Jeanne OíLone
Clay Canaveral Headquarters, San Rafael, CA
Jeanne@dph.com
June 20, 2002

RELEASE: 02-01

BLACK ROCK, NEVADA: GUMBY TO FLY SOLO IN "CLAYOLA CRAYON X-10"

Shortly after the summer solstice, weather permitting, Gumby will fly solo in the Clay Brothersí newest launch vehicle, the "Clayola Crayon X-10."  This marks the first venture into near-space for a Clay-American astronaut.

When asked to comment on this historical event, Gumby, 47, had this to say: "Climbing into this rocket will be one small step for Clay, one giant leap for Clay-kind."

The green Crayon stands over six feet tall, and will be launched with an Aerotech H -180 composite motor, which uses the same propellant as the space shuttle.  According to Jamie Clay, Chief Science Officer for Clay Brotherís Rocketry, the rocket should be in flight "for as long as it takes," and three parachutes will be deployed to bring Gumby safely back to earth.

Clay further commented, "According to our estimates, the rocket should climb at least hundreds of feet into the air, perhaps more than a thousand, although if it reaches the latter altitude, we may lose contact with Gumby, and heíll be on his own."

 

 

 

 

"Thatís why I demanded a cockpit window," Gumby interjected, "I want to see where Iím going.  

Iím not just Silly Putty in an egg, you know!"

 

 



Gumby stands ready

On board will be an X-10 video camera, which will transmit a signal to a computer at Clay Brothersí On-Site Mission Control (OSMC), where it will be recorded for posterity.  The camera will be trained on Gumbyís face, and the ground pulling away should be in full view. 

"We will be documenting what effects, if any, that near-space travel may have on clay-based creatures," said Jeanne OíLone, Chief Putty Officer of Clay Brothersí Rocketry. 

 

"I will be tracking the entire flight from OSMC, and our ground crew is well trained.  We are prepared to recover the rocket under any circumstance," said Mission Specialist Peter Clay.

When asked if he had any trepidation regarding his flight in light of the tragedy that occurred last year to the Clay Brotherís rocket, Big Kahuna (which exploded shortly after lift-off), he replied, "What could happen?  Iím made of clay!  Have you never seen my show?"  He then proceeded to sing (to an old Nat King Cole tune):

 

"Oh, the chutes just might crumple, the rocket may tumble, 

But I am made of clay!

Gumby is here to stay!"

If all goes well with this maiden voyage, the Clay Brothers hope to repeat their success in the very near future; Gumby and Pokey are tentatively slated to crew a two-creature mission.  Pokey, when asked for comment, said, "Hey, if that stuffed cat Nibbles can do it, so can I!"

 

Clay Brothers Rocketry was established in 1955, and is dedicated to the advancement of video rocketry and related sciences (including the launching of clay-based creatures into the stratosphere).  Please visit our website at www.videorocketry.com early next week for the mission report on Gumby's historic flight.