get there?

Coming from the Chapel Hill/Durham area, take I-85 North past Falls lake and get off at Exit 189 at Butner.? Go left on Gate 2 Road (back over I-85), which turns into Central Avenue in Butner, and follow it through town to a Y-intersection (Veazey Rd on left, Central Ave on the right).? Take the right fork (Central Avenue) to 33rd Street.? Turn left on 33rd Street for about 150 feet and immediately turn left again on Old Route 75/Butner Rd.? Take the next right onto Range Road.? After about 1 mile, you will come to an intersection with Roberts Chapel Road, where you will turn left into the Butner Beef Cattle Field Laboratory.

From Raleigh and parts South/East, find your way to NC-50 (labeled as Creedmoor Rd inside most of Raleigh itself) and head north away from I-540 and NC-98.? From the point where NC-50 goes under I-540 ( Exit 9 for those of you coming down I-540), drive approximately 11 miles North and turn left on Old Weaver Trail.? After about a mile, turn right onto Cash Rd, which will turn into Gate 2 Road/State Rd 1103 (stay right at the Central Ave/Veazey Rd Y-intersection just past downtown Butner).? Continue on Gate 2 Road/Central Ave/Central Ave Extd. a total of 7 miles from Old Weaver Trail and turn left onto 33rd Street for about 150 feet, then take the very immediate first left onto Butner Rd/Old Route 75.? Take the next right onto Range Road and travel ~1 mile to the intersection of Roberts Chapel Road and Range Rd (look for the large piece of military ordnance on the right), and turn left into the Butner Beef Cattle Field Laboratory.
The Roberts Chapel Road/Range Road intersection is marked with a large piece of military ordnance on the right side of the road.? I’m not hip to the jive when it comes to military hardware — I wouldn’t know a half-track from a half-nelson — but you’ll know it when you see it:? it’s large and steel and has a big gun barrel sticking out of it.? If you look at the Google Maps picture of the region northwest of Butner, the site of the launch is marked as “Perkins Field”.

GPS coordinates: ?36.163847, -78.806523??? -or-?? +36? 9′ 50.79″N,? -78? 48′ 23.71″W

Google Map

One important rule, and this was the same rule we had at Whitakers:? The launch field is the dining room for some very important research cows.? Do not leave anything on the ground, metal, paper plastic, …. nothing.? If you see anything on the ground that somebody else has left, pick it up and put it in your pocket.? I’m very serious about this — we are going to leave this field immaculate or we may not get invited back.? There will be porta-potties.

Here’s the plan:? If this launch goes smoothly, and people seem to like the opportunity to fly low-power close to the Triangle, we will hold launches once a month starting in the spring, after the field at Bayboro gets planted with crops, and run this low-power launch monthly through the summer, until Septembe, when the vast field at Bayboro, with it’s 16,000 foot waiver and 3800 acres of absolutely empty land, open up again for another 8 months.

Come on out!? Have some fun catching up with some old friends.

Alan Whitmore
Prefect, Tripoli East NC

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