Tuesday, 8 May 2007


Our midsummer event this year is an extra special treat! Those of you who have met or heard Ash McFadden, the Greencastle Planetarium Director and chief rocket launcher, will know that a visit there during the summer for a show and watching or taking part in the rocket launching is a real treat. (BTW, these are REAL rockets, not compressed air or water. The big one can go up to over 20,000 feet, although most launches are 'only' to about 2-3,000 feet.) The fun part is the egg-lofting competition, whereby you make your own rocket, from a kit which you buy from the Planetarium, and design it so that it will launch, and land with a parachute, a standard raw egg (supplied). The rocket that goes highest, and lands the egg intact afterwards, wins. If by any chance the weather is too bad for rocket launching, which is VERY unlikely, Ash has promised us a free laser light show (in which he specialises) in the planetarium.
Well, we're doing even better than that: we'll have a special show in the Planetarium, plus it will be exclusively open for us that day, and after the rocket launching that afternoon, Ash has invited us all to have our midsummer BBQ either at the Planetarium or at his house afterwards! Ash lives in a lovely location overlooking Kinnagoe Bay in Inishowen, a few miles from Greencastle, and has great outdoor BBQ facilities.
The Planetarium show will be at 13.00; that will be followed by the rocket launching etc. To allow time to look around the Planetarium and the Maritime Museum, of which it is part, we will aim to meet there no later than noon. More details on that later.
Our normal BBQ rules apply - no charge, you just bring ALL your own stuff for eating, drinking etc: we + Ash will supply the heat for the cooking.
There is of course a charge for the Planetarium show, and places are limited by the size of the Planetarium, so you MUST book a place by sending a cheque for £7.00 payable to the IAA to our Treasurer, John Hall, 3 Vaddegan Avenue, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim, BT36 7SP, ASAP!
TRANSPORT: A limited number of seats will be available on a special minibus from Belfast to Greencastle that day. There is no actual charge for the minibus, but a minimum donation of £10 per person is required to cover fuel costs and a donation to Robert Campbell's school, who will once again be supplying the minibus. If you want to book a seat on that minibus, send a cheque for £17 (i.e. bus + admission charge) to John Hall, as above. You may of course make your own way there if you wish.
NB, It's not a big planetarium, and places are limited, so book now - first come, first served!