Descon NARHAMSter

Scratch - NARHAMSter {Scratch}

Contributed by Kevin Johnson

Manufacturer: Scratch
Contributed by - Kevin Johnson

 The NARHAMSter! 

I belong to NAR section #139, NARHAMS, so the thought of making a hamster themed rocket for the DESCON was just too powerful to resist.

  • 2 "habitrail" tubes
  • 2 tube ends
  • 24 mm motor mount I had lying around
  • Lexan for the fins
  • Estes nylon chute from some kit or another
  • Some ¼ inch elastic from some kit or another
  • Had to have some duct tape.

The tubes and one of the turrets for the nose cone. Gosh that almost looks like a rocket!

The other turret with the motor mount and hook installed.

For those of you who’ve never had gerbils or small rodents as pets before, you can get these wonderful attachments to the cages called Habitrails. These plastic tubes are hooked together to create little highways for your hamster or gerbil to run around in and basically pee everywhere. Having not so fond memories of cleaning these things out, I used fresh ones for my rocket.

Construction was fairly straight forward. I connected the 2 tubes together using the supplied snap rings. I had to trim the upper ring to allow the nose cone to separate, and cut the tail cone for the motor tube. Fortunately the turrets had air vents in them that were holes arranged in a circle just the right size for the BT-50. Fins were cut out and glued to the body using rivets made by drilling a series of holes in the tube.Epoxy was used throughout the construction.

Looking for that extra margin of safety, I ran the parts through RockSim. This is the 3-D rendering it made.

I also used the RockSim fin templates to cut out the fins. They wrap down around the tail cone and the program automatically adjusted the root edge for this.

So how did it fly? Pretty darned well. I decided to launch this beastie at the Goddard Space Flight Center on Easter Sunday. After some concern over the launch lug, I found a bic pen and snapped it in half to give a second lug. This satisfied the RSO and I was allowed to approach the pad.

Flew so well, I missed it on take off. The flight was straight with ejection at apogee.
Alas, the NARHAMSter landed right next to a nice patch of grass in the parking lot at Goddard, breaking one of the lexan fins above the epoxy joint.

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