Where Rockets Going Up Unexpectedly Interfere With Rockets On
by Aero-News Senior Correspondent Kevin R.C. "Hognose"
The second day of the Countdown to the X-Prize Cup dawned early
-- 0700 Mountain Time, Jim had a deep, deep, deep, background
briefing at Las Cruces International with one of the
The plan, or I should say, Plan A, was, he was going to attend
the briefing, then run me down to the Museum in Alamogordo where
the events of the day were taking place. Plan B was for me to
attend a further briefing/interview at Las Cruces at 1100 and then
both of us to bail to Alamogordo in time for a 1400 Press
Of course, Frederick the Great wrote, "no battle plan survives
contact with the enemy," and of course in aerospace journalism no
plan survives contact with reality. (Or maybe it's reality that
doesn't survive contact with aerospace journalism). Jim ran into so
much information at the background briefing that he was still there
at 10 AM (Mountain Daylight Time, GMT-6). And at that point he was
watching a fueling operation for test flight of a rocket-powered
vehicle, of which more later.
Here we've run into the second problem with this Countdown to
the X-Prize schedule -- the tyranny of Western US distances. Yahoo
Maps says allow TWO HOURS to get there from here. Yowtch. If Jim
had his plane, it would be a trivial trip, but the plane's in
annual. If I had a car, we could split up, but I left my drivers'
licence on my kitchen table at home, so I can't rent a car. I also
left at home the Garmin GPS 396 that we are testing; this would
have been an ideal chance to wring it out).
Fortunately, we've already run a piece about New Mexico's rocket
history, here so we've covered most of the points being made today.
Still, we're going to try to run to the museum when we can.
This dispatch will be updated when we've got a little more to