Bricelyn Amateur Rocket Society
Keith, Duane, John, Bruce, Dale show some of their rockets. Launch of "Nuco en Domingo"
This is a repository of material about the Bricelyn Amateur Rocket Society. BARS was
a group of High School students in a very small farming town on the Minnesota/Iowa border.
Duane and Dale were the founders and most active members.
Keith made this nice movie BARS MPEG Video(25mb) of their activities,
focusing on the launch attempt of "Lady Luck" and it's Mousenik payload.
The club was active in 1962-64. Affiliated with Science Clubs of America.
Members: [Each person will get a web page with more info]
President: Duane Hove
V.P. : John Hurley
Secretary: Dale Hugo
Members : Kieth Hovland, Claire Hovland, Paul Hove, Bucky Westerlund, Bruce Lorenz
The rockets: [Each of these will get a separate web page with photos and data]
P2.jpg Index of BARS Photographs. (See number preceeding filenames below.)
"The Fiasco" BARS first rocket
1. Photo12g.jpg Duane with rocket on launch rail
Launching it over water filled gravel pit.
Photo16g.jpg Dale and Duane with rocket on launch rail.
2. photo24.jpg Rocket on launcher at 45 degrees (later flights were always higher angles).
Launch : Did not ignite.
Post-Flight: Fiasco never fired, probably because we cast the propellant. Later flights used pressed powders.
"The Liz" BARS first successful rocket. 24" long.
Swept triangular fins mounted forward of nozzle.
Pre-Flight : 3?. photo32.jpg ??? This looks larger than in the recovery photo.
But the caption on the back of the photo said this was "The Liz".
Launch : 09/30/62 Alt: 150 yrds, dist: 460 yds, velocity: 120 mph
Post-Flight: Photo18g.jpg Bucky finds first successful BARS rocket in grass after launch.
P3.jpg Typed Data Sheet for Rocket #2: The Liz
P4.jpg Backside of datasheet 2: map of launch site
P5.jpg Hand written data sheet for #2: The Liz
"There She Goes": (2nd successful launch)
Pre-Flight : 4. Photo19g.jpg Dale with "There She Goes"
Launch : 10/14/62. Travelled over 1000 yrds.
Post-Flight: Launcher angle too steep. Rocket was lost after a long flight.
P6.jpg Flight Report
Pre-Flight : 5. Photo20g.jpg Duane with "Lady Luck"? and Mr. Lucky? (since other trapezoid finned rocket, "There She Goes" would have been lost the previous month.) 12/1/62
photo23.jpg Rocket on launcher. Is this Mr. Lucky, or Liz III ???. Back of photo just says "J H".
Launch : 12/2/62 Exploded forward section. Bent on landing.
6. Photo3.jpg Photo5.jpg Photo9c.jpg Launch fireballs
Post-Flight: 7. photo27.jpg
Rocket blew up due to powder from a railroad flare in the top of the rocket
igniting explosively. It bent and shreded the seamless stainless steel tubing.
"Essai On" (French? for "Let's Try") 4'3" rocket
Pre-Flight : Photo14g.jpg Dale in kitchen with rocket "Essay on"
Photo13g.jpg John in bedroom with rocket "Essai on" (Let's Try) 12/07/62
Launch : 12/16/62 to 800ft 13.5 second duration 9. photo22.jpg
Post-Flight: 10. Photo17e.jpg John, Claire, Duane, Kieth with "Essai On" post-launch. Rocket bent on landing. 12/16/62
Original photo: Photo10.jpg
"Nuco en Domingo" (Never on a Sunday)
Pre-Flight : 11. photo38.jpg John and Paul adjust launcher
photo34.jpg Long, thin rocket on couch. Nunco en Domingo ???
Note delta fins (like Nunco en Domingo) whereas "There She Goes" and "Mr. Lucky" had thick chord trapezoidal.
or could this be Liz III?
photo30.jpg Rocket beside building. Photo unlabeled, but looks like Nuco en Domingo
based on delta fins and length.
Launch : 2/3/63 12. Photo1.jpg Photo1c.jpg Photo6.jpg Liftoff!
Estimated altitude 1700 ft.
Post-Flight: 13. Photo15g.jpg Paul inspecting rocket after landing
"Liz II": 2 ft long, 3 lbs. Stainless Steel. 1.95 lbs of Zn-S fuel.
Liz II was rebuilt from Liz I's combustion chamber with different fins, bulkhead, and nosecone.
Pre-Flight : Photo11g.jpg John, Claire, Bruce, Duane with Liz II on rail.
14. photo21.jpg Liz II (24") prior to 2nd launch.
Liz II is on a map of South Dakota with yardstick, nose cone for future rocket, and nozzle for Lady Luck.
Launch : (flight #7) 4/15/63 reached 3000ft (according to back of photo,
but Photo Index says 1841 ft with max velocity over 400 mph)
The BARS MPEG Video (25mb) shows this launch in the second scene.
"Liz III" (I can't find any photos or data on this one. Everyone check other photos to see if one of them is really Liz III)
Launch : 5/19/63 Electric ignition failed, used fuse. One of best & highest shots. Rocket lost.
"Lady Luck" with "Mousenik" (aka "The White Rocket" referred to in South Dakota Trip plan)
White rocket was painted stainless steel with the mouse in the nose cone.
Pre-Flight : P16.jpg Packing list for mouse flight
14. photo21.jpg Nozzle for Lady Luck next to Liz II and a nosecone for a different rocket.
5. Photo20g.jpg Duane with "Lady Luck" and "Mr. Lucky" 12/1/62
photo33.jpg "Mousenik" ready for his flight
photo36.jpg Duane and Dale loading Mousenik in capsule
photo28.jpg Duane "Instrumenting" Lady Luck
photo26.jpg Lady Luck on launcher in gravel pit
Duane's slide of rocket prep: Duane at rocket, with Alan Anderson and 2 other spectators(who?).
Launch : 3/28/64 photo29.jpg Explosion at launch.
(blew hole in side of tube 1" above nozzle). Mouse died.
The BARS MPEG Video (25mb) shows this launch at the very end.
Post-Flight: Examining the capsule to check on the mouse.
photo37.jpg After launch attempt. See hole just above nozzle.
Duane: We chloroformed[ether?] the mouse with the stuff we used to use to start
cars in the winter. That may have killed him. Also, he was too big for
the nose cone and may have suffocated.
It was the last rocket we launched.
"Aluminum Rocket" - mentioned in South Dakota trip plan but never launched.
Pre-Flight : Photo7e.jpg Dale with large rocket (Is this the Aluminum Rocket?)
The trip to SD was to launch only the aluminum rocket. But the wind stayed
too strong, day and night so we gave up trying to launch it. I think it
might have exploded and/or burned through because of the low melt temp of
Aluminum. But Duane had calculated that if it worked it would have reached 5
Later notes by Jeff Hove:
In the mid 1970's I saw a large all-aluminum rocket in Kieth's room at the farm house.
Duane took some measurements to re-check whether it would have worked and concluded it
would have blown up or melted. The rocket was apparently discarded when the farm house
was sold, along with the Lady Luck rocket that had been in the machine shed. Kieth also had
a cigar box of parts: rubber chemistry bottle stoppers to use as ignitor holders/burst plugs,
nichrome wire, wires, and a bottle of acid. There were also some diagrams of the ejection system
which I remember beging fairly similar to the diagrams below, but with a disk of fire-crackers
encased in plaster? with their fuses connected in the center, and a bottle of acid below.
I also saw an approx 1.5" x 18" rocket body (perhaps cut off from a longer tube?) at Duane and Paul's
farm's machine shed. It was cream-white with red checker pattern band near the top.
It did not have any fins.
Duane had kept the Lady Luck nosecone and parachute (red silk handkerchief) and has given it to me.
Photo Collages: (Most of these have been enlarged and incorporated into
other sections of this page).
C1.jpg Reverse: C1bc.jpg
C2.jpg Reverse: C2bc.jpg
C3.jpg Reverse: C3bc.jpg
C4.jpg Reverse: C4bc.jpg
C5.jpg Reverse: C5bc.jpg
[Note: MS Internet Explorer tends to shrink these images to fit the screen.
You might need to save them and view with Photo Editor or other if
they are not legible.]
P7.jpg Original plan for starting BARS?
P1.jpg BARS letterhead listing officers
P8.jpg Plans for trip to South Dakota
P9.jpg Accounting log
P10.jpg Expense sheet for "Lady Luck" and "Aluminum"
P11.jpg Notes on range layout & spotter positions
P12.jpg Diagram of rocket
P13.jpg Diagram of nozzle
Nozzle.jpg Nozzle template
P14.jpg Diagram of payload section and mercury switch
P15.jpg Back of diagram listing bennefits of mecury switch
P17.jpg Scratch paper for BOE calculations
P18.jpg Diagram of 72" rocket with avionics bay (Lady Luck?)
P19.jpg Blank datasheet form
P20.jpg packing list and budget for a launch trip
Uncategorized Photos (some are dupliates or enlargements):
Photo8e.jpg Group in bedroom with several rockets
(which rockets?) Keith, Duane, John, Bruce, Dale.
I think Keith (on left) is holding Liz II or even Liz III (no other known photos).
It actually looks more like the Liz I photo that bucky is pointing to in Photo18e.jpg,
but the delta fins are not swept like the Liz I car roof photo from photo32.jpg. But maybe one of them is mislabelled?
Dale is holding "Lady Luck". Bruce in the middle is holding the tube for the aluminum rocket.
photo31.jpg Liftoff of unknown rocket. ??? Site looks identical to Nunco en Domingo flight,
but snowcover looks different. Other flights didn't have much snow. This could be Liz II since that is the only
launch we don't have an identified photo for and was still winterish (4/15) But pre-flight photo of Liz II shows Dale w/o jacket,
so I doubt if there was snow on the ground then.
Or, perhaps this was a completely different rocket, or a failed attempt at a previous one that wasn't recorded.
This also looks like the same event as the opening scenes of the movie. But there is more snow in the photo.
photo35.jpg Bruce and Duane in classroom with one rocket standing on desk behind Duane and another horizontal to Duane's left. Fiasco, and Lady Luck?
Note: perhaps the batch codes on the backs of photos could help identify their order, and hence their subject?
Dale's science report on rocket payloads:
R3d.jpg Duane: "We used it on the white rocket and it worked. Ejected
the red parachute and mouse."
Letter from another experimenter out of state, Bob Jones, about mechanism for parachute ejection.
This was apparently in response to a letter that Dale published in "Space World"
(Dale, do you have a copy of that magazine?):
2nd Letter from Bob Jones:
Bobl5d.jpg another scan: P21.jpg
P22.jpg Diagram of "Maximum Altitude Ejection Device"
Same diagram, but scanned in B&W so prints better Bobl5d.jpg
In 1965, Duane met Wernher Von Braun when he came to Minneapolis to accept an award.
Duane managed to get Wernher's autograph.
Keith made a movie of a some of their activities.
His movie under the "Lady Luck" section needs to be edited but gives an interesting feel for the times.
Here are a few memories Keith shared about the club's activities:
They designed the rockets based on info from a book.
Used powdered Zinc/Sulfur propellant. Chemicals bought by Duane's older brother Paul who was by then a college student at U of MN.
Rockets made from seamless Stainless Steel pipes from a local Creamery that closed.
The launcher consisted of a piece of angle iron planted in the ground at a slight angle. Initially used fuse to light rockets but this made the time of launch
A bust disk in the nozzle confined the propellent until ignition.
Many of the rockets got so hot they warped the pipe or burned holes through sides.
Keith built the parachute deployment device. Initiated by sulfuric acid droped from a gamma-shaped glass tube onto a cast waffer of ??? to ignite a
They once launched a mouse inside of a wooden nose cone. The mouse did not survive the acceleration. I have the nosecone and parachute from the
mouse flight and video transfered from a movie of the flight.
They built a large rocket that they took to South Dakota to launch but could not locate a good site before high winds cancelled the attempt.
I think we did 14 flights altogether. Our best was to 14000 ft (from the Hove family farm), with 2 pounds of Zn +S.
[Dale, which flight went that high? I only found documentation for 9 flights, were there others?]
The book we used for design of the rockets and calculations, etc., was
Brinley's "Rocket Manual for Amatuers". I think he was in Fort Sill when he
wrote it. I might even have a copy around here some place. [Note: Jeff has a copy too.]
Questions for Dale, Duane, and Keith:
1. Are the captions and details on this page correct? (see question marks in the text)
2. Please add captions to the Photo section, esp people and rocket names in Photo8e.jpg (the one at the top of this page).
a. what rocket is Keith holding?
b. after Keith and Duane, which are Dale & John and who is the remaining guy?
c. When was this photo taken?
3. Duane mentioned that another rocketeer from a neighboring town sometimes associated with them.
Who was this? I think he is in the video showing rockets in the trunk of his car?
4. What happened on the "Fiasco" launch attempt?
5. Does Duane still have the diagrams and analyis from the Aluminum rocket?
6. Any other rocket clubs they know of? (Dale didn't know of any)
9. Does Dale have "Space World" magazine? A copy of his letter?
10. Is photo27.jpg under Liz pre-flight the same photo the Index refers to as #3?
11. The "Index of BARS photos" page is great but I'm not sure that I've numbered
them correctly. See my numbers before each photo filename.
12. Index says photo #8 is John with Essai On. I can't find that photo, is it here?
14. Were there other launches not listed here? photo31 is a winter launch with snow on the ground but only
Nuco en Domingo's launch appeared to be from that site under those conditions but this doesn't look like that flight.
Also, Dale thought there were 14 launches, but I only found documentation on 9.
15. Dale, in a message you said "Did you know we did a 'science fair' project? Duane's sketch of the layout of what we
displayed in the Science Room of BHS". Which material was from that? I didn't see it.
16. Are there any photos or drawings of Liz III? I can't find any info other than a liftoff shot that only shows the smoke trail
17. Under "Mr. Lucky" photo23.jpg is a guess. Could it be Liz III instead?
18. Liz II appears to have 4 projections around top of the body tube before the the nose cone. What are these?
Where are they now?
- Duane Hove:
Duane went on to Aeronautical Engineering degrees from the University of
Minnesota and Cal Tech. and has consulted on many military aerospace projects
as well as becoming a published author.
He continued to reside in California after his Cal Tech days and has moved
on to somewhat larger projects:
Jan 2004 launch of Boost Vehicle+ Anti-Ballistic Missile.
Duane is Chief Engineer on the BV+ payload shroud
- John Hurley: ???
John moved to northern Minnesota where he works for the school district. We have not been able to contact him.
- Dale Hugo:
Dale now lives near Chicago working as a safety engineer. Earned
his Ph.D. at age 57. He teaches Organic Chemistry in night school
Dale99.jpg Dale Hugo and his wife in 1999
"I mixed the fuel and that got me interested in chemistry and engineering -- which
became my career as a result of pursuing those interests. I'm a chemist at Motorola
and also teach chemistry at a local college as adjunct faculty. I taught high school
chemistry and also 3 years in a 4-year college. I high school I initiated and taught
a course called Space Science which I taught for 15 years as well as a course called
Aeronautics that was really private pilot ground school. I love astronomy as well."
"I've not flown [rockets since BARS] except as part of a class. And I ran the
Prospect High School Rocketry Club for years in Mount Prospect, IL and we
had all kinds of fun with students launching their rockets. But I never
built any amateur rockets again."
- Keith Hovland:
Keith joined the Air Force and served in Thailand during the Vietnam war,
later working supply management for the State of Minnesota then several
I.T. Staffing/Contracting companies.
- Paul Hove:
Paul graduated from the University of Minnesota with an EE degree and became
a Field Engineer for Univac repairing computers for the Navy. He
moved several times across the country, always near ports, before returning
to St. Paul. After a 20 year career at Univac/Sperry/Unisys he and
a colleague formed a computer consulting company. He recently retired from
consulting to Guidant corporation and is working to complete his home-built RV-7A
airplane. In the early 70's Paul introduced his son Jeff
(me) to model rockets. Paul made his "Born
Again Rocketeer" flight in 2001 with an Aerotech StrongARM.
- Claire Hovland:
Claire studied physics and electrical engineering. He helped develop scanning electron
microscopes and help start several companies using ultrasonic transducers for medical
applications. Claire built several model rockets during the 1970's. Jeff has his Centuri Arrow 300 3-stage rocket,
and repaired and flew it for the first time on 06/23/2001.
- Bucky Westerlund:
Bucky Westerlund moved to the Twin Cities where he was a draftsman detailer. I think he lives in Burnsville.
- Bruce Lorenz:
Still lives near Bricelyn, married Sandy Beckman, sister of Tracy Beckman the state legislator.
Bruce Lorenz farmed and is now installing computer systems.
Webmaster todo list:
1. Create sub-page for each rocket
2. Create sub-page for each person
3. Break up MPEG video into separate launches and link to those rockets
4. Add thumbnail images
5. Newer photo of von Braun's signature
Back to my History of Rocketry in Minnesota: