Verna & Randy's Rockets

Fire & Smoke!

Rocket Babe-Nolite Timere BOOK 5
Rocket Babe-Dust Storm BOOK 1
Rocket Babe-Fallen Angel BOOK 2
Rocket Babe-Ant Men BOOK 3
Rocket Babe-Reflection BOOK 4
*Verna's Photos Of The Month
Fire & Smoke!
Bad Girl Saturn V Full Stack
Rocket Babe 5 Engine Cluster
U.S.S. PANDORA / Cestris Fighter
Space Man Spiff * ARMAGEDDON X-71 Shuttle * Dorothy
Our Fleet
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FIRE & SMOKE!     Waving USA Flag 2 - Animated

May 2022



It Could Happen


In my 54 years of hobby rocketry, I've seen a lot of strange things happen. Like a basic C6 Alpha rocket return to within 5 feet of the pad after it was launched into a 20 mph wind from a small baseball diamond, roughly 50 feet in diameter. The tiny field was located in the heart of downtown B'ham, Alabama and on that flight, it had to dodge a huge oak tree on the way back from 600+ feet by making a perfect Z pattern to return to the pad. As it launched I was told we would never see it again. But I thought it could happen, and it did!

Another weird flight I witnessed was also 3 fins and a cone HPR job that launched on a H. It went well over 1500 feet, ejected the chute but somehow, on the way down encountered a strong crosswind where, as it whipped in a circle as it fell, it managed to pull most of the chute back inside the tube then reunited with the cone. Moments later it lawn darted with about 10% of the chute flapping in the breeze from where the main body tube and cone met. It not only could happen, it did!

Several other times I've witnessed more than one flyer hang rockets back to back on power lines hundreds of yards apart. One put 2 rockets back to back, on the same pole on consecutive flights, that went well over 2,000 feet. It could and did happen!

But the most bizarre day may have been when 6 different, very experienced flyers, had the first 6 flights of the day lose their chutes by separating upon ejection. Yet, not 1 that fell from 500-1,000 feet was damaged. The last of the 6 flyers was me and the rocket was flight #26 of our 5 engine Saturn V, Rocket Babe. The upper stage came down fine on the sling but the main BT lost both chutes simultaneously! She landed flat on her bottom without a scratch! The day, was Halloween.

So, for William Shatner to see a Sirius Cestris flying outside of his airliner window not only could happen, as you can see, it already did.



Looking for something entertaining and fun to read?

If you'd like something entertaining and fun to read, get your copies of the entire Rocket Babe series, paperback or Kindle. Here's how...

Get The Entire Series On Kindle!

Just click the Amazon links below:


Rocket Babe: Reflection


Prefer Paperback? No Problem!

Signed / personalized paperback copies of Rocket Babe - Dust Storm, Rocket Babe - Fallen Angel, Rocket Babe - Ant Men and Rocket Babe - Reflection are all available directly from the author!

Books are great gifts for any occasion! Holidays, birthdays or just because!

Dust Storm $10.00
Fallen Angel $12.00
Ant Men $13.00
Reflection $13.00

Standard book rate shipping: $4 for 1st book; $1 for each additional book per address in the same order. Please allow 7-10 days for shipping, longer during the holidays.

*Special "Set" pricing! Get all 4 books for $46.00 includes shipping within the continental U.S.! Saves over $10 off the regular price and shipping!

*Shipping outside the USA available. Contact us for a postage quote before placing your order.


Send your email order to Verna at: with BOOK as the subject.

List each dedication separately and clearly. Be sure to include the full shipping address.

Verna will reply with how to send in your money order. Sorry, money orders only.

If you have any questions PLEASE email us:


Above, you see a rare photo of Dave Miller, appropriately dressed in black as owner of the clandestine black ops organization known as Sirius Rocketry! What does he do in his spare time? He reads Rocket Babe, what else?

That's a nice looking Cestris Fighter he's holding too! Get yours from


Verna Starr Cestris Fighter!


This is our favorite Sirius kit, the Cestris. The kit is intended to fly on a single engine but it was easily modified to a 3 engine cluster complete with Verna Starr fighter decals, also available from Sirius.



Just click the BLUE link below the banner!




She'll go with you anywhere! Kevin, owner and moderator at the Alien Soup  sci-fi forum, enjoys Rocket Babe - Dust Storm between innings at a recent ballgame!


Visit Kevin at Alien Soup and tell him Verna sent you!


Staging / Photography   


Photos by Pete Barrett

Photography and rockets just seem to go hand in hand. The hobby is pretty cool on it's own but shots like you see here, add another dimension.

Split second staging shots or a series of cato photos, have become fairly easy with digital cameras and when you throw in screen shot software anyone with a pc or laptop can get amazing photographs!


These staging photos are from our good friend, Pete Barrett, who frequently posts shots like these to the U.K. websites Midland Rocketry and East Anglian Rocket Society. I'm not sure if Pete occasionally uses screen captures or not but his drone and still shots can be stunning at times.

About 100 years ago (1999) I briefly played with converting some shots from old VHS launch tapes to screen caps but more recently I've used a digital SLR for ease of posting.

I've never understood why more people don't bring a camera to a launch. Heck, even phones these days have amazing capabilities. You're really missing out on a great and inexpensive way to collect memories of not just the hobby but friendships too. Not to mention capturing moments with kids or grand kids who will have something to remember you by decades after you're gone.

Our oldest kids are in their 40's now and I still enjoy showing my grand kids the old VHS tapes of their dad or aunt out chasing rockets way back when they were in pre-school or jr high.

Regardless of your age or photography experience, consider getting a cheap camera. Give it a try! You might just amaze yourself and discover you've been missing out on something you really enjoy.






Bones says...

"Sarek, crackin' on the Klingons!" 


Verna & Randy's Rockets is proud to have been featured by:


Darrell Mobley's Website Review on Rocketry Planet


Dick Stafford's The Original Rocket Dungeon


Apogee E-Zine Peak Of Flight issue #155


April 2006  Finishing Touches
And Virally In Ezines Like:
Hobby Media Italy


You never know who will show up on Fire & Smoke!


True Rocket Babes, never miss Fire & Smoke!


Who do you fly with? Fly with family!




Graphics by Doc's Patriotic Graphics

Thanks for stopping by! Check back soon for a new feature on FIRE & SMOKE!
Verna & Randy

*Don't miss Verna's Photo of the Month


Go To Bad Girl Saturn V

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