Author Archives: Bekah McGrady

What He Does When I Leave Town…

As we observe the last shuttle mission with a mixture of sadness and celebration, I am inspired to share my most recent and personal brush with rocketry…

Last month I was the Matron of Honor in my best friend’s out of state wedding. It was a lovely wedding and a good trip. When I returned home to my happy pets and husband, I asked him what he did while I was away.

Him: “Oh, you know, work, laundry, dishes, hung out with Scott… I need to buy a few more rockets though.”

Me: “Rockets??!?!?!!”

Him: “Oh, yes. I built some rockets while you were gone.”

Me: “(stunned silence)… Built. Some. Rockets… !??”

Now my dear husband is not a rocket scientist, but he has dabbled in flying RC Airplanes a good bit, so I suppose I should have seen this coming. He only built “some little ones… well, ok, and a medium one too.” If he builds some more and launches them just so, meeting certain criteria, he can get his Bronze Certification with the National Association of Rocketry. Don’t I want him to be be certified to launch rockets?

Who could say 'No' to this?

After six years of marriage, I am somewhat accustomed to his hijinks, so I didn’t hit the roof or use his full name at him or anything like that. I first asked where he might have launched these rockets, what gave him the idea and if he’d hurt himself or others. Turns out, he had been very safe and responsible and launching rockets is really not that big a deal (“NASA does it all the time”). He got the idea from  J.’s blog post. J. is a rocket scientist.

My husband then took my inquiries to mean I wanted to know (much) more about the arts of rocketry and regaled me with way more technical detail than I was prepared for, including gluing techniques, motor assembly and sizes – “A is a small one and G is crazy big with all the letters in between. They are measured in Newtons of force so basically higher letters equal more power.”

Me: “Like bra sizes?”

Him: “Um, yes…”

Apparently, you can get the smaller rocket starter sets for around $25-30 and they have little parachutes or streamers so you can get them back in one piece and reuse them. There is a whole instruction manual here  for those of you who like making things go fwoom!


If you would like to help insure that all surprise spousal rocket encounters go as well as this one did, you can donate to Mach 30 (creators of the Rockets 101 Manual) here,

Or share the Rockets 101 Manual with your friends who may be at a high risk for trying to shoot things up into the sky,

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