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Excelsior X-1 Flight 3 - Mid Power "F" Config - 2011/04/24 (2011-05-29)

Finally, Excelsior X1 proves it can run a normal flight from end-to-end. Notice three things: First, we believe booster #3, not seen on any video angle, failed to ignite. This caused the rocket to tip over a little before the main motor ignited, about a second before separation. Second, it was very reassuring to notice that despite the time the rocket had to tip over before the main's ignition (composites light later than black powder) X1 regained a normal, upward course as soon as the main did ignite. Third; something we only noticed while watching the onboard video, is the fall of booster #3, which can be seen 1 second after parachute ejection. Look for it in the slow-motion version. This proves that as intended, the mechanism will not release any booster until said booster's coupling is physically opened. In this case, the coupling opened because the main ejected its chute with the nose slightly down, forcing #3's coupling open as well. In conclusion, despite a minor, somewhat expected malfunction (misfires are frequent in rocketry) X1 performed quite normally. We hope you enjoy our seven attempts at recovery in a @#$%^&%$! tree :-D

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