Rockets fire over Orini

New Zealand’s top rocketeers converged on Kneebone Rd, Orini on Sunday for the NZ Rocket Association’s National Rocket Day.

Open to the public, around 300 people turned up to enjoy the spectacle and, for the young kids, to try their hand at making their own rockets.

The highlight of the day was the launch of Big Red – a 3.2 metre, 20kg creation of Craig Packard of Hamilton.  Although some felt the pink, fur fabric six-legged shoe-wearing alien critter stole the show despite only ascending a couple of hundred metres.

Regardless, it was a grand day out for all.  Number 8 Network was there, in awe, and took many photographs, below.

While we’re at it, enjoy this clip of Big Red’s journey.


Prepared for lift off – push the Red Button.

The Red Button

Here was another star of the show – the Launch Controller spotted this young fellow tearful, scooped him up on to his lap and let him push the button on two small rockets.  Made the little chap’s day, and many others.


Rocket launch control


A bit later on they really started to fly.




The pink, fur fabric six-legged shoe-wearing alien critter gets his final prep.

This really took off.  Honest.


And we certainly have lift off.

Proof that the Pink Thing flies.


Where?  Up there!

Up there!


This one was called Lady Penelope and she sure sparkled.

Lady Penelope takes off


Rocket kids wait their turn. They built them, and then got to see them fly.  It was very cool.


Rocket kids wait their turn


(Except I don’t think the one above was kid-made.)


They do come down… rather nicely, really.

Fetching what has fallen to earth...


The V2 flew again.


A V2 gets its turn


Then, at the very last, there was Craig Packard’s Big Red.  It was loud and it was explosive and utterly spectacular.


Big Red with fans


Close up just before the launch.

Big Red


Here he goes.

And off he goes.

Thanks Rocket Guys, it was a blast.


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