On Saturday, June 1st, 2013, the Blue Mountain Rocketeers were honored to participate in the National Weather Service (Pendleton) open house in celebration of the birthday of the NOAA. The event was heavily advertised in the weeks leading up to the open house, with our own Section Advisor being a guest on The Morning Show on radio station KUMA 1290 AM. The coverage on radio, newspapers and the Internet seemed to work, as a large number of people attended the event throughout the day.
BMR relyed heavily upon its members from Pendleton and the Tri-Cities to help pull off the club's display, providing pop-up tents, rockets, tables and other materials. Model rocket demonstration flights were conducted throughout the day. Dave Davis and John Quigg representing Pullman Geosciences Research Foundation and the Glenda Project launched a weather balloon at noon. The 100 gram balloon was designed to achieve an altitude of 90,000 feet carrying a radiosonde unit to transmit GPS coordinates, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity and dew point from altitude. There was a great deal of interest in the program, and both Dave and John was kept busy most of the day presenting an overview of the project, its capabilities, and demonstrating various aspects of the weather payloads and the ground support equipment.
A reporter was on hand from KNDU television of the Tri-Cities who recorded video footage and interviews of club members and the spectators for a human interest story on the evening news.
This was the second time that BMR has conducted a model rocket launch demonstration literally in the shadow of a Doppler radar dome, as well as within site of an airport runway. (We participated in the NWS open house in 2007 as well.) It was a unique experience having direct radio contact with Pendleton Tower, obtaining clearance from them for each rocket launch! BMR launched a total of 32 rockets for the day, much to the delight of the large crowd of bystanders who milled through our display throughout the morning and afternoon.
The Blue Mountain Rocketeers would like to thank Dennis Hull, Mike Vesico and the crew of the Pendleton National Weather Service Office for inviting our club to participate in their open house. It was a unique experience for all of us, and we hope that we will be able to do it again in the future!
Special thanks also to Dave Davis of the Glenda Project for attending the event, as well as our Pendleton and Tri-Cities membership. Thanks to everyone who helped out!