Hearts and Darts 2000
Hearts & Darts 2000 was held the weekend of February 5-6, 2000, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. I gotta tell ya, flying model rockets with that Saturn V out there is really keen. The competition was marvelously run by Bob Supak, Sam Saenz, and the rest of the NASA/Houston Rocket Club. They really know how to put on a great contest! The weather was a bit cool, but tolerable. However, the incidence of egg splats was higher than usual for that time of year. (My thanks go to Andy Eng for showing me the way to the nearest car wash.) I had the privilege of being one of the Sport Scale judges, so I got to see some fine craftsmanship Up Close. And I really enjoyed seeing Scott Johnsgard, Jr.'s Goddard Rocket fly on Sunday. It almost exactly duplicated the flight of the real thing, too. James Duffy's Mercury Redstone was the most complicated of the scale flights: at booster burnout, a motor ignited in the escape tower, pulling it free of the Mercury Capsule. The capsule then separated and returned on its on parachute. Unfortunately, the booster separated from its parachute and hit the ground sideways, breaking off one fin and cracking another. It also destroyed some detail work, but otherwise came through surprisingly well. Despite the damage, James gathered enough points to take first place in the C division.
The sport launch area was busy throughout the weekend as well, providing for some of the louder and more intense moments... like when a Tyridium Shuttle went pinwheeling about the launch area.
I've broken my photos down into the sections below, so that it won't take forever to load the thumbnail images on each index page. Or you could just start with the first photo and click along the links at the bottom of each individual photo page. The choice is yours.