Ad Astra Kansas

National LDRS launch to be held in Argonia

The KLOUDBusters Rocketry Club will host the 2008 Tripoli 27th Annual National LDRS (Large and Dangerous Rocket Ship) Launch from August 28 through September 2, 2008 in Argonia, Kan.

This will be the fifth time KLOUDBusters has hosted this national event.  “We are one of the premier launch sites in the country because of the wide open spaces and our high flight waiver,” says Lance Lickteig, president of the KLOUDBusters organization. For this event, located on a 40-acre site about an hour southwest of Wichita, the usual FAA launch ceiling of 34,500 feet is extended by a special waiver to 50,000 feet.

There should be 2,000 flights over the six day event including some exotic rockets, according to Lickteig. Launched in recent years have been a one-third scale Mercury Redstone and a Delta III, a rocket used to lift off satellites.

Lickteig and his group are working on an exotic rocket of their own:  Thirty inches in diameter, 21 feet tall with fins about the size of a half sheet of plywood, it will using a P motor. "It will have 10,000 pounds of total thrust which translates into 1200 to 1300 pounds of thrust for seven seconds,” says Lickteig. “It  uses an ammonium perchlorate composite propellant similar to that of the solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle.”

The launch site’s control electronics is equipped to handle 64 pads simultaneously; launch pads can accommodate up to 200 pounds. There’s  a public address system and FM broadcasts of the launch control officer’s audio.

KLOUDBusters, technically a hobby rocketry club, usually has three main events a year and is active in youth education. In 2003, the first Discovery Channel Rocket Challenge was held at Argonia. Tripoli is one of two major high-powered  rocketry organizations in the United States and focuses on the promotion and advancement of non-professional high-powered rocketry. 

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This page was modified on 02/22/09.