Start Of Firms/Cyprus Part 1: Rockets

December 1, 2009 at 12:21 am (life!, med, school, pictures)

so i’ve got my burgundy Cardio III stethoscope packed into my duffel, my name tag ready and my formal clothes neatly pressed. i’ll be starting my first hospital placement tomorrow. it’s gonna be vascular surgery at Northwick Park hospital….. hope it’s an interesting experience.

and before i get buried in lectures again, i thought i’d finally get round to putting up some of the pictures from the Cyprus trip that i’ve promised since quite a while back!

as there are so many pictures from the 10 days, i’ve decided that the best way to blog about the trip would be to organize them into activities we did. first up:


mine and jin’s first experience, and it was so much fun… from preparing the rockets, to launching them; that we had to do it twice!

Phase 1: Preparation For Take-Off

the equipment. here the 3 of us are at the balcony of Nick’s summer flat in Larnaca. we had the whole flat to ourselves, and stayed there for most of the vacation; it was brilliant.

Nick had actually launched this particular rocket on another occasion with his dad, and it failed, breaking into many itsy-bitsy pieces upon landing. it’s thanks to his handicraft that you see most of it in one piece now.

the parachute opens up when the rocket is falling

carefully adjusting the tripod legs of the rocket to make sure it lands gently

super glue works…

and teeth work just as well!

as you can tell i was obviously having a lot of fun designing the alien. hahaha

Nick adding the finishing touches

me painting the words on the landing craft

we come in peace(s)!

painting the 2 satellites: these were to be launched from the rocket when it was already some distance up in the air, and were meant as signals for us to be able to track where the rocket landed

more elaborate handicraft

my name in Chinese, Jin’s name in Korean and Nick’s name in Greek!

and we were ready!

Phase 2: The Launch!

prepping the landing pad for the 3 rockets

me holding the ignition remote, Nick untangling the wires

doing the final checks on the launch-pad

and the 1st rocket is good to go!

the safety distance from the launch pad, about 25 metres!

excited boys men man-boys

and in a cloud of smoke…

it launches up 80 storeys into the air within a matter of seconds..

heading straight for the sun! on hindsight we should have named it Icarus. we hadn’t taken into account the wind direction, and so ended up losing our 1st rocket.

happier times with our 2nd rocket!

the ignition pin

as it turned out, we lost rocket 2 really quickly too as it flew too high and too fast into the glare of the sun for us to keep track of it.

rocket number 3!

thought that i’d pose with it after losing the first 2 rockets, since it might be the last time that we saw it!

jin evidently felt the same way too. hahahah

unfortunately, the 3rd one failed to launch as we were out of the proper grade fuel for the size of the rocket, and it proved too heavy for take-off. (as you can probably tell from the picture)

we decided to go home to do some thinking as to how we could reduce the weight, and to attempt a launch again another day.

Phase 3: The Calibration

seeing as how we lost our first 2 rockets due to them flying unexpectedly at an angle, (instead of straight up), and how the 3rd one failed to lift off due to it’s weight, we decided to have a go with our 3rd and last rocket after some re-calibration! (this was 2 days from our first launch)

everyone loves some physics (especially Imperial College students)

the calibrated angle

jin aims it

and it’s ready to launch!

beyond our wildest imaginations, that heavy piece of crap actually managed to launch this time! hahahah. don’t have any pictures of the rocket launching this time, as we were all too busy watching the spectacle that was unfolding before our eyes.

and that’s the end of part 1!



  1. Summer 2010! « `into the darkness said,

    […] figuratively…as well as literally, shooting off rockets! […]

  2. Cyprus Part 2a: Beaches « `into the darkness said,

    […] March 6, 2010 at 1:35 am (life!, pictures) as promised, continued from part 1! […]

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