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The Rocket N00b Blog

Igniter Tip - Q2G2s Keep Falling Out?
In May, I went to launch some rockets with Chad. I took along several I'd built but never flown before. It was breezy, and I lost a few. Against my better judgment, I put the Quest Quadrunner on the launch pad. This beauty of a rocket from Quest Aerospace is a four-motor cluster ...
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The Estes Rockets Android App, Part 1
I just got an email announcing the Estes Rockets Android App . It sounds cool: <img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QzTZ6jxDeSM/UsdVmKUyiVI/AAAAAAAAUbQ/N38cc4xokFk/s1600/Estes+Android+App.png"
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Jupiter bound spacecraft heads to pad
NASA’s Juno spacecraft headed to the pad today on top of a mighty Atlas 5. The Atlas 5 is set to launch on August 5th with a launch window of 11:34 am to 12:43 pm. Updates will posted at launch. Interesting Trivia: The Juno Spacecraft has LEGOs aboard UPDATES:
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Win a trip into Space in 2012
From the Seattle Space Needle Site: “Seattle’s iconic Space Needle is proud to announce that is it will be sending someone from the general public into space through our Space Race 2012 program. This mission is in celebration of the Space Needle’s 50th Anniversary – built ...
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Falcon hypersonic HTV-2 flight anomaly
America’s latest super weapon. Able to strike any target in the world in less than an hour the recent flight of the Falcon hypersonic HTV-2 proved to be a bit tricky. Launched on top of a Minotaur IV rocket the vehicle flies at an amazing Mach 20 (13,000 mph). Recent news articles are ...
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NASA creates HEO
RELEASE : 11-264 NASA Creates Human Exploration And Operations Directorate WASHINGTON — NASA has announced the creation of the Human Exploration and Operations (HEO) Mission Directorate. The new organization, which combines the Space Operations and Exploration Systems mission directorates, ...
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Commercial Space
Saw this over at reddit with the caption: Who else would have been fine with this as long as the science didn’t change?
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New product : Estes motor adapters
Estes has just released a new product. Motor adapters – both mini to standard(13mm to 18mm) and standard to D(18mm to 24mm). This is a product that has definitely been needed for years. I’ve used spent motors for years(cleaning out used D and inserting standard) or I’ve also ...
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Russian Cargo rocket crashes
The Russian Progress M-12M has crashed somewhere in Siberia. Teams are on the way to the crash site. “The engine system’s erratic functioning and its subsequent breakdown occurred during the operation of the third stage at the 325th second of the flight of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket ...
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Hobby Rocketry
This is a web page to cover rocketry. I participate in Hobby rocketry, and will cover that as well as industrial and government rocketry.
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Welcome
Well welcome to my first post. I should start with an intro of my current array of rockets. Here is my collection. There have been many in the past which are gone awol or damaged beyond repair. As you might be able to see, many of these models are in the process of being repainted. So they may not ...
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Kosdon O-10,000
This is a web page with the history of the O-10,000 motor. This high thrust 4 inch motor has been used quite a bit for large projects including the thunderbolt posted below. In addition, Rikki Rocket (of poison fame) flew jurassic kik, which was at the time the largest hobby rocket, on the very ...
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Sprint and Hibex
Well here you have some of the greatest rockets ever made. Both are ABM missiles, meaning they are to prevent a nuclear IRV from hitting a target. For this reason, and also because they were the low altitude, terminal defense part of the ABM system, they had to be really really fast. This is the ...
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CSXT Space Flight
On may 17th of last year, the Civilian Space eXploration Team sent the first amateur rocket into space. After nearly 10 years of attempts, they finally made it. The rocket, an S motor, hit a maximum altitude of about 72 miles, and a top speed of 3,420 mph which is also a record. Here you have the ...
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Project Thunderbolt
This is a Frank Kosdon rocket. Two stage, O to M flight. The top speed was over mach 3.5, and altitude over 70,000 feet. Here is the O-10,000 booster stage in operation, that's over 2,000 lbs of thrust for a few sec. Finally, the end of the ballistic coast stage, over 50,000 feet the ...
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High Altitude Balloon
While not really rocketry, high altitude balloons do offer great access to altitudes above 50,000 feet, and can keep a payload up for many hours, which contrasts with the few min. of a rocket flight to the same level. One of the best uses of this is to take images at altitude. These balloons work ...
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NCR Phantom 4000
NCR (Out of Production I think) Phantoms have a long history... By far my largest kit at the time, and still the only 4 inch rocket I have made, the phantom 4000 is made by estes. More than just an upscale of an estes kit, this is a real mid power craft. Able to take up to H motors without any ...
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Project 463
Project 463 remains the largest hobby rocket ever flown, at 1200 lbs. This web page doesnt exactly do justice to the scale of the thing with the small images... But the first and only flight used only a P and two N motors in the lower stage, and one N in the upper. Update: (6-2008) The links are ...
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Best Way to Spend $100 Million
While I could suggest the Encyclopedia Astronautica for so many reasons, as it is simply the best source for space travel and rocketry that I have ever seen, I thought this was an interesting page. Different proposals for $100 million tourism flights around the moon. That would have been an ...
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Mars project Phobos EAV
MARS is a British high power - amateur rocketry group. This project uses a kosdon O-10,000 (can you tell I am a bit obsessed with this motor?) and a boosted dart rocket. The goal first of all was to set a new UK altitude record (which they did) and try to attain altitudes above 50,000 feet. For ...
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Shadow Aero
Shadow Aero sells ultra high level rocket materials, parts, and custom rockets. They used to sell kits, but these kits are no longer made and they sold out. Their work is at the top of hobby rocketry. Shadow Aero This is a two stage "Shock X2" which is basically a two stage copy of the Shock kit ...
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Some rocketry videos
Due to the overwhelming volume of requests (1 person), I wanted to post some rocketry videos. These are high end flights, from Balls, and they are more impressive in person. 3 P motors! Kosdon Q motor Red P motor
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We won!
Joint Statement on Appeals Court Decision, February 10, 2006 February 10, 2006 Web posted at: 6:31 PM EST (ROL Newswire) -- Below is a Joint Statement on Appeals Court Decision, February 10, 2006 Received by ROL ***** After nearly seven years of work, we have prevailed in our efforts to remove ...
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Water Rockets!
Metal case, CO2 water rockets Water rockets are a great (low cost) way to get into rocketry. Simple water rockes are soda bottles with fins glued on to them. They are very fun, and I have a few myself. More high end water rockets like those seen above, can pass 1000 feet (while the cheap ones are ...
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The Reaction Research Society
It would be too hard to list all the great projects in the long history of the RRS, but to put it quickly, it is the oldest amateur experimental rocketry group in the country. (To steal directly from their history page.) Anyway, they have many rockets, including what was until recently the highest ...
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Rocket sled
Just a taste of what the wild world of rocket sleds has to offer! Here you see a rocket sled at over mach 4. Note the shock wave visible in air and the incredible friction on the tracks. Edwards AFB Rocket Sled
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Get some!

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Spike
The man, the myth, the legend... The... Man. Spike (Spikeson). In rocketry, it is not only those who build and fly the kits that matter. This gentleman, shown here in a one piece Carhart jumpsuit. Sitting atop a tubbed ATV (possible Nitrous Oxide system), Spike gladly recovers distant rockets from ...
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Rocket car
Did the first car to break Mach do it in 1979? In a rocket car? Did Budweiser pay for it? Dont take this on face value, but it is an interesting story at least. http://www.bluebird-electric.net/budweiser_rocket_car.htm Update 10-2009:
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John Cokers Rocketry Page
John Coker has a large collection of rockets, his web page talks about them all. http://www.jcrocket.com/index.shtml
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Dryden Video Collection
The Dryden Flight Research Center has some great videos of aircraft testing. The best is the impact test shown above. Impact Dryden Videos
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Rocket Models
Now I should start this post right off by saying that there are many girls and women in rocketry, and they often take a central part. They participate, they fly, and they support launches; any and all things that men do. In any event, this post is not about women in rocketry, rather it is about ...
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Best Rocketry Video EVER.
http://Nike Project
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Katyusha Rockets
I have decided to post here again, on a serious matter. The Katyusha rocket is one of the rockets being used against civilians in Israel by Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon. Here are some links for more information: Wikipedia BBs
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Jamstar!
One of the great high end projects out there is Jamstar. A pretty modest rocket by performance and design, but "mach 2 and 81,000 feet" are some nice numbers. Actually mach 2 is seldom the type of speed you would expect to gain 80,000 feet! One big problem remains however: for some reason they ...
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Shuttle Fuel Tank Video
This is a great video in flight from the POV of the fuel tank camera. Note how dynamic the plasma or gas jets are around the shuttle.
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Mach Buster
Mach Buster is a project to make the first prop. plane that can go supersonic in level flight. This may just be a way-out there plan that will never work. But I have always thought about this, and wonder why it has not been done in the past. I understand that the shape of the airfoil of props ...
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Tiny Post (Just a taste)
"Jim McKinnon's 1000lbf thrust LOX / Jet A Static Test. Jim's injector is using 28 O-F-O Triplets with a O-O-F-O-O Pentad element in the center. The combustion chamber was a surplus Atlas Vernier. The large gauge is measuring chamber pressure." This is from the Reaction Research Society web page.
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Performance Rocketry
A few years back, before I put some of my rockets in storage for a while and took some time off from rocketry, I stumbled upon this brand new web page. This vendor, Performance Rocketry, sells some of the finest rocketry products I have ever seen. At the time, it was a dream of mine to find fin ...
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Parachutes
Recovery is very important in rocketry. There are many makers of parachutes, from the smallest 4 inchers to the huge 16+ foot 'chutes for the big rockets. Here you see one of the top brands of 'cute: Rocketman.
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Downright Ignorant
At the time, the largest hobby rocket ever made (mostly non metal parts - total motor power less than two O motors). Still smaller than project 463, posted previously, but certainly a great flight.
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Russian rocket failures
Rocketry is not always safe. Be back in one week! Check out some of my other pages: Bathrooms R2K Micro Images
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Tom Sawyer Rocketry

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Russian N1
The N1: The biggest rocket yet, also among the most complex, and with one of the worst rates of failure. Was a last ditch effort to carry russians to the moon. N1 Linky
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SORAC
The SORAC Project was initiated in 1995 as a Civil Experimental Aerospace endeavor. The first goal is to place a totally non-government funded vehicle into internationally recognized space, 62 statute miles straight up. The group numbers about 30 persons across the USA, with a local contingent of ...
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Gregs Altitude Attempt
--Test flight with small motors-- "The goal of this rocket is to achieve a Canadian altitude record in excess of 10 000 feet under the staged rocket category. There are no previous records in the category. If the goal is met, it will be higher than the Tripoli Rocketry Association record as ...
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Project Courage
The Courage is a very high performance (dart) hybrid N class rocket project by MB Rocketry that can probably break 30,000 feet. Check it out to see the whole building process and other projects.
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Rocket in a supersonic wind tunnel
"This 1963 photograph shows vent flowing cryogenic fuel and T/C Rake mounted on a 1/10 scale model Centaur rocket in the Supersonic Wind Tunnel at the Glen Rsearch Center. The fuel being tested is liquid hydrogen. Such tests were conducted to determine how far to expel venting fuel from the rocket ...
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Delta III Solid Rockets Fall Away
There is nothing like the power of solid rockets, but they cost a ton, are less efficient, and are not so great for the environment.
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Falcon 1 Onboard Launch
"SpaceX demo2 rocket launch in March. • A privately funded rocket launches from a Pacific atoll Tuesday • The rocket reached space but re-entered the Earth's atmosphere after half an orbit because of a problem during the second-stage burn, an entrepreneur said • Falcon 1 is a 70-foot long, ...
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NASA Trajectory Design Tool
"Ever try to shoot a slow-flying duck while standing rigidly on a fast rotating platform, and with a gun that uses bullets which curve 90° while in flight?" This question appeared in the July 1963 issue of Lab-Oratory, in an article about spacecraft trajectory design. Today, computer-generated ...
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CATO of Nasa Rocket
Pretty sad, what a huge waste of AP.
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April 28th Launch
I have flown this rocket before and it flew very well (straight), so I decided to fly it again with the largest motor that I could construct to that would still fit into the aero shell. I also decided to add a video camera and a boat tail. Top two photos by Chris Neuhahn and bottom two by Dave ...
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OnBoard Video from the Camera Rocket
Here is the video from the rocket. From take-off to apogee the footage is real time, most of the decent from apogee back down to the ground has been cut, and the remaining decent has been gradually slowed down. Thanks to James for the edit. There was some weird behavior with the roll of the ...
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More photos from the launch on the 28th
My daughter Grace flew her first rocket at this launch. Here is a Picture taken by my friend Chris of Grace letting me check everything out one last time before loading it into the launch tower. That's Mom and little sister in the background. Dave Allday did a great job taking the picture of ...
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Early manned space flight plans

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New lathe chuck arrives
I purchased a "new", larger lathe chuck on e Bay a while back and it arrived yesterday. I'm pretty happy with it. I will probably want to remove it from the back plate and take a really light cut on the back plate , then clean everything, and reassemble it. The "new" chuck is much tighter and ...
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Shirra and Stafford by Paul Calle

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More pictures from last weekends launch.
Here's a couple of pictures from last weekend of the rocket at take off. These were taken by Chris Neuhahn.
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The Camera
I was really happy with the video that I got from the launch, but haven't really mentioned the camera that I used. The camera was a Canon SD200 that I got off of eBay for $52. It was a little beat up, but it came with a 512MB card, and works quite well so I've been really pleased with it. With the ...
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Launch video from May 20, 2006
Here is some of the video taken of the first time this yellow rocket was flown. In it's first flight it was flown with a smaller motor, no camera payload, and not boat tail. If you look closely at the video, you can see the shadow cast by the exhaust trail shooting out across the desert behind ...
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Methane Engine
"NASA contractors Alliant Techsystems and XCOR Aerospace are developing a rocket engine powered by liquid methane. Earlier this year the companies conducted a series of successful test firings of their 7,500 pound-thrust LOX/methane engine . Such technology could one day allow for the exploration ...
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Motor Stats
I thought I'd post some quick stats on the motor that I flew on the 28th of April. The motor was designed to produce approximately 425 lbs of thrust for 2.2 seconds for a total impulse of nearly 950 lbs. The motor (nozzle, casing, bulkhead, snap rings, inhibitor, and casing liner) weighted in ...
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More video from the April 28th launch
Here is a video taken by Matt Campbell. I also have some still images taken from the video which show some of the key moments. They are from top to bottom: 1. Last minute prep. 2. Arming of the Altimeter and timer. 3. Connecting the igniter. 4. Ignition. 5. Lift off. 6. Clearing the tower. 7. ...
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Rocket Launch
My friend Chris was flying his plane near Big Bear, California this past Friday when he and his passenger saw this rocket launch East of their location. I was surprised to see the photo because it appears to be a much larger vehicle than what I would expect to see in that area, or maybe the ...
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Unusual Rockets
I regularly search on eBay for unusual rocket hardware. I found this intriguing auction a while back. I didn't turn up much info about this particular small sounding rocket. A quick Google search did turn up this info though... "Another approach has been developed by Texaco Experiment ...
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Rocket sled?
I honestly do not know exactly what this is. I suspect it is a rocket launched sled used to crash test an object. If that is the case, I suppose the main explosion would either be some charge used to send it on the way, or the sonic overpressure as it broke mach. I suspect that the other sounds ...
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Four Inch Diameter SRM
This is a four inch diameter motor that I've been working on for a while now. This motor is very similar to the motor that I flew last month. Both motors used 6061-t6 aluminum for the casing and 12L14 steel for the nozzle. The grain geometry was also very similar, with the major ...
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Amateur Icelandic Rocketry
There is some nice amateur rocketry going on in Iceland. Magnus and Smari have built and flown some very nice hardware. You can see their stuff here . They recently fired a very nice looking 100mm motor that looks very similar to my 4 inch design. It looks like the nozzle got some damage, but I ...
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Sprint ABM Video
You may remember a post I did a long time ago about the sprint system. This is a great video of the sprint in action. Here is some basic Sprint info for you: "This is the sprint system. It was a two stage rocket with a 1 KT Neutron bomb to take out the IRVs via explosive force and neutron flux. It ...
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Interesting Rocket Photos
I recently saw some cool old photos on Dick Staffords rocket Blog , but want to add one more. I came across this photo some time ago and always thought it was really cool. It looks very similar to some of the vehicles that Dick posted photos of, probably from the same place (Wallops or White ...
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Project Tupelo
This is project Tupleo, one of the best I have seen so far. See below for the details. "I had this project in mind prior to the start of my two 2002 projects, the M-Python and the Shock Value. This project combines those two rockets into a two-stage configuration. The objective is to get the ...
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Large rocket falls back to earth
I love the reaction of the people.
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New Nozzle
I recently began working on a new nozzle for the Sugar Shot project. You can read more about the project here . This nozzle is intended to be used for the MiniSShot motor. This Motor is a very ambitious design being a two phase motor like our earlier BEM design and because, for the first time, we ...
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Saturn V Large Scale Cutaway
Enjoy this all time great rocket, one of the most sexy yet made. If only we had a few left for large scale missions to mars or the outer planets, or to launch large space telescopes (a folding 30 foot mirror could probably be made to fit on top of a modified Saturn). I know it probably cost a ton, ...
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Terrapin Rocket Launch
I recently came across a great Universal Newsreel from 1956, showing the launch of a Terrapin sounding rocket from Wallops Island, Virginia. The site where I found it on is http://www.archive.org/ . There are a number of other interesting Universal News Reels there featuring various rockets The ...
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Super nova payloader
This is it! After about 2 years off, I have returned to hobby rocketry. As a result of several issues, the biggest being new BATF regulations that make the hobby of high power very expensive and hard to deal with, particularly for NYC residents, I will start out slow and stick to mid and low power ...
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Farside Launch
Here is another Universal newsreel video. This one is of a rocket launched as part of Project Farside conducted by the US Air Force in the late 50s. The first stage consisted of four Thiokol Recruit rockets, the second stage used a single Recruit, the third stage used four Grand Central Arrow II ...
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Minisshot Nozzle Update
The nozzle ring is nearly completed. The 24 ring to casing screw holes and the 6 shell to ring holes all still need to be tapped. I'll probably have that task completed before the weekend is over. Indexing and drilling the 24 retention screw holes was more time consuming than I was expecting. ...
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Nice Static Firing in Iceland
Congratulations to Magnus and friends. I saw that Magnus Mar Gudnason recently had a successful static test of his new design. Magnus and his friends have done some really nice work and I'm happy to see that he got a good test with this new motor. He has posted a lot of info on the Amateur ...
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Warp 9 - A discussion of rocket motors
A rocket gets off to a very fast start on a new type of propellant - Warp 9 Rocket motors come in many different forms. There are disposable motors and re-loadable motors in which you keep some parts and build it yourself each time you fly. These have various pros and cons, and and move from ...
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Nose cone parade

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LDRS 16 Video
Great video of some flights from LDRS - one of the biggest national high power events during the year. If you cant watch all 8:00 of this video, skip to the last 45 sec. to see a pretty great flight: a huge rocket going very high, but also doing something big rockets seldom survive.
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View from a Space Shuttle SRB
Life is hard when you travel back and forth to space all the time, then crash land in the ocean. I bet you would have wanted to be born a monolithic motor : )
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Forgotten Launch Footage
A few weekends ago I was going through some camera stuff and realized that I had some video from my last launch on April 28th that I had forgotten about. Actually, I hadn't forgotten about it but after viewing it immediately after the launch I realized that it was badly out of focus and decided ...
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Nuclear War
Not everything shooting through space is a good thing. Here are two MIRV tests. These all came from one rocket, as I understand it, and hit targets in the pacific at high mach speeds. The trails are marked by, I think, incandescent plasma as a result of heating from such fast objects. It is ...
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Shock (Mach) Diamonds
THE PHYSICS OF SHOCK DIAMONDS Shock diamonds are formed when the exhaust (or any other flow) exits a nozzle supersonically and at a pressure different than that of the ambient atmosphere, i.e., the nozzle is either underexpanded or overexpanded. Because the flow is supersonic, the adjustment to ...
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Updated Profile
I added a great caricature to my profile. It was drawn by a friend at Nickelodeon, you can see more of his work on his blog or website . Thanks Mike.
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MiniSShot Motor Update
I just completed the mid-bulkhead, pictured in the middle above. That's the last of the major components for the Minisshot motor. There is still a lot to do, not the least of which is to tap the 102 screw holes. It feels good to have the major metal cutting completed though. The next major ...
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Minisshot Motor Progress
I started threading the motor components. I've only done the six holes that connect nozzle shell to the nozzle ring, so I have a long way to go. It's exciting that those 12 holes line up so well, though. The nozzle design consists of two main pieces. The purpose is to reduce the amount of heat ...
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Static Firing Video
I plan to start posting some videos form the past. I'll post them as I find the time, many of them were shot on an analog camcorder and need to be converted to digital. This one is a close up view of the nozzle during the second firing of the ballistic evaluation motor for the Sugar Shot to Space ...
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Norton's Surplus
It's been really busy at work lately; long hours, skipped lunches, etc. I skipped lunch again yesterday, but instead of working through lunch James and I drove over to Norton's Surplus in North Hollywood to look around. Nothing has changed much since the last time I was there. The outside area ...
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Early Dual Burn Motor Test
This is a video of a static test that I conducted back in 2005 when I first got involved with the Sugar Shot project. The dual burn concept is not new, but I haven't heard of any amateurs pursuing it. At this size, I don't think you'd realize much benefit. However, in a slightly larger ...
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Cluster Bomb (Scatterbomb) Warhead
Not all nose cones are good. With rockets there is a huge contrast - either they are doing something noble for all humanity, like the titans that sent two voyagers into deep space with a gilded disk, a billion year time capsule of humanity, or they carry a weapon of mass destruction. Rockets are ...
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Largest RC Plane (maybe?)
I don't know if this is really the largest yet flown, as I have seen others very big. If you count military aircraft, obviously this is not. I do also love the large Jet RCs that I see out there. Anyway this thing is a beast, and it is pretty scary to see this guy hand start each engine with ...
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Camera Rocket, v02
I've been thinking about the next flight of the camera rocket . It didn't take me long to come to the conclusion that I wanted to do some thing different, either a larger motor or a different camera orientation. Initially I gave more thought to the camera, because there really wasn't much room left ...
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New Motor
Here is a 3D model of the new motor. The insulation is not shown so that the grain assembly can be clearly seen. This motor uses a ring of screws to retain the nozzle and bulkhead that are not yet shown. Here is a view inside the casing showing a propellant segment and the ...
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Nozzle Cross Section
Here is a render of the new nozzle for the camera rocket. This render shows the much shorter that usual convergence section, this was done in an effort to reduce overall weight while still keeping the rest of the nozzle fairly "beefy".
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Terrapin Nozzle
One of my all time favorite small sounding rockets has to be the Terrapin. Click here to see my earlier Terrapin post including pics and launch footage. Developed at the University of Maryland in the Mid '50s, it is a study in simplicity. It was a two stage vehicle that used existing motors, fins ...
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Horsehead Nebula in Orion
Target: Horsehead Nebula in Orion. Uranometria map: 226 Centered at: 5h 38m, -03 degrees Exposure: 30 minutes Film: Hypered Kodak Technical Pan and a #92 filter Also imaged: M42 (the Orion Nebula), M43, NGC 2024 (the Flame Nebula), B33 (the Horsehead Nebula) By: Kent Kirkley (c) The Schmidt Camera ...
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Aerospike Engine
A high power type Aerospike motor - basically an inverted bell where the flame is built around a graphite spike. Very nice! I bet hobby motors could use this technology. This is the big kind - bi-propellant. It would be very important to use a motor like this for a single stage to orbit rocket, ...
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Static Test
This past Saturday I participated in a sugar propellant class at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR) facility. Brent Dougherty did a nice job presenting a general overview of how to safely work with and cast sugar based propellants. Thanks to the FAR guys Kevin, Mark, Ted and the others for ...
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Nozzle From Recent Static Test
After cleaning up the motor after last weekends static test I noticed distinctly copper coloration to the nozzle. I have noticed this to a lesser degree in the past few static tests that I've conducted. I attributed it to the copper tubing that I have been using for the pressure gauge. It didn't ...
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Full X wing footage
A great model, a great attempt that is. It is important to note that these guys are serious rocketry people, this was not just a slapped together project. They simply did not built it well enough - but this isnt just cramming motors into a model and blowing it up.
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Composite Propellant Class
Later this month I'll be participating in a composite propellant class at the FAR site. The class is being taught by Dave Reese. Dave's a student at USC and was involved with this awesome project flown at the RRS some time ago. Photo by James Davidson. Here is a picture of some of the 38mm ...
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Orion crew exploration vehicle in Earth orbit
"A concept image shows the Ares V Earth departure stage and lunar surface access module docked with the Orion crew exploration vehicle in Earth orbit. The departure stage, powered by a J-2X engine, is needed to escape Earth's gravity and send the crew vehicle and lunar module on their journey to ...
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A sub scale SRB static fire
"November 2nd, 2007 An amazing sight lit up and roared in the Utah desert Thursday (11-1-07) and it was witnessed by many wanting to check it out. Alliant Techsystems (ATK) test fired a reusable solid rocket motor, the type that is used to launch the space shuttle. Engineers test fired NASA's ...
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Composite motor class
I took part in a composite motor class this past weekend. The class was taught by Dave Reese and was conducted at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry site. The class was a lot of fun and full of lots of useful information. Dave is currently a student a USC and I'm sure that he is very busy but despite ...
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Side by Side Comparison
I fired two motors this past Saturday. One was an AP based motor and the other was a KNO3 based motor. Both motors were of approximately the same total impulse, but it wasn't really a fair comparison. The KNO3 motor used Xylitol for the fuel. I first heard about this sugar on Scott Fintels web ...
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More nose cones

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Phreedom Phiter
This great rocket, flown a few years ago, contains I think 3 Kosdon M-3000 motors, or something along those lines. Very nice sound, would have been better in person. No rocketry people are not perverts, the voice on the video is a normal reaction to such a sound. You all would have done the same. ...
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M to M flight
Rump Aerospace takes a two stage 3" diameter rocket to almost 50,000 feet in the rich, colorful and exciting black rock desert.
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Sea Dragon
"Sea Dragon was an immense, sea-launched, two-stage launch vehicle designed by Robert Truax for Aerojet in 1962. It was to be capable of putting 1.2 million pounds (550 tonnes) into low Earth orbit. The concept was to achieve minimum launch costs through lower development and production costs. ...
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Armadillo Aerospace
Some great tests from AA.
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Camera Rocket Recovery Photos
I recently ran across a couple of photos that I hadn't seen before ( here and here ) of the rocket I launched in April 2007. I found the photos on the Mojave Desert Advanced Rocket Society website located here . I recognize a couple of folks in the web site's photo section from motor classes that I ...
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Old Launch Photos and Stuff
Going through some old photos and rocket related things recently, I came across some photos from 2002. At that time two of the largest motors that I had were designed around two inch diameter "washing machine standpipe" that I found at Home Depot. I decided to try these pipes at the time ...
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Rocket launch in Iran
This appears to be a rocket launched in Iran as part of their attempts to place a warhe... I mean satellite into orbit. There are very many moderate people in Iran, and probably many scientists with great ideas and goals, and motivations... but much like in our country, the crazy ignorant ...
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Nice railgun test
"In February 2008 the US Navy tested a magnetic railgun; it fired a shell at 5,600 miles per hour using 10 megajoules of energy. Its expected performance is over 13,000 miles per hour muzzle velocity, accurate enough to hit a 5 meter target from 200 nautical miles away while shooting at 10 shots ...
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Amateur Icelandic Rocketry (AIR)
Magnus Gudnason and Smari Freyr Smarason of AIR recently static tested the two motors intended for a two stage project to be launced later this year. Some preliminary test results can be seen on their forum . I think that this could be one of the best "sugar" powered launches to date, ...
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Harvesting Aluminum Flake From Paint?
Richard Nakka recently added a page to his site about harvesting aluminum flake from paint. Actually, there are several new additions to the igniter page that I found intersting. I'll defer to Richard's page about the usefulness of flake aluminum as a thermic agent for igniters and the ...
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About DTH Rocket Endeavors
DTH Rocket Endeavors started with one individual (me) who looked to the skies. Up in that big, blue expanse the Lord's wonders were displayed, which put a fascination for it in me. "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork." ~Psalm 19:1. I decided that I ...
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Nose Cone Parade
This is the post I do when I don't have anything to post. There is no object in the world or beyond that is as cool, as good looking, as indicative of the speed and power of rocketry, as a nose cone. Nozzles are pretty good, parachutes and fins as well, but no it is the nose cone that makes the ...
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Photos from November
Last November my friend James and I participated in a propellant class at the FAR site. James took some great pictures of the days events. The pictures above are of my KNO3/sugar motor and of my AP/AL/HTPB motor. The photo of the composite test was taken during the day but was "stopped down" in ...
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Rocket bike
"This project & the bike started off being called "Maximum Impulse", however this changed when I was fortunate enough to secure Gillette as Title Sponsor. This World Land Speed Record streamlined motorcycle was designed and built as a pure rocket propelled vehicle. Capable of carrying three ...
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6,453 mph rocket sled
Four stage rocket sled to about 6.5K. Note the impact at the end.
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Rocket Challenge - Wild & Weird Rockets
Rocket Challenge originally aired in 2003. It was filmed at LDRS 22 in Argonia, KS. Add SEARS Magazine to your page
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Rocket Mystery Solved
I finally found out the name of this Bob Hewes rocket thanks to the post Who the heck is Friedrich Zander? on the Rocketry Blog. Bob Hewes was a member of SEARS who passed away and his widow donated his rockets to SEARS.
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Some introductory stuff for those who love homework...
Rocket motor power designations allowed in California range from 1/4A through M with an 'A' motor yielding a maximum of 2.5 N•s of total impulse (the area under the thrust/time curve). Each successive letter is a maximum of double the previous letter and here's a handy motor letter range ...
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RTGs
"A radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) is an electrical generator which obtains its power from radioactive decay. In such a device, the heat released by the decay of a suitable radioactive material is converted into electricity by the Seebeck effect using an array of thermocouples. RTGs ...
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Design, buy parts, and build or buy a kit and build?
In 2002 I began considering designs for a level 3 attempt. Then I bought RockSim and in May of 2006 started designing "Tercero 2": However when I considered the costly and piecemeal approach to buying parts for Tercero 2 it was mentally difficult to get started. Earlier this year I decided ...
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Starting the Nike Smoke build...
First thing's first. I typically start by sanding the fins but my Delta sander is barely long enough to accomplish this task!: One important note is that I'm both builder and photo-documenter of the build. I'm learning that actions shots are difficult so I'll often use the RF remote ...
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Crack kills!
Back to that bulkhead diameter problem... The black gap in the following photo is roughly 1/8" wide at its peak and that's WAY too large to bond well to the inside of the coupler: All four of the provided bulkheads were this diameter and that requires a solution. Last year I bought a plunge ...
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Sanding can blow me
I had two simple goals tonight: 1) sand those bulkheads to fit neatly in the coupler and 2) piece together the exterior parts for a studio photo shoot.  Part 1 was quick.  Part 2... not so much.  I knew the shoulder of the nose cone was too big to fit into the upper payload tube so I'd planned ...
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Rocketry Resources
A few people have asked about some of the books I've read about rocketry. Below I've made a list of some of these resources: Without books on rocketry and aerospace, you would not be reading this blog at the moment. Because without the information I needed, I would have become discouraged and ...
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CAD learning curve is steep!
I just spent about three hours in Vectorworks assembling this CAD version of the Nike Smoke kit. My intent was to show some of the internal connectivity then add details later but I think I'm giving up here:
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Eagleman is Ready
Our newest SEARS member Daymon Campbell A.K.A. Eagleman has purchased a canopy, a range box and built an Estes rocket for the May 10th Launch. He tested out the gear at his home in Chipley and sent along some pictures. See more pictures here. Way to Go Daymon! Greg
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Blog maintenence/missing photos
I recently activated my Picasa web album which is were the images uploaded to Blogger are stored. In an attempt to clean up some duplicate images in that album I inadvertently broke a bunch of photo links to some in my earlier posts. I think I've got them all fixed now.
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2008 NASA USLI launch in Huntsville a huge success
Read all about it on Rocketry Planet! Congrats to the Auburn Team on the successful Flight and nice paint job too. Note Chris and John in photo. Photo by Ray Cole. Greg
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Current Project: Supersonic Travel
One of my current projects involves a paper tube, a "G" motor, and a big boom. Yep, I'm going to build a model rocket that creates a sonic boom. However, that is easier said than done... Here is the beginning of my technical report on this project: I have discovered that it isn’t ...
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Weekend Rocket Activities
This past weekend was full of rocketry. First off I was able to see the fifth Sugar Shot motor test over at the FAR site. Look for more details and photos on the Sugar Shot site as the post test information is reviewed and analyized. My photos of the firing can be seen here . It was also ...
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USC Rocket Launch
Here is the video that I took this past weekend of USC's rocket. I placed the camera about six feet away from the launcher pointing towards the sky. It was two stages and got a bit squirrely at booster burn out. The booster was a P-class motor expected to deliver an average thrust of 1300 lb and ...
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Art Applewhite Monocopter Kit
The post below was copied from The Rocketry Forum. The Dragonfly Monocopter takes model rocketry in a new direction, a tight, skyward spiral. It leaps off the launch pad with a loud growl and tears into the sky leaving a unique, corkscrew smoke trail. At apogee it hovers for several seconds and ...
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Electronics board layout v0
Tonight I shot some studio pix of the planned electrical components and 5.5" square plywood mounting board. This is the layout I'm currently considering (click to enlarge): I'll make sure the dip switches and polarities are correct and tested prior to the flight (but I was lazy in Illustrator ...
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First Launch of the Year!
I have about 80 dollars hanging in a tree right now... Yesterday afternoon I suggested opening the flying season with the flight of an unnamed rocket whose official title is "Project 3 Rocket 2." This rocket is sort of becoming the mascot rocket of DTH Rocket Endeavors, and it needs a name. I'm ...
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Great success!! I liiiiiiike!
I've had a bad streak of luck in the last few months: In February I made a mistake setting the timer on a two-stage project (how sweet is the dude in that picture!) and crashed my AltACC 2A altimeter. That little device served me perfectly for five years and now it's gone. To make things ...
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Sugar Shot to Space
The goal of this project is to send a sugar motor rocket into space. This will be a fairly large rocket, and will contain two combustion chambers and one nozzle. In effect, it has the longer thrust duration of a two stage rocket, or a slower burning fuel, by having a booster motor and a sustainer ...
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First Launch in several years.
I will be attending a launch this weekend, for the first time since NYpower 2004. This is going to be a low power, notification launch. That means there are some limitations - the rocket has to be under about 3 lbs, the motors installed must be under 80 newtons of thrust, max motor power is a G, ...
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How the Story Ends
So... I last left my rocket 50 feet high in a tree in a tangled mess. How on earth was I ever going to get it down? My Dad and I went out there to look at it, my Grandpa and I went out to look at it, scratching our heads in bewilderment, until my Grandpa got the idea to use the forklift. While we ...
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5-10 launch report
This was a small FAA notification launch. This is a central CT field, about 125 acres filled with trees and wetlands including a substantial stream. The weather conditions for the day were predicted to be: 30% chance of rain, cloudy, with winds 10 - 20 mph. The actual conditions were a bit ...
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Three things...
It turns out that my parents can't make it out to my level 3 attempt on June 7th. As a result I'm going to push to the June 14th Lucerne Valley launch instead. This coincides with RocStock XXVII so it should be a good scene. This will also eliminate the lengthy drive my TAP members would have ...
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Mrs. Wilson's Rocketeers
Mrs Wilson’s 3rd grade class at West DeFuniak Elementary capped their science study of Space Exploration with a fun filled morning of model rockets this past Thursday, May 15th.
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High-Power Rocket Launch
The next step in my ladder to space would probably be high-power rocketry. These rockets are like model rockets, only much bigger and louder, and can fly much, much higher. This afternoon I went to a high-power rocket launch of Tripoli Minnesota and took a few pictures. The following picture is of ...
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A Ladder to Space
A whatta to wha? What do I mean by a ladder to space? Am I going to try to build the World’s Largest Structure Ever Conceived by Man? DTH Rocket Endeavors’ Ladder to Space – noun: A metaphorical ladder consisting of certain steps I must take in different seasons of life to get to ...
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Documentation-a-go-go
I just spent almost an entire sunny Sunday working on version 1 of my documentation packet [updated on 8/8/08]. I sent it to my TAP members and now I'm off to do something else for awhile. Expect a flood of blog entries covering the build very soon. Thanks for reading.
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TARC 2008 Finals
TARC is Team America Rocketry Challenge. The contest is for middle and high school students. Teams may be formed for schools or youth organizations. The pictures below are from the finals held in Virginia last Saturday for the top 100 qualifying teams. Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. ...
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Steve Jurvetson: The Joy of Rockets

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NASA Space Place: Ozone, the Greenhouse Gas
Kids visit Space Place to check out the games, animations, projects, and fun facts about Earth, space and technology. Ozone, the Greenhouse Gas We all know that ozone in the stratosphere blocks harmful ultraviolet sunlight, and perhaps some people know that ozone at the Earth’s surface is ...
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Quick build overview
I've been building for awhile now and there are way too many details to share in a few blog posts. If you've perused the lengthy documentation packet below you'll understand that I threw away the instructions included with the kit and totally rewrote the build plan from scratch. I'm going to ...
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The Motor Tube Assembly
Before I realized the video camera wouldn't fit in the sustainer I did a bunch of work to integrate a mounting plate system onto the top-most centering ring surrounding the motor tube: Basically the bottom plate would have mounted to the centering ring, the 1/4"x20 bolt would have ...
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The Booster
I then sanded the inside of sustainer tube about 30" up from its bottom, applied a ring of West System epoxy along this ring, and slid the partially assembled motor tube up into the sustainer from the bottom. I stopped just before the lower centering ring passed the fin slots, poured more epoxy up ...
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Securing the fins in the Sustainer
Ideally all 24 fin/tube interfaces would be covered with a fiberglass/epoxy layer to maximize strength. I pondered how to best achieve this since the 4" diameter motor tube leaves only about 1.75" of working radius inside the 7.5" sustainer tube. Luckily I'd previously bought a 25 foot roll of 1" ...
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The Payload Section
In parallel with the sustainer I built the payload section. Here's where those fixed bulkheads came into play. I epoxied one smaller diameter bulkhead onto the larger diameter bulkhead to tack them in place for subsequent drilling. I placed the coupler tube over the smaller bulkhead to ensure it ...
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The Nose Cone
While the nose cone appears to be completely assembled this is not the case.  The seams/gaps formed by the two-part mold cavity are pronounced and must be filled for aesthetic and strength reasons.  I propped up the nose cone on my sander for support and, using a spirit level, I ensured that the ...
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O to N two stage flight
This rocket is one of the largest two stage amateur flights to date. Compare this to project tupelo, the two stage shadow aero kit (shock X2), and mostly to the project thunderbolt that used similar sized motors. Performance was huge, above mach 3 (something that the shadow aero web page claims ...
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The foam finally arrived!!
Despite reasonable packing the cans arrived pretty beaten up. In any event progress can now resume. Here are two shots of the foamed fin spaces and nose cone tip, respectively: I'll need to grind down one fin cell since it rose above the bottom of the fin plane, add a bit more foam to these ...
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Tube squaring antics
One remaining nagging point about this kit is that none of the tube ends are even/square. I think the longest these 7.5" tubes are manufactured is 60" so I would have guessed that at least ONE of the four ends would be square and usable as a reference for the other ends -- alas this was not the ...
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Nose cone final assembly
After I finished filling the nose cone with foam (highly exothermic !) I loosely wrapped some masking tape inside the shoulder as a support, wiped a bunch 'o' epoxy above the tape, and inserted the bulkhead.  You can see how irregular the inside of the shoulder is so there wasn't much adhesion: ...
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Productivity!
I had some weird intestinal bug yesterday (Saturday) and had to lie on my couch, queasy, all day long. I awoke today feeling great and was highly productive having dodged a weeks-long flu or something. My goal today was to finish the assembly of the nose cone (below), sustainer, and payload ...
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Sustainer final assembly
All that's left to do on the sustainer assembly is the two aft centering rings, the motor retainer, and application of a glob of epoxy to solidify this high-impact zone. I had to dig out/chisel the foam that arose above the bottom of the fin tabs to ensure the next centering ring would seat ...
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Payload final assembly
This last step was uneventful and unworthy of a photo but I basically epoxied the coupler 6" up into the 20" payload tube. One cool new thing I tried that worked well was to pour epoxy into the payload tube and wipe it around the inside 6" with a resin squeegee. This formed a nice uniform film and ...
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Refresh this page!
Some web browsers in some operating systems aren't refreshing this blog when you load the page. Be sure to reload the page each time to read the latest epic advancements. [It's sad to note that if your browser doesn't auto-refresh then you'll never see this!]
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Space Shuttle Discovery Launch on May 31st
Below is a video of Space Shuttle Discovery's liftoff from 3 days ago: The Space Shuttle is one of the most spectacular things...right up there with tornadoes and corn on the cob...however, I don't think that NASA uses it for a purpose which pays for itself. The Space Shuttle I like, NASA I don't. ...
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Why I Don't Like NASA
As I mentioned in my last post, I am not all that impressed with NASA. I know that it's hard to think about the atmosphere and outer space without thinking about NASA, but that's not what I want to be doing when I grow up: working for NASA. . One of the main things NASA is doing is building ...
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Recent rocketry order
This order has a new 29: 40-120 case, three loads for this case, extra igniters for these motors, a Big Daddy kit, some glue and some wadding. This cost a fair amount of money, but I had hoped to have all these things for the upcoming launch in about 2 weeks. The motors are all Fs: F52-5T, F22-4J, ...
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Who needs sawhorses?!
I need to support these huge parts while I fiberglass them. I didn't want to buy/store a pair of sawhorses in my already full garage so I had an idea last night. I cut two lengths of 2x4", screwed them together, then screwed that pair to the vertical support as seen on the left here: The ...
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Funberglassing... I mean fiberglassing begins.
Actually fiberglassing is becoming less tedious the more I do it.  I began by building a template in Illustrator for a pair of fin surfaces and the body tube in between.  I placed this template on the fiberglass cloth at a 45˚ angle (to maximize strength in the final composite), traced around it ...
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Final internal reinforcement
I've seen many a high-power rocket fail at the coupler between the payload and sustainer sections. Many folks forget to reinforce the inside of the coupler so that's the weak point that buckles under the tremendous forces of flight. I cut three 2" wide strips of 45˚-oriented glass, soaked them in ...
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Starting a New Project!
I started building this rocket about a week and a half ago, and frankly, I think this one's going to be my best one yet! Here are the specs: -Over 2 pounds -210 Newton-seconds of total impulse (2 G motors!!!). This is the largest amount of impulse that is still considered model rocketry :D -Apogee ...
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Tubular nylon linkages
While waiting for some other parts to cure I secured quick links to each end of both 30 foot lengths of tubular nylon: I leveraged the Public Missles technique of: tying a triple square knot (it's probably called something else, however) applying a couple of drops of CA adhesive to ...
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Kilz does!
Meet my new favorite rattle-can product: I read an article on " easy fiberglassing " and in the last paragraph they mention this Kilz spray primer. It's really amazing stuff because it's thick and soupy but exhibits excellent cohesion and doesn't run when you really lay it on. It quickly ...
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Fiberglassing for fun a profit
A wise manager at work once said "if you work on something it gets better."  He was really speaking of working on issues but I think this applies to me since fiberglassing used to be an issue for me.  As I progress toward the end of this project I'm feeling really good about the journey and the ...
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Rail guides
I was all hot to prime the sustainer and finish this beast but I'm glad I lagged because I almost forgot the rail guides! These standoffs will compensate for the nose cone bulge near its bottom and prevent scraping during liftoff. I designed this airfoil-shaped standoff to be cut from 1/2" ...
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Documentation packet v2
I just completed an extensive revamp of my documentation packet [updated 8/8/08]. Changes/additions in red include: I corrected the CAD rendering on the TOC page to reflect the actual sustainer tube length of 40". I corrected two schematic wiring errors I added a flight simulation ...
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"Modern High Power Rocketry 2" book
I'm putting the finishing touches on the big "torpedo" as one friend calls it and was searching for the latest information on vent hole and static port sizing. These holes are drilled into the airframe to acclimate internal and external pressure and prevent failures. In any event a Google search ...
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And......... done.
Having arisen at 3:45 this morning I'd certainly hoped to do more posting today. However we had a company picnic and I was working all day to finish this project up so you'll have to trust that it's now finally complete. I plan to post the final pics of the electronics board, and the final version ...
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Electronics board
Here's the final physical electronics board layout: The two holders on the left and the two-sided foam tape on the right will hold the three 9V batteries. I'll also bind all three on the board with zip ties hence the four holes on each side of each battery.
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Finished, painted beast.
Thanks to my buddy Doug Vannier for shooting this:
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Flight day... Yay then boo!
Alright so first off I want to thank Kurg Gugisberg and "Dok" Hanson for acting as my Technical Advisory Panel members. I also want to thank my buddy Doug for helping me drag this beast around the lakebed in the heat all day. His son Brandon shot video of the flight and my friend Kristine shot ...
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Failure analysis: I think I know what went wrong
I tried to download the numbers from the altimeter today but found no accelerometer data. The unit obviously had power throughout the flight, however, since the pressure sensor reported a peak altitude of ~4,900 at 17.6 seconds. Hmmm. Now I begin re-reading the ARTS2 altimeter manual and I figured ...
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Oops! Almost forgot the cool recovery shots!
Kristine must have shot these and they're great but I forgot to tell her I'd switched to manual focus so they could be sharper. That's entirely my fault, however, and I'm grateful she caught 'em! It all looks fine above right? Doug's on the left in the foreground and I'm repacking ...
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Match Rocket
I was not able to attend the latest rocketry launch due to several issues (not the least was a huge storm), but my big daddy kit is in the works so the next launch will be one for the record books. (If flying more 24mm motors = some kind of record, which it almost certainly does not.) To pass the ...
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Interesting Rocket Motor
I'm always scanning eBay for interesting or unusual rocketry related items and recently came across this motor on eBay. I've seen other interesting things before like this small sounding rocket that I saw last year. Occasionally something really interesting shows up like this composite motor I ...
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Out of Sight, and Gone Forever.
This launch was about a week ago, but I haven't gotten around to posting about it yet. I had this rocket that kind of got me started building large rockets. It was a kit, called "Initiator." I bought it because I wanted to learn how a rocket of its size was constructed properly. This rocket was my ...
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Big daddy
The kit is basically finished, this time far lighter than my first Big Daddy from the late 90s. That kit would constantly break the balsa fins (rockets this fat should use plywood or fiberglass I think), so my strategy was more and more epoxy. But that means more weight (limiting the motors you ...
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Southern Thunder 2008 Notes
It would be hard to capture all that happened at Southern Thunder 2008. However, I will make some notes. The launch was well attended by SEARS members and friends that have flown with SEARS. Chris Short and family attended. Chris was selling lots of motors. He flew the War Eagle Rocket on a N3300 ...
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High-Power Rocket Update
My practice high-power rocket is starting to take shape. I think I'm about 85-90 percent finished: I just need to give it a good paint job, glue the fins in place, and get the payloads. I also might redo the nosecone. I'm not real happy with it. I have limited tools and materials in my workshop, ...
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Intent
This site will hopefully be motivation for me to document and complete several rocketry projects. I'm a B.A.R (Born Again Rocketeer) and have just recently (May) started building kits again. Right now I have several projects I want to build up, in no particular order they are: --Bashed 1/3 height ...
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Altocumulonimbus
I've named my rocket: Altocumulonimbus. Altocumulonimbus - n. a high-based storm cloud The rocket is pretty much done (besides its payloads). Here are some pictures: The completed paint job looks spectacular My logo, applied lovingly to each fin RRC2 mini altimeter. I purchased this for 79 ...
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What damage 4 seconds can cause!
I've learned to respect the time unit of one second. It's amazing how much impact this miniscule time increment can impact our efforts and lives. I'm getting my second wind on this level 3 thing and tonight I finally committed the zipper damage to blog memory: Ouch. That hurts. The good news ...
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3 week old photo update
Here are some pictures from the launch I did with Kevin and Shawn earlier in June. First up: Apogee Blue Streak on a C6-7, and yes I did get it back. Estes Comanche-3 flying on a D12-0, C6-0, C6-7 All 3 stages lit and it was great flight. This is the 2nd time I've build this rocket, the first ...
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She went down in a burning ring of fire...
So after repairing the zipper on the Snarky from the last launch I thought we'd go out and try it again. This time I decided to launch on an Estes E9-4 since I had some handy. Got it all setup, hit the button and it lit! Then it went up about 6" blew out the rear nozzle, slid back down and ...
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Static Test Results
I finally got around to looking at the data from the static test from back in April. The motor was mostly comprised of hardware from a previous motor that I lengthened to make room for another propellant segment. That results in the initial Kn rising from 340 to 425. The other big difference ...
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Launch on the 4th of July
I have never had such a large body of spectators during a rocket launch! This 4th of July I had a model rocket demonstration for our family's gathering. Here's the video:
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A very "Curious" rocket...
My GF (Lori) and I watched the Curious George movie several months ago. She fell in love with George at that time. As I have an interest in rockets I thought I would build her one to try to draw her into the hobby a little more. Here I present my "Curious Rocket" Both flights were straight and ...
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To sell or not to sell
I have a bunch of domains, this is about 5 of them, they are Sendmetospace.net .us .org .info .biz Currently I have .us up for auction, but no interest so far. So do I let these domains go (auction), try and build them into something or just let them lapse (not likely) and lose them ? I'm still ...
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Art Applewhite Rockets
Art's kits are lots of fun to make and fly - but one of the best parts is that he offers the whole spectrum of the lowest power kits (13mm and smaller) for free. Above you can see a bunch of kits that I printed out on cardstock paper (a few cents a page). You print them out, cut them out, glue ...
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How I became a Born Again Rocketeer
Back at the beginning of May Lori and I were trying to come up with something fun to do for my 30th birthday. While at Hobby Lobby we saw some model rockets and I commented on how I used to launch them. She suggested that maybe we build/launch some for my birthday. So I sent out the information to ...
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Catastrophic Flight
Oh well. Better luck next time! It wasn't a complete failure. The altimeter worked, the video was salvageable, and the camera can be used in future rockets! View from rocket:
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First launch of a scratch built...
This was my first kit bash, officially called The Patient. This was made from the body tube and cone of an Estes Mean Machine. I made through-the-wall fins, papered them and then Cy'd and sanded the edges. I also used epoxy clay to make the fin fillets. It has a built in e-bay for the altimeter. ...
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Flew The Patient again
This time I flew it on an Aerotech E15-7W motor. This went to a maximum 1822' feet at 300MPH . The rocket performed well but the ejection charge caused some problems. The chute, e-bay and rocket all came down separately. We located the rocket and chute early on but spent 15-20 minutes trudging ...
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XCOR LYNX Mk.1 Suborbital Launch Vehicle
This is precisely the sort of thing I want to be building when I get older and augment more resources! XCOR Aerospace is a private aerospace company (apart from government) which is building a suborbital launch vehicle for the growing market of space-tourism. Sort of like Virgin Galactic , but ...
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The Outsider and Vanishing
Vanishing - This is my final prep rocket before building my super-sonic Aspire kit. It will be a minimum diameter 24mm rocket to fly on D+E engines. Last night I started the e-bay, nose cone prep and installed the motor block. I also selected fins from my mass of un-used Estes kits, in this case ...
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Supersonic Rocket
I've been working nonstop on my supersonic project, and it's starting to take shape! I've had some great breakthroughs in design and some great ideas on how I can achieve a better flight. The goal for this project is as follows: To build a rocket that flies faster than the speed of sound and ...
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The kits have arrived!
The Art Applewhite kits have arrived. As you have seen, I already prepared some of the free kits to build as well. Granted most of these items are in the 13 - 24mm range, but once these kits are complete, I will have more than doubled my fleet. There has been a dead period recently where I have ...
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Attended my first High Power launch
I went to the Northern Colorado Rocketry club Research Launch on the 19th and 20th. Their site is located on a national grassland in northern Colorado. It was a beautiful area that reminded me a lot of Wyoming where I grew up. In attendance was a great group of rocketeers that took me in and made ...
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Next launch date - 8/2 9AM - Broomfield Commons
I'll be heading out with some friends to do launches on 8/2 at Broomfield Commons park. If you are in the area and want to come launch with us, stop by. I plan on setting up around 9AM and flying for several hours.
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Aerospace Projects Exibited in County Fair
Our county fair is over now, and my projects did pretty good in 4H. My practice high-power rocket was awarded reserve champ (second best), and I'm going to state! I am now working hard on rebuilding it for the state fair. It has many of the same features, like similar weight, power, and c ...
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Did some work last night
I got my Kevlar supplies finally so I was able to get some more work done. I glued in the Kevlar line and 1/2 an Estes shock cord to Vanishing. A somewhat difficult feet given that its a minimum dia. rocket and the engine block is already in place. Hopefully it will hold. I also tied the lines ...
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Rocket Propulsion Elements! Finally!
I've had my eye on this book for about a year now, and I FINALLY purchased it! This will be a resource that will be useful in educating myself about REAL rocket science, not model rocketry (which is great, and poses too many challenges anyone could master in a lifetime, but is just too small a ...
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Jason W.'s web page full of science
Jason W. Lots of great stuff in there, science ideas and experiments. The latest project that got my attention was aerogel work. This above specimen is a huge amount of aerogel. Please check out his work on this new brilliant material. Expect to find it in more and more places in the near future. ...
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More prep pix from my first attempt
I finally pulled a disc of images that Kristine shot while Doug and I were setting up. This first shows one of about 20 trips we took back and forth getting everything checked off: The second is Doug and I setting the rail guides into the rail and setting up the electronics (including my ...
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The rebuild commences...
Alright so I've reserved an SUV from Budget for August 8th/9th so I'm feeling the pressure to get these repairs done. Tonight went really well. I had started last month by simulating cut lengths using Illustrator. When I was comfortable with these lenghts I then began with the damaged booster ...
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Supersonic Countdown
I've started the countdown clock for my Supersonic Project. If everything goes well, it will be flown later this morning. T -2:00 Take a good, long look. It may never be seen again.
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Success! (Sorta)
The good news is that the rocket (I always forget to name them) didn't shred in flight! The bad news is that it wasn't recovered successfully. I think that the ejection charge severed the shock cord and the rocket fell from 4000 feet. The streamer was still in the sky for a very long time, and ...
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Booster progress
I spent most of my Sunday working on repairs. This entry shows that I sanded the new length of phenolic tubing to fit nicely. I also had to cut the coupler to 10" from 12" to fit the payload coupler. I sanded all the parts to be adhered (to improve grip) and mixed up a batch of epoxy. I took a ...
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Electronics switches fixed!
To maximize strength I had planned to drill the switch holes forward of the bulk plate. This would have distanced them from the buckle-susceptible region of the payload section aft of the bulkhead near the tube coupler interface. I then reconsidered and kept it simple since I had strongly ...
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Payload progress
I started by cutting the zippered 8" off the top of the payload section: After fine tuning via sanding I then cut both coupler and add-on tube to length and employed the same pre-wetting technique as below on the booster: You can see down into the payload section: I left 8.5" of non-coupler ...
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Notes on CG/CP, motor selection, and documentation
The repairs to the booster and payload sections will add roughly 9" of extra length overall. This will change both the center of gravity and center of pressure. I'll measure/recalculate both and update the documentation package prior to Saturday's flight. Since I also have to pay full price for ...
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Saturday's launch report
IMG_1685 Originally uploaded by ActiveOptics Several people joined me early Saturday morning to do some low-power flights. Justin, Kevin, Jeremiah, Andy and his son all made it out. We flew a lot with several great flights and recoveries. I'll have a nice photo of all the spent motors up later ...
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Gap-filled and glassed!
Fiberglassing is becoming less and less painful for me. I sanded down the primer/paint from the original parts, filled the gaps with epoxy/silica, and applied two wraps of fiberglass. Both the booster and payload sections went very smoothly. Tomorrow I'll trim, mask, and prime both ...
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Current Project Update
I've been working hard on my second practice high-power rocket, for my MN State Fair exhibit. It hasn't been named yet, naming rockets has never been one of my best areas in rocketry. But it is similar to my last one in that it has a cluster of 2 "G" motors, the same payloads, and similar weight, ...
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Successful Launch!
While not the largest rocket I've ever launched at a meager 8lbs and 4 ounces and a mere 21 inches in length it was definitely in the top three; Big sisters Grace and Lily rounding out the top three. This one is known as Theodoor Stephen after two of his great uncles. Mom, Dad, and two previous ...
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"Current Project" Needs a Name
I have to quickly think of a name for this awesome rocket before I launch it on Saturday. Have any bright ideas? I hope to talk to some experienced rocket people at the launch to see what kind of igniter I should use. I don't want to crash this one!! View from the top. I took my cousin's ...
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All built!

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Updated documentation packet
I've completely revamped my documentation packet to reflect all the changes and rebuild details. I've also dropped in this entire blog (minus this entry of course) at the end of the PDF. I think everything's ready to go. Signing off until Saturday with fingers crossed tightly...
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Again with the nosecones
Cant get enough.
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Launch Tomorrow
Well, it's going to be a great launch tomorrow, and a perfect day for onboard video: partly cloudy. I like this because the cloud shadows are an awesome sight from above. No wind, no rain or foul weather... And I have a feeling there are going to be some great rockets there. Watch for my post ...
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Name
I was determined to name it, so I borrowed a name from my sister's Nanooks in Pajamas . Exporter 2000
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High-Power Rocket Launch 8/9/08
Success!! I would say my biggest success! Exporter 2000 flew flawlessly. As you can probably see from the picture one motor came up to pressure a little before the other. Cluster ignition is tricky, but I managed to pull it off. No camera man actually stood this close. This is the frame from a pad ...
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Certification complete... GREAT SUCCESS!!
Yesterday's flight went swimmingly well despite the complete lack of water on the lakebed :) All photos ©Jaime Fritsch. Prepping the recovery system. This was one of Jaime's favorite shots. Connecting the electronics board Stuffing the Rocketman 16 foot chute into the deployment bag is much ...
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No Video
My video editing software is acting up. I'm sorry, but I won't be able to be posting videos for the foreseeable future, until I can get it working again, or until I get new editing software.
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Baby Bertha Fest
Coming in September.... Baby Bertha Drag Races! I've asked all my rocket building friends to build a Baby Bertha kit. Then in Sept. we are all going to get together for a launch day and spend it solely on the Berthas. I think we have enough pads to do a 4+ drag race as well as other fun things. So ...
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Skylab
"Skylab was launched 14 May 1973 by a Saturn INT-21 (a two-stage version of the Saturn V launch vehicle) into a 235 nautical mile (435 km) orbit. The launch is sometimes referred to as Skylab 1, or SL-1. Severe damage was sustained during launch, including the loss of the station's micrometeoroid ...
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Video From the Ground
I managed to post the video from my perspective. I'm still kicking myself that the onboard video didn't work. Anyway, here's the flight:
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United Technologies Center Rocket Motor
This item is currently up for auction on eBay. Unlike the actual (Altair?) motor that I found for sale on eBay recently, this one appears to be strictly a model, perhaps of an actual production motor. It does seem to be proportionally similar to the Altair motor. The model is described as being ...
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DTH Rocket Endeavors Website
This is a relatively new blog, and I am still forming ideas as to what it is all about. I have always had a dream of starting a hobby shop. I used to be very interested in model railroading, and still am, but have set that hobby on the shelf for a while. I still want to start a hobby shop someday, ...
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N-1
I think Russian rockets are pretty much the coolest of all. The N1 is possibly the most impressive, best looking rocket ever made. The inter-stage open truss design (common in communist rockets) might be a big part of it. Or could it be the conical shape of the thing? Anyway, there is something ...
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Exporter 2000 Achieves Purple Ribbon!
Over the labor day weekend I brought Exporter 2000 to the MN State Fair to be judged in 4H. I worked hard on putting together an attractive display and put as much into it as I could. The judge really liked my project, and said that he even learned some about high-power rocketry! I was very ...
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Upcoming Launch
I will be attending a METRA (New York State Tripoli club) launch next weekend if weather holds out. A launch report will come soon after. The plan is to fly some of the larger motors mostly, as this will be a high power launch (the last one was a mid power notification launch). The 29mm reload ...
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METRA Launch
Documentation of launches is never that great, because I am always focused on the flying. Here is one pic of my table while setting up. The weather was cloudy, with frequent clouds below 5,000 feet. But the wind was VERY low and for me, conditions were just about perfect. METRA launches as a large ...
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Art Applewhite Free Kits
I have just finished my free kits from Art Applewhite. All of the larger kits remain to be built, but these 5 are all set to fly! They are all 13mm paper kits printed on 110 lbs cardstock. In a previous post, you were able to see my first attempt. The rest are all of a similar coniform design, ...
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Aerospace video collection
These are all videos about aerospace related subjects. I would say that these are among the best videos out there right now. Project farside is a great example of the kind of rocket amateurs could be working on right now. This rocket was steps away from orbit, and a stage or two away from the ...
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The Largest Solid Rocket Motors Ever Flown
This is just one of the many cool images from a book titled Nasa: Visions Of Space. A book that combines two of my favorite things; Art and Rocketry. Painted by Maria Epes as part of the Nasa Arts Program , the scene depicts one of the SRB's undergoing recovery testing in July of 1980. I love the ...
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Small motor order
I just got a small set of RMS motor loads for my 29 and 24mm hardware. They are two G motors, one E, and 3 D motors. This order was placed at Hobby Linc; probably the cheapest source for small motors there is. I have a limited budget here, but I was seriously considering buying several G motors ...
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Baby Bertha Fest and Oktoberfest
I think I'm going to delay the Baby Bertha fest until the spring. I'm not going to be able to get mine built or it organized before November at this rate. I'll be attending NCR's Oktoberfest this weekend. Friday-Sunday rockets all day, I'm excited.
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Baikonur Cosmodrome
Some great images from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. As I said previously, Russian rockets are great and the Russian space program is very impressive despite being poorly funded and controlled by a highly corrupt government. Did anyone here know that the Russians flew two balloons in the atmosphere of ...
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Launch Report: 10-04
Again I apologize for the lack of images, I generally do not have the time or desire to take pictures during a launch because I am busy flying and enjoying flights! But rest assured, as soon as images and videos are posted to the web page of the local club, I will bring them here. The launch this ...
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Cutting Metal
I cut some propellant segment spacer rings this weekend for the Sugar Shot to Space project. It's been a while and it felt good. We moved a while back and I just recently have had the time to build a workbench, shelves, and unpack some tools. My friend Peter and I wired some new outlets on the wall ...
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Custom kit
I recently was lucky enough to get a bunch of rockets and motors. An educator had an Estes bulk pack that he didnt want anymore. My plan is to build three rockets from the set: a 2 x 18mm cluster model, a stretched rocket for staging, and this 3 x 18mm cluster. The bag of motors is just a bunch of ...
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Launch Tomorrow!
I don't think I ever posted this, but I launched Exporter 2000 in our own sod fields fairly recently. For some strange reason the onboard video failed again! I've been brainstorming possible problems, I have just finished redoing the payload bay for tomorrow's launch. I've got a really good ...
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Tripoli Minnesota October Launch
All in all I'd say it was a nearly perfect day. The ONLY problem was that Exporter 2000's video camera failed. Again. I did a few diagnostics afterword and have concluded that the batteries come loose under the acceleration. I tried turning off the camera while recording, but the video worked up ...
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Baby Bertha Fest - Coming this Spring
I'm officially delaying this until the spring. Hopefully I can work in another group launch in early November however. I'm still processing the 5,000 pictures I took during Oktoberfest. Hopefully I'll get those up later this week. Lots of great shots.. both pictures and launches.
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Amazing Onboard Video
I was searching through YouTube for some videos of high-power rocketry and I found some of the coolest onboard video I've ever seen on a rocket. There's nothing to say about it that accurately depicts how cool it is, so instead of babbling on and on I'll just show it to you: Followed by a close ...
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Next cluster
This is a smaller rocket built from the same educators pack of simple kits. Of particular concern with this design is that there will be a large amount of pressure pushing the nose cones apart. This may result in a shred. Large amounts of glue should prevent this. An interesting problem came up ...
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MiniSShot Motor Parts
I just finished some grain support rings for an upcoming firing of the Sugar Shot to Space ProtoSShot-M Mark II motor. This will be the second firing of what is essentially the full, dual-phase, flight weight motor for the MiniSShot vehicle. While the motor was pretty sophisticated from the ...
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Announcing High-5
Presenting my latest project, High-5, a five motor cluster that goes HIGH!! It is 100% high-power, able to fly on I's J's and K's, no less. This is my first build that cannot be flown as a model rocket. Physical description: Central 54mm motor mount (for I through K motors), and 4 outboard 29 mm ...
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More Amazing Onboard Video
Here's another onboard video that is extremely cool:
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100th Post
This is a very nice video. It is generally not good practice to fly into or among clouds. The concern is that some aircraft could be inside them. But I personally love cloudbusting. And as this video shows: only by passing clouds can you really get a feel for how fast this (by no means a top ...
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Testing a hybrid motor with a spike nozzle.
This is a great project. The hybrid motor uses a solid fuel and a gaseous or liquid oxidizer. Here the fuel is a clear acrylic tube that lets you see inside the chamber. Note how bright it is: the flame that comes out of a motor is often bright, but inside there must be far more radiation. The ...
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Last launch for the year
This was a great launch today: conditions were good, wind was acceptable, and most flights were successful. There were a few K flights, and one skidmark. One large rocket was reported to have gone past 10,000 feet. I flew a 24mm hourglass rocket on a D15T-4, the Graduator on an E16W-4 (great low ...
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NY Rocketry Field
This is the field that I attend when flying in New York. This is located about 90 minutes north west of the city, in the Hudson valley west of Bear Mt. Note that these images just show 1/4th of the farm. A perfect place for rocketry. Probably on the order of 1000+ Acres.
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Phobos Grunt
I wanted to post about this, my new favorite space project. But at the same time, I have a short angry rant. The Russians (!) are planning to launch a very impressive, very daring and risky space project to land a craft on the larger (but still very small) moon of Mars; Phobos. Phobos is about 20 ...
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Extra-solar planets!
I cant wait for NGST to be turned on these things. And Kepler! And now we might be getting a dark energy - dark matter mission around 2015 also. Unmanned exploration has been a huge success, for centuries to come we will be remembered probably for many bad things, but also for a few great things. ...
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More machining for Sugar Shot to Space project
I recently finished some more light machining for an upcoming static test of SugarShot's ProtoSShot-M Mark II motor. The work included cutting the casting tubes to length and making a new set of support rings. A recent Short Stack motor test utilizing titanium casting tubes revealed that they did ...
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November Is a Lot of Things... But Not Rocketry Month.
I haven't written a post in a while, because I've been far too busy with a lot of things on my plate. One of those things is my honors algebra 2 class, where I have been studiously learning the finer points of higher-level math. It is a very important subject to have under your belt if you're ...
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Very large object (Kg+) enters atmosphere over Canada.

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Orion (Ares) LES rocket test
These are some recently uploaded videos of the LES (emergency escape rocket) designed to pull the manned Orion capsule (with 4 men) off of the Areas I rocket in the event of an abort. I think this will be used from the pad, or low speed flight (maybe to 100 KM or so). This is very high thrust ...
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LR-101 Combustion Chamber
A nice looking LR_101 combustion chamber/injector recently sold on EBay. These seem to be getting scarce as the prices are rising fairly quickly. I've seen several of these fired at the RRS. The most memorable one just managed to clear the tower before rust in the internal passages clogged ...
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Move over plasma thrusters, black powder is on the job
Check out the following excerpt from NASA Space Flight : Later in the day, Endeavour carried out the deployment of a solar cell experiment Picosat on behalf of the Department of Defence (DOD). The tiny satellite was sent on its way via a spring release system on the cargo bay’s sidewall. ...
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New regulatory relief or just a reminder of how good they have been to us? (update - no relief in sight)
First breaking on ROL, this Washington Post article (AP actually) is causing a minor ripple in the Rocketry Force. Here is the first section: In a burst of activity meant to leave a lasting stamp on the federal government, the Bush White House in the past month has approved 61 new regulations ...
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Danger, excitement, science, fun, plus Amanda and Nicole
Bill Gurstelle just formally announced his Barrage Garage DVD - THE GARAGE WARRIOR’S ULTIMATE VIDEO GUIDE TO ALL THINGS THAT GO BOOM. On this DVD, Bill and two cute lab assistants walk you through projects such as a potato cannon, a jam-jar jet, and the Mentos fountain. To fire up your ...
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The yin and yang of sport rocketry
Every so often, someone raises the question about which activity people prefer more: building or flying. Some voice a strong preference one way or another but many say both equally. I generally have considered myself in the latter category. I bring this up because earlier today I made an ...
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Hubble highlight video
(courtesy of Phil Plait )
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The girl or the gun?
Rocket Jones points to a video of bikini clad girls slinging lead. Hence the question.
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FAA issues final ruling on FAR 101 NPRM FAA-2007-27390
Rocketry Planet reports that the FAA's has issued its final ruling on the NPRM that redefined the classification of, and rules surrounding, amateur rockets (aka sport or hobby rockets). The new classifications, which should go into effect in February 2009, include: Class 1 - Model Rockets ...
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Unveiling the Messer-Fo-Shizzle
Well, with chilly but reasonably calm weather I got to painting. Finishing is almost done, needs decals and trim. Recovery system not complete. Fin retainer rivets not in yet.
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Three new rockets
These are the latest three rockets from art applewhite, and probably my last build for this year. The shiny metallic one is a 29mm cone rocket. It breaks apart for recovery. Two helix style rockets were also built. I need to make a special launch pad for them: they launch from a 1 inch long rod, ...
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NASA wants to replace perchlorates
Clark Lindsey points to a Hyperbola article that says NASA is investigating a new oxidizer to replace ammonium perchlorate in the Ares SRB. Sources from Glenn Research Center say they are looking at ammonium dinitramide (ADN) in response to EPA concerns with perchlorates in drinking water (see ...
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It's one of those days....
I went to print the decals for the 'Da Shizzle and found my print cartridge is out of yellow. The meter says it should be near full. Cleaning/testing didn't help. Oh well, just have to replace it. I went to do a backup and my USB drive is not responding. Tried to test it on my son's desktop, but ...
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The fix for one of those days...
As one reader suggested, I came close to slamming down copious amounts of beer and single malt. However, I resisted that and the urge to take a hammer to my electronics. Instead, I hit the exercise bike. Besides showing me I need to get back on it regularly (I blame my wife as she made me put it ...
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Ammonium dinitramide
I had never heard of this compound until earlier today when I read NASA was investigating it as a replacement for AP in the Ares SRBs. Wikipedia notes it has a slightly higher ISP than AP (good), that it is more sensitive to detonation than AP ( bad ), and is more expensive (bad). Just because it ...
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The Messer-Fo-Shizzle has been Rat Finked

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UP Aerospace
UP Aerospace is profiled in CNNMoney: Indie space ventured blast off . The side bar provides a short video and some photos about Mojave and some of it's tenants. Here's the main thing I learned. Larson holds a patent on a freight-loading system that slides payload canisters - ranging in weight from ...
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Couldn't resist more motors at 40%-0ff (update)
First, I'll point out that it it almost too late to take advantage of Quest's 40%-off sale (see below) so ya' better hurry. I originally had decided that I had enough 18mm motors and thus was going to pass. But then I realized that, although the prices for their 25-motor packs are comparable to ...
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More sprint ABM images
You may have noticed that my icon changed from Cadavre, to the Sprint missile. I may change back at some point, but I wanted to lend some support to my rocketry projects which have been revived considerably during the past year, when compared to the relative lull since 2004. Cadavre may return, ...
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Cult spacecraft part 1 - X-20 Dyna-Soar
Jeffrey Bell has an interesting article on the X-20 Dyna-Soar over on Space Travel and Space Tourism . Jeffrey recounts the history of the program as it evolved from an exospheric bomber to research spacecraft. The program was fraught with problems and ultimately was canceled. While he agrees with ...
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How Much Inhibitor?
On the Sugar Shot project we've been talking about, among other things, how much inhibitor is actually necessary to inhibit the propellant surface. I suspect that it's less than what most of us would guess. A few years back I made several motors that were designed around a readily available ...
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Lesbian Vampire Killers
IO9 provides a heads-up about Lesbian Vampire Killers . I like movies about vampires, women, and vampire women, but there's a good chance that the poster is the best part of the movie. Er...well...on second thought, I bet there are a lot of good parts bouncing around.
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This workshop RocksOn!
Clark Lindsey reports on Wallop's Flight Facility's RockOn! 2009 hands-on sounding rocket workshop. The workshop sounds like it would be awfully fun, even though it is about the payload, not the actual sounding rocket. ... Teams of 3 will build their RocketSat from a kit in three days and ...
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More on-line magazines
It looks like Google Books now is offering magazines, such as Popular Science . Looks like the latest issue is February 2008. Not that up to date, but I'm sure there is plenty of stuff that I don't know about. The oldest is May 1872 !
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Forgotten oldie: Hot Smoke and Sassafras
I hadn't heard Bubbly Puppy's Hot Smoke and Sassafras in decades. Despite breaking up in 1972, Texas-based Bubble Puppy has a web site and, of course, a CD. There are several renditions of their hit song on YouTube. Hot Smoke was itself decades ahead of videos and thus most have a montage of still ...
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Space Shuttle makes apearance in El Paso
Here's a photo from the El Paso Times showing the Endeavour landing in El Paso atop its carrier aircraft. I've never seen the Shuttle launching, but have seen it atop the 747 four times: once circling as it left El Paso, both in the air over Clear Lake City and on the ground at Ellington AFB, and ...
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New Horizons

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Flying saucer lovers rejoice!
I see that ARA Press' new book, The Saucer Fleet is out and is being offered at an introductory price of $49.99 until December 31st. This 330 page hard-cover book features detailed information on saucers from: The Day the Earth Stood Still War of the Worlds This Island Earth ...
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Saucer Mania!
Here's a photo of my saucer fleet. This includes the Art Applewhite Qubits, Stealths, Cincos, and Scimitars but not things like cones, spools, taller pyramids or 'landers'. Or my new Quest Area 51 SPEV saucer that is due to arrive tomorrow.
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Over regulation may be striking more than rocketry (update)
The Make:blog is hosting an article about the effects that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) will have on small toy manufacturers. In response to the scare about lead in toys made in China, the CPSIA banned lead and phthalates in toys and mandates 3rd-party testing. Sounds good on ...
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Under the Unreasonable Rocket's hood
Paul Breed discusses solid catalysts and diffuser plates in today's update .
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Quest Aerospace, a class act
Let's see...I bought a bunch of stuff at 40% off. Ordered on a Saturday, it was processed the same day, left by UPS on Monday, and arrived today. You ain't gonna do better than that with a HAZMAT shipment! Besides what I asked for, I got a free MicroMaxx saucer with my Area 51 SPEV saucer, a ...
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The biggest Moon in 15 years
Tonight, the Moon is the the closest to earth that its been in 15 years. At 5PM EST the Moon was 221,559 miles away, which translates to it being about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than your average full moon. In fact it was only 118 miles further way than at any point between the years 1750 and ...
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Some new books
These books are part of the latest Amazon order. Some of them were only $5 shipped... compared to the stamped prices of 15, 20, 25, or more each. Great deals! The space shuttle book is hardcover, and the sequel to one already in our library. The Praxis books are very nice also, I chose Russian ...
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More on ammonium dinitramide (ADN)
After it came out that NASA was investigating ammonium dinitramide (ADN) as a replacement for ammonium perchlorate (AP) in the Ares SRMs, I looked at Wikipedia for a little background on this stuff. I noted that it was more sensitive/hazardous than AP but that it was more efficient and lighter. ...
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What can you do with 42,000 LEDs?
The DCist posted this photo of the large LED display that is currently installed in the 200' tunnel that connects the east and west wings of the National Gallery of Art. The LEDs and their control software were concocted by NYC artist Leo Villareal. (photo credit: Flickr user hudson )
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AeroTech Announces Creation of ValueRockets.com Webstore
AeroTech has created ValueRockets.com?, a webstore dedicated to the sale of low and mid-power composite propellant rocket motors, kits and parts at wholesale prices. "The goal of ValueRockets.com is to bring entry-level composite propellant rocketry to consumers at the lowest possible cost and ...
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Area-51 SPEV
Presenting my Quest Area-51 SPEV saucer. Although this resembles Quest’s original Area 51 Saucer , it varies slightly from the original. This is a SPEV (spare parts elimination vehicle) kit based on a crate of saucer tops that Quest found lying around. The bottom section is redesigned since ...
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Spaceport America has the green light from the FAA
Clark Lindsey reports that Spaceport America has received its launch license, opening the way for construction to begin. Read the press release here .
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'Links To This Post' unlinked
A while back, I enabled track-back links for my posts. However, I found this feature was picking up a large number of bogus links. I think that posts from some blogs that include mine in a links-list were being listed as track-backs. The bottom line is these bogus links effectively buried and ...
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A Short Break From Rocketry and Now a Wild Return
Hi! You can expect to see more blog posts from me in the future. I took a little break from my blog for a while since I had nothing to blog about. But I've decided to do a minimum of four blog posts a month, and I compiled a list of a few topics. November was National Novel Writing Month, as I ...
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Cool Shuttle photo
This image, taken from an escort F-18, is of the best Shuttle images that I've seen. At least of the ones that don't have fire and smoke spewing out ;) (via floridatoday.com )
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SpaceLoft XL flight parameters
Clark Lindsey spotted a page on UP Aerospace's website that describes the SpaceLoft XL vehicle's flight parameters . A couple of these parameters initially struck me as odd: The apogee velocity is 621 ft/s. Since the vertical velocity at apogee is zero by definition, I guess this is the ...
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Eruption + lightning = awesome coolness
Lightning bolts appear above and around the Chaiten volcano as seen from Chana, some 30 kms (19 miles) north of the volcano, as it began its first eruption in thousands of years, in southern Chile May 2, 2008. Cases of electrical storms breaking out directly above erupting volcanoes are well ...
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MAKE TV is coming soon
Via Bill Gurstelle: Dear friends and colleagues, Make:Television is coming soon! I've been working hard on a new television series called Make:Television. It will be carried nationally by most PBS television stations starting in January 2009. What is it about? Well, Make is the DIY series ...
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I'm on Flickr...well, kinda
I finally used my Flickr account - you can find my photostream here . The crappy 100MB limit didn't even allow my whole Red Glare V album to be uploaded, and I won't be able to add more until next month. To add insult to insult, many photos uploaded sideways despite the fact that they are oriented ...
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Aerotech opens new store: ValueRockets.com
Aerotech just launched this web page to sell a small number of mid power items at a very low price. They claim this is to 1.) introduce more people to the hobby, and 2.) help us in these hard times. Among other items, they will be selling E15W and E30T motors will be for $18.90 per 3-pack. This is ...
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The building or the spaceship? (updated...twice)
IO9 has posted gallery of buildings that look like famous spaceships . I couldn't help capturing this saucer-shaped building , which is near Hueco Tanks State Park outside of El Paso. There was a similar one on the west side of EP near the intersection of the Woodrow Bean Transmountain Drive and ...
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Rockets Mag V3 I5 Dec 2008 - the 'Black Rock Edition' (updated)
I call it the Black Rock Edition because most of the enclosed material originated there: one article on the Rocket Mavericks July launch and three on Balls 17. Where else other than Black Rock will you see a full sized, full keg of beer fly? There are two high power build reviews and teasers about ...
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EMRR Spaceship Design Contest winners...
... are announced .
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Implosion of RCA Dome in Indy
While I enjoy a good implosion, I generally have only posted about those in places I am familiar with. Until now. There are several versions out there and I just grabbed the first one on the queue. You can get the HD version by double clicking on the embedded copy and selecting it from the lower ...
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All SystemsGo for Texas teens
Texas teens are learning aerospace science by building and flying rockets. Started in the quiet Hill Country town of Fredricksburg by Brett Williams, an ex-marine scientist, SystemsGo is now offered by twenty-three Texas high schools. The curriculum even includes a design review by NASA JSC rocket ...
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When good searches go bad
I was looking for more info on the Fredricksburg SystemsGo aerospace education program and found this: Apparently, this is the album graphic for the Japanese release of All Systems Go's Rocket from the Crypt album. (Hey, sometimes you have to dig up rocket girls from wherever you can find 'em.)
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White Knight II
Ack, had to remove the embedded video as it ate up my sidebar. Here's the link .
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The Toypedo rediscovered
A Toypedo is a rocket-like rubber pool toy that will glide amazing distances underwater. This was a mainstay in our beach/pool gear but I hadn't thought about it for years. I ran across it the other day and moved it close to some of my rocket paraphernalia. I keep thinking about making a mold from ...
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The Dungeon's Top 10 of 2008
All and all, 2008 was a momentous year here in the Dungeon. On a personal basis, it started poorly but ended on a high note. But, since this is a rocketry blog, my top 10 is limited to on-topic stuff. Even though I build lots of neat stuff this year, I'll start with the two simple rockets that ...
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ARCA Haas orbital rocket
ARCA (Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association) has announced their latest project, the Haas air launched orbital rocket. This is a different-looking bird and would be an interesting scale project. You can read more about this and their other projects here . Here's a summary of its specs: ...
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Sprint ABM Silo
This drawing of a Sprint Silo was located online. It is not known at this time if the details are accurate or not, probably this is an artistic interpretation. What can be seen is a piston or sabot of sorts, probably used to eject the Sprint at high accelerations. Note the double walled, ...
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Twas the night before Christmas, and...
Ky Michaelson is out sleddin' (via Make )... Our UFO-believin' bubble is burst as we find out that the latest UFO photos are neither real nor a hoax. They are part of a viral marketing for the Sarah Connor Chronicles. All the details are on IO9 . And Bad Santa is really bad ( IO9 again). I hope ...
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Merry Christmas!
This season makes me so happy and joyful inside; to celebrate the coming of the Savior and King of the Universe! Jesus is at the center of everything, and He's the center of every area and ambition in my life. I aspire to the skies because he is so cool. I learn math and science to marvel about ...
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Turbonique in action
Here's a cool photo of the Turbonique rocket-powered drag axle in action. Via Hot Rod .
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Early plans for a lunar mission
"Design of the British Interplanetary Society's BIS Spaceship began in 1937 and was published in January and July 1939. The purpose of the exercise was to prove that a manned lunar expedition could be designed using existing powder rocket technology. The design was reformulated in 1947 based on ...
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Nibbles the Astrocat
I saw an interview in a recent issue of Extreme Rocketry Magazine with a "cat" name Nibbles. Some clever rocketeer had built a spaceship for a small stuffed animal--similar to one of my projects, Squirrel's Rocket . This rocket has got me thinking along some challenging lines. It would be a great ...
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NASA's new fleet, schematically (at least until January)
Via the New York Times . And, here's the related article .
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4 Channel Radio Transmitter
For a long time now I have been wanting to get into another area of aerospace: model airplanes. But it takes a lot of money and knowledge to get into it. Finally I ordered a 4 channel fm transmitter with a double rotor helicopter. I am really looking forward to its arrival! It probably won't be ...
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 is fully integrated
Yesterday, SpaceX completed integration of their Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral. They are understandably excited and hope to have a full erection early in 2009. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.*) I didn't see when the launch is currently scheduled but it should also happen early in the year. I'd like a ...
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Houston Med Center - then and now
Then (via Life Mag)... And, now (via telwink )
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New Years Eve stunts
From around the web, I see the stunt masters are going to be out in force on New Year's Eve in Las Vegas. At the Rio, Rhys Millen will attempt a back flip in his truck. Robby Madison is going to jump 120' up to the roof of the Paris Casino. After smiling for the camera, he'll jump back down. ...
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If you don't know your screw heads, you might be screwed
Make presents a simple diagram showing the 28 common styles of screw heads. There are several I've never even heard of. I guess if I don't have the right drivers by now, I probably don't need them.
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Need recommended motors lists... (edit)
I edited the list as I got answers... To populate EMRR's recommended motors database, I need the manufacturer's recommendations for the following kits. If you only know the motor mount size, I'll settle for that. -> American Alliance Rocketry - F17 Phantom -> Contest Craft (by Rob Edmonds) - ...
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Robbie, Rhys, and Robbie

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NAR website outage
I just saw a note that the NAR's website is down due to a problem with their hosting service. Hopefully, service will be restored today.
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Air Command's Recovery Guide
Air Command has compiled an extensive guide to rocket recovery . Although oriented towards water rockets, it provides a comprehensive survey of processes and techniques. For example, we 'pyro' folks almost never plan to use lawn dart recovery (although we end up with our share of them). The guide ...
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The Sky in Motion
This video is truly incredible. It shows the beauty of Creation and the Wonder of God without the use of a single word. It's an example of the Psalm 19:1 "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork."
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The (not so) big list of 2008 lists
As 2009 approaches, the 'Top 10 1 - 100 of 2008' lists will begin showing up in the ol' newsreader. This year, I will again capture them in a single post. As I update the list, I'm going to try updating the date so it pops to the top of my blog. I'll see how that works out. Now, just like in 2006 ...
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To 100K
At all times, there are a baker's dozen rocketry projects from teams and individuals on the edge between level 3 high power, and amateur rocketry. Many of them are attempting flights to near space or space. Some of these can be found in the links list, below and to the right. This is a particularly ...
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2009 Goals
Aerospace is a complicated subject, as any rocketeer would readily admit. Thus, I have set a few challenging goals for myself this year, to help boost me into the field. Get Junior Level 1 certified for high-power through the NAR. Get a purple ribbon in Aerospace at the MN State Fair ...
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Unidentified historic rocket
This was lifted from YORF . The name on the file is 'Tuckerton Rocket'. Just thought it fit nicely with some of the other oldies that I've found. (The others are identified with the 'Professional Rocketry: Historic' label.)
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Magnetic fin jig?
Seems pricey for what it'll do for me, but this magnetic jig might be adaptable or rocketry use. (Via Toolmonger )
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JP Aerospace Balloon
This is a really nice, but short video from JP aerospace. The apogee is reported at 107,000 feet. The balloon bursts here (most say that UV light exposure is what causes this, the rubber material degrades and becomes brittle in the cold rarefied air in near space, as cold as -90 below), and begins ...
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TOGinator....schweeeeet!
How could I not swipe a copy of this photo of Boris and Paul's TOGinator? Click it and take a gander at what a 27 motor cluster looks like. Follow the link to find out more about this and their other cool projects.
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EMRR 2009 contest pre-announcement
EMRR has posted a first-look at the 2009 EMRR Challenge , and 2009 Design this Spaceship Contest .
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EPA wants to tax bovine greenhouse gas emissions?
When I first saw this, I figured the story's source was The Onion . Nope. The Cattle Network discusses how recent EPA actions may lead to a 'cow tax'. It seems they issued an NPRM asking about regulating greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. If they then find greenhouse gasses are a ...
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What's next, a burrito tax?
It appears someone has actually measured the frequency and volume of cow farts. They also differentiated between dairy and beef cattle. As I was sitting here sipping coffee, I started thinking. Cows may generate more methane than people, but I bet there are a lot more of us than them. Should the ...
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First high power rocket received
I received my Binder Design Excel Plus with Av bay yesterday. I plan on building this over the winter months and launching it at Mile-Hi Mayhem in the spring to get my Level 1 Certification. I got a few extra components along with the kit so I'll document the changes I make during the build here.
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Retro-oddity: a jet-powered train
The Aérotrain was air-levitated and powered by a Pratt & Whitney JT12 jet engine. Fanboy.com has a nice post with the history of this concept (nice, even though it was jet-powered rather than rocket-powered). The source material includes Wikipedia article and this French site , which is ...
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RASAero 1.0.1.0 released
A new release of Rogers Aeroscience's RASAero is now available. Fixed a few bugs. Still FREE!
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Rocket-powered karts!
Rocket Karts is a cool page featuring rocket-powered go-karts. The one shown is "Captain Jack" McClure's Turbonique-powered go-kart. This used the bigger 1500 lb motor and would hit 215 mph in the quarter mile.The site speculates that these karts might have led to the NHRA ban on Turbonique. (link ...
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Two views of the moon
These are two images of Copernicus crater on the Moon. The first, taken with a space probe, and the other taken with a large amateur telescope. Probably the most impressive thing to see is that the earth based images are quite good. Looking at similar features on the Earth, from the moon, would be ...
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Direct 2.0 makes pitch to Obama transition team
NASA Renegades Pitch Obama Team New Post-Shuttle Plan - Popular Mechanics (via Clark Lindsey ) "We got a full hearing today," he says. "If they're interested, they'll call."
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Fringe breaks into the real world?
I like Fringe , an ' X-Files -like' show that is set in a world where reanimation, teleportation and other 'mad science' is not only possible but is being implemented. Now, I see Wired Danger Room's report on a US Army conference called the "2008 Mad Scientist Future Technology Seminar." "The ...
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Pinewood derby on roids
Like pinewood derby? Want more speed than gravity can provide? Try CO2 rocket cars. Pitsco's Science of Speed site offers all kinds of info of the competitions, the techniques, the science, and the kits. The photo is Alan M's Muffin , which places 12th in the 2008 middle school competition.
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Sport Rocketry, January/February 2009
Lead article is coverage of the 17th World Spacemodeling Championships that were held in Lleida, Spain. Other than spotting NARHAMSter Ed Pearson, this one didn't really interest me. Nor did the article on the OOP Estes CAMROC. What saved this issue was an article on two DIY centering ring jigs, ...
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Obama and space
The blogaverse is full on info on Obama and space - what he may and may not do, what his transition team is up to, who may and may not replace Mike Griffin, etc, etc, etc. Here are two news items I saw this morning. chron.com notes that NASA's new moon rover will act as the caboose in the ...
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Goonball XL5 in RockSim-9
Here's a 3-D export from RockSim-9. I still have to tweak the actual measured mass. Without a motor, it seems stable enough with a margin of 0.78. However, I probably will have to add a bit more nose weight when a motor is loaded.
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RockSim-9 running problem list (update 5)
Thought I'd document these here. Some may be operator error. All apply to the Goonball XL5 unless otherwise noted. When adding a custom fin to a pod, the plan point graph is blank and display only the origin point. When you try to add a point you get a message saying that you can not divide ...
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Falcon 9 - Space X
Looking forward to the first test flight of this large rocket. If the quoted costs per launch are true, this will help make space cheaper for all. But we must not have too many expectations for this first launch, it is likely to fail. But if this one hard starts or shreds, or fails to make ...
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Fireball XL5 in RockSim-9
Follow the tag for more on this model.
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High-5 Taking Shape
The past few days I've been working on my big project, High-5. I'm hoping to get it finished by this summer, and perhaps I'll even be able to get junior level-1 certified on it! It's a fairly complex design, and employs such gizmos as airstart electronics (already installed) and altimeter ...
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Stupid pre-coffee thoughts
Why do I add dashes where they don't belong and leave them when they do? Fireball XL-5 vs. Fireball XL5 and V2 vs. V-2. In internet communications, smileys should be a valid form of punctuation :) Ending a sentence like this just doesn't look right to me :). There was more but I got sidetracked ...
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PACS-1 Ejection Motor
I recently got this small rocket motor. It's about the size of a large coffee can. The base says PACS-1 Ejection Motor with a logo underneath that I believe is the Atlantic Research Corporation logo. My guess is that it's from the 60-70's based on the hand engraved serial numbers, coffee ...
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Estes SpaceShipOne in RockSim-9
The fins are pretty close in shape and size but may be not be positioned properly. I had fins to measure from my bashed kits but didn't have a built kit nor could I find a set of instructions. I'll have to look around some more. The sims even ran!
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Full Moon Over the Alps
The moon won't be this large for the rest of the year; it already reached perigee. Somebody was in the right place at the right time, and managed to catch a jet passing in front of this already awesome scene.
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Spudgun and cool Adobe Acrobat application
Bill Gurstelle points to an upgrade to his Night Lighter 36 potato cannon plans. These have appeared in Make Magazine and his Whoosh Boom Splat book. But, Make has now enhanced the plans by including an interactive 3-D model. This is really cool. From within the .pdf file, you can zoom, rotate, ...
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EMRR at 11
And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy parts bin. Then shalt thou count to eleven, no more, no less. Eleven shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be eleven. Twelve shalt thou not count, neither count thou ten, excepting that thou then ...
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Falcon 9 standing at attention
This shot of the Falcon 9, at sunset and with a moon rise, is my favorite from Space X's Jan. 11 update. (as usual, click for full sized)
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RockSim 9 issues post - reminder
I know the organization is getting a little convoluted but, just for the record, I am still maintaining my post on the issues I'm finding with RockSim 9. Now, aren't you glad I reminded you (?).
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Another RS9 3D render
I'm finding RockSim 9 to be a lot of fun. Here's my latest render...my ancient XR-71 Green Burd . On this one, I'm thinking the stability estimate might be a little pessimistic, as proven by the real world.
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How far away is the horizon?
I have heard the answer many times but, before Phil Plait asked and then answered his own question, I also had totally forgotten. The answer is found with some simple math which Phil lays out nicely. I'll leave the details to the reader but will grab just a few of his results. Height ...
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More photos posted
I added albums for Red Glare IV, Red Glare II and TRF-3 to my OurPlanet page. I also added some missile-aneous photos to my Flickr photostream . Since I'm volume limited there, I think I'll put most of my rocket photos on OurPlanet.
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Got Twitter?
There is no way I want to venture into the maelstrom, but I have to admit that I have been following the preparations for President Elect Obama's inauguration and will be interested to see how it plays out. It sounds like it will be somekind of zoo with an unbelievable 3 - 5 million people ...
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Project Farside
These are four stage rockoons that were designed to test space at high altitudes approaching 4,000 miles. A rockoon is a rocket launched at altitude from a balloon, resulting very high altitudes. The goal of this project was to attempt the highest performance possible using state of the art solid ...
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Aerospace Engineering at STEP
I'm all excited, because this next semester I'm going to be taking aerospace engineering via S econdary T echnical E ducation P rogram. I don't know much yet; all I know is that its major outcomes are: Introduction to aerodynamics design and testing. Flight systems and areospace ...
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XFY-1 Pogo in RockSim-9
Now, with functional outboard booster pods! This is the 2nd RS9 design in a row that worked without me having to remove and re-add the fin's-on-fins. This is a good thing! This changed for me when I registered the program and got the authorization file. Coincidence? More about the model can be ...
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Steampunk rocketry = hydrogen powered rocket
From the annals of Make Mag , I find this cool hydrogen powered rocket . The control system uses a 12V 3.3Ah lead-acid battery to generate the hydrogen and ignite the gas. Kinda like an armor-plated version of the Estes Hydrogen Fuel Rocket Set . Dean Wheeler also has a hydrogen powered rocket , ...
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XFY-1 Pogo in RockSim-9, redux
On my previous iteration, I formed the upper section of the body (the body's cross section is oblong) with a single thick fin. This left noticeable gaps. In RS-9, you can add components internally so they will seamlessly protrude from a body tube. In the revised model, I started the fin about 1/2" ...
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SpaceShipSqrt(-1) in RockSim-9
The wing pods and cockpit worked out nicely. Note that the cockpit components start internally and thus conform to the body tube.
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TRF is baaaaack!
The Rocketry Forum 2.0 is back on-line . You have to re-register and at least for now, the old database isn't loaded. So for now, it is a clean slate. TRF is under new management but will largely be run as before, i.e. play nice, nothing illegal, 'G' rated, etc. The new guidelines can be found ...
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Alert: TRF server malware (update)
TRF's new host, IX Web Access, has a nifty little script that redirects link-ins from the major search engines to malware ('Antivirus 2009'). Details are here . Update: For now this problem has been resolved, but in general you should beware of odd pop-ups, redirects, requests to scan for malware, ...
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Gee'hod RockSim-9

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Microblogging from space
A Japanese non-profit group called called the Kansai Space Initiative (KSI) plans to build a small satellite that will be open to everyone. The KaSpl-1 microsatellite will piggyback on another payload in 2013. While the exact capabilities are still being planned, there will be a camera pointing at ...
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First scratch RockSim-9 design
I was just goofing around and have no plans to build this. It has motors in the pods but no central mount - not generally a good idea. It's named the SPDN1 (Scratch Pod Design Numero Uno). BT-60 main tube, altimeter in payload section, LOC24mm outboard tubes. 20.2 oz loaded with 3 D12-5's. 891" ...
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2nd scratch Rocksim-9 design - mixed results
This is a jet-fighter styled rocket complete with faux-Sidewinders. The good news: I like the general look. The bad news: I hit the problem where the sim won't run. Since this was an exercise only, I don't want to replace all the pod-mounted components just to find which one is breaking it. I ...
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2 Stage water rocket

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The Barakmobile (actually, "The Beast")
Nice ride, Mr. President. The actual specs are top secret but Wired's Autopia gives us some details: GM says the car occupies the "same footprint" as the current presidential ride, but it is a little taller and the windows a little bigger to improve visibility. Limo One is believed to weigh ...
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President Biden (update)
Interesting factoid. Bush's Presidency expired at noon. Barack just got sworn in at around 5 min after. For those 5 minutes, Biden was President. Well, I thought it was interesting. Update: A reader points to a Snopes article showing that the news reporter was wrong on this one. Dang, sounded like ...
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2nd scratch Rocksim-9 design - post mortem
Well, the problem with this design bugged me so I started deleting components until the sim worked. I had to delete the Sidewinders as well as their underlying stand-offs. Not worth adding them back and I retained the original. Here is a 2-D view: (jet_fighter_rs9.rkt)
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Apogee Rocketry Workshop Video #1: Add Spin Tabs To Your Rocket's Fins
Apogee has kicked off a series of video workshops with a tutorial on spin tabs: This joins their video on building great modrocs .
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Aerospace links
I noticed my one remaining Blogrolling list is now totally dead. For a while, they have been having problems and had blocked updates. I don't know if they'll be back. Anyway, nothing I could find could completely read their file format so I grabbed the latest backup (not that new) and edited out ...
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More on President Biden
OK, yesterday I reported that a reporter said that VP Biden was the president of the United States for the 5 minutes between noon, when Bush's term expired, and when Barack Obama took his oath. A reader pointed my to a Snopes article debunking this idea. Although I merely skimmed the article, I ...
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Manned Venus Flyby
There have been many planned flyby missions for Mars and-or Venus. Much effort was put into these plans, in part because it was expected that Russia would skip the moon in the 1970s and chose a new target which would give them a chance to be first. A manned mission would be one of the best ...
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Saving money on magazines
I've been patiently waiting for the latest issue of Launch Magazine for about a month. After not receiving it today's mail, I just remembered reading a thread on YORF that someone's subscription had expired without notice...and the light bulb finally came on! I went back through my blog posts and, ...
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Diagram of Lowness
Here's a post from last September (I never got around to posting it): "The other day I was thinking about outer space, how intriguing it is and such. I started to wonder how close I had ever come with one of my rockets to the edge of outer space. The results weren't the most exciting ever. I ...
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Four-By
Another weird 'what-if' design...that doesn't even fly in the virtual world :( Four 24mm mounts, each with their own 'chute. (four_by.rkt)
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Launching a Better Brain
Launching a Better Brain , by Steve Jurvetson, Harvard Business Review, February 2009. Go Steve! Go rocketry! Read his comments and find related material here .
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Something else I hate on the Internet
It seems most often when I find something that I want to look at on Yahoo News, all they provide is a video report. Usually, I only want to take a quick glance and move on. However, with the videos I have to listen to a couple minutes before I get to the gist of the article. The end result: I move ...
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Highlights from EMRR on this Saturday
My brief review of Tim Van Milligan's Model Rocket Design and Construction is in today's EMRR update . The 2009 Box o' Parts Contest is ON! This year, you create your own box o' parts, EMRR will audit that box for compliance, and you will receive a couple of random pieces of, well, stuff. The rest ...
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Genie missile brain fart
I previously commented about the odd fins on the Genie missile. Well, it appears the answer is that they ain't all there in the photo in that post. (To clarify, it seems they actually fold in to allow the chubby missile to fit under-wing.)
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RIP Dr. Bill Wilson
I was sad to hear of Dr. Bill's passing . Although in a different EE sub-specialty, I was privileged to have taken two courses from him - basic transmission line theory and microwave theory. I remember him as the friendliest and most accessible professor that I had. He'd always provide whatever ...
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NARAM Live! archives
I've been reporting on NARAM via NARAM Live! for several years. One problem with linking to the site is that, after the event, the content of the main pages are moved to an archive directory. So, here they are. I wonder what the chances are that anybody who finds the old posts will find this one? ...
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Project Farside in Popular Science (1957)
Here are some additional materials that I recently found for Project Farside. This comes from the October 1957 Popular Science. The details here are great: note the remarkable little payload probe... this is similar to the Vanguard satellites that were first attempted around the same time. The ...
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Great Weekend!
I attended the RRS launch this weekend. It was a great launch and I had tons of fun. Rick Maschek and I fired a motor that was part of ongoing testing for the Sugar Shot to Space project. There were at least 12-13 small Zn/S rockets flown, a 4000lb thrust LOX/kerosene static test, and a variety of ...
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New Reading List Item
I think I'm going to order a new book titled "Spacecraft-Environment Interactions" by Daniel Hastings (not me) and Henry Garrett, professors at MIT. It's probably another one of those books I will grow into and refer to throughout college. I might not get much out of it at first, but this book ...
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RRS report from Randy's Rocketry
Randy reports on this past weekend's launch at the RRS, with photo's of a Zn/S rocket ( you gotta love that plume! ), a Sugar Shot to Space test, and a LOX/kerosene static fire (I think).
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Electric rocketry
This month's Scientific American has an article on electric propulsion for spacecraft . I scanned the article and it doesn't seem to have anything new, but if you are interested in such things it's probably worth the read. Hat tip to Rocketry Planet's forum.
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Financial crisis hits sport rocketry - LAUNCH magazine is taking a 'time-out'
As predicted by several people on the rocketry forums, LAUNCH mag announced today that they will be taking a two month hiatus to regroup. In a few day's they'll describe their plan for extending existing subscriptions and providing subscribers with access to on-line content. It strikes me that the ...
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High power/low tech - ya' gotta love it
I see the principal behind Inverse Engineering has been good enough to begin documenting his exploits on YouTube:
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Ram-rockets in the news
Wired reports on the Navy's Higher Speed Antiradiation Demonstrator (HSAD) project, an upgrade to the AGM-88 HARM missile. The NSAD rocket uses its combustion chamber as a ramjet, making it a 'ram-rocket'. They expect "twice the range of the current HARM at two to three times the average velocity ...
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Cool photo of the SS1 cockpit during flight
via digg via Wikimedia - click it!
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Artis Magne Artilleriae
Wayne Hill found a reference to this 17th century artillery manual by one Casmir Siemienowicz, General of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Crown Artillery. He also posted Cas' bio: (born)1600 (died)1651 Kazimierz Siemienowicz, born near Raseiniai in Samogitia, was a Polish-Lithuanian commander in ...
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GRIN
I just found the Great Images In NASA site. Although not as large as some archives, it has a bunch of rocket and rocket-related photos. Here is a photo of a ram-rocket at NACA Lewis (later NASA Glenn Research Center), circa 1947. Bigger copies can be found here .
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Outrage, well expressed
Rocket Jones calls it like I see it.
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Pick a Hubble target
Visit the link below to vote on a public Hubble target. Sadly, my 1st and 2nd choices are 5th and 6th right now! I think this is due not to their potential, nor to the popularity of galaxies (my choices are planetary nebulae), but simply to the lousy pictures on the vote site: For this reason, I ...
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Spaceport America has a twin
A twin sister, that is. Here's the intro to the announcement I saw first on Res Communis . LAS CRUCES, NM – Officials from the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Spaceport Sweden to align with Spaceport America as ‘Sister ...
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V2...oooops
May 30, 1947 El Paso and Juarez were rocked Thursday night when a runaway German V-2 rocket fired from the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico crashed and exploded on top of a rocky knoll three and a half miles south of the Juarez business district. .... CRATER 50 FEET WIDE, 24 FEET DEEP .... ...
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How many of the 16 might find their way into your rockets?
Popular Mechanics presents 16 Wild Materials . Ceramic cloth (#2) and paper honeycomb (#16) seem to have the most direct applicability here in the Dungeon. The rest would take some thought.
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A Bifurcation of Fireballs
Cross-posted from EMRR's Rocket Family Photo Contest (Entry #3) : Here is my mini fleet of Fireball XL5 models. The scratch-built 'papa' flies nicely on 29mm motors and the 'mama' is my Deuce XL5 , which is a kitbash of the FlisKits Deuces Wild! . A paper model converted for Micromaxx is the ...
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Hope they yelled heads-up!!!
(via DRB's, Oops! Weirdest Accidents, Part 5 )
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Atomic Rocket
Did you know that every second, the sun puts out 92 times as much energy as hits the surface of the Earth during one year?!?! This and so much more can be found at Atomic Rocket. This page is an interesting mix between sci-fi, and real rocketry. Yes real serious rocketry is in there, don't let the ...
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Houston eye candy (just landmarks)
The screen shot to the right is the first entry in the virtual tour of Rice University . You can pan around the images to get a 360 degree view. That shot is of Rice's Lovett Hall which was voted Houston's 2nd favorite building, behind the Astrodome. See all the entrants here .
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LAUNCH mag - doomed to failure (?)
Today's Space Review features an article on Launch Magazine's reported 'hiatus' - Launch abort by Dwayne A. Day . The author points out how magazines with good photo and print quality are doomed and takes a detour by explaining how catering to space tourists is partially to blame for the ...
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NASA and Google: exploring Mars and bringing on the Singularity
Yesterday, Google announced a new addition to Google Earth - adding the ability to explore Mars in 3-D. The Mars 3D mode is a collaboration between Google and NASA and is one more step in making all of NASA's space imagery and data available to the general public. Today, NASA Watch reports on the ...
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Please, don't pester your FAA contacts with unnecessary paperwork
On February 2nd, the FAA's new rocketry regulations took effect. So, you no longer need to file FAA notifications for Class 1 rockets, as defined below: Uses no more than 125 grams (4.4 ounces) of propellant, ses a slow-burning propellant, is made of paper, wood, or breakable plastic, ...
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More video how-to's from Apogee
This is the newest. Tim now has four video tutorials. (dang, I had another typo in a title)
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P to N flight
You may recall that I recently posted about an O to N flight to about 50,000 feet. Here is the previous post. Well the same rocket (or slightly modified perhaps) flew on a P motor staged to an N motor, or an RDH8 P6000BB to an AMW N4000BB to quote the page. This is your optimum stage ratio of 4:1. ...
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More classic rock via YouTube
YouTube continues to yield classic rock memories. Here are a couple of classics by the fabulous Climax Blues Band. The first is on the quiet side, but is still worth three minutes of your life. I wonder if I can find my copy of FM Live ...on cassette?!?
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Turn-on or creep-fest?
This appears to be off-topic day... When I saw IO9 ask, "Half-naked brain-electrocution: turn-on or creep-fest?" .... ....I began thinking how this appears to be the new in-thing for prime time sci-fi TV. Last night, Fringe continued to get Olivia Dunham into her tank. However, now that her ...
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It's never to late for Texas and zombies
Rocket buddy brianc reminded me of last week's reports that hackers had displayed public warnings of the coming zombie war . I guess zombie hacks and photos of dope smoking Olympians will keep local law enforcement busy.
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Ours was bigger than yours... (update)
Continuing in the off-topic theme, I was reminded that, in 1966, El Paso's 828 foot ASARCO smoke stack was the worlds tallest. Wow. Update: Because this story is of little interest to most (all?) readers, I'll just add the update here. Today's El Paso Times reports that ASARCO has decided not to ...
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The zombie plague is spreading!
From Austin, TX to Collinsville, Illinois there are "DAILY LANE CLOSURES DUE TO ZOMBIES." But, if you are from Indiana's Hamilton County, you are lucky. All you have to worry about are raptors. (via MSNBC )
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The zombie plague is now world-wide!
George Katz reports that the zombie plague has moved to Oz . I'll report more after I get a snack... of brains !
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Remember the Thunder Snitch
Now, THAT'S a saucer! The Thunder Snitch was featured in High Power Magazine, Vol. 15, No. 3, dated (but not delivered) June 2000. This was a class project at the James Bowie HS in Far Eastern Texas. I didn't note the scale, diameter, or weight, but they expected between 350' and 500' on an M1315. ...
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Zombies are here too...yawn
Here in Maryland , the hacked messages included a zombie warning and one that said "I love Tony." Zombie messages were interesting, add raptors and I thought "meh", but adding sappy personal messages spoils the whole gag.
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The DC Pod Racer, upgraded to RockSim 9
I took some liberties with the colors, and the leading edge of the two tube fins aren't angled, but other than that the model is pretty close to the real thing (at least how it was before its last flight). And the sim even runs.
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Cleanin' and buildin' for the '09 flying season
I have a two-car garage but only one car. As such I use this extra space to practice my rocket-nerdiness. I don't often get a cleaning urge, however, so things get dusty, dirty, and messy. I recently started cleaning out this critical garage space in preparation for the 2009 building/flying season ...
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TAP pursuit update
As I'd mentioned at the bottom of my L3 cert entry I continue to build experience pertinent to becoming a TAP member for San Diego's Tripoli club. Dok and Kurt encouraged me to fly more M and larger motors, use a broader range of electronics, and fly hybrids. Here are some direct and indirect ...
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Now, THAT'S a shotgun!
As seen on Rocket Jones , here's a cool video of the XM1028 canister tank cartridge.
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Zombies and rocketry, or rocketry zombies
I lifted this image from...well you can guess. Lately, I've posted a lot about the hackers who have been posting zombie warnings on mobile road signs. This image made me think that I could probably be considered a rocket zombie. Motors...motors...
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CrayShipOne converted to RockSim9
It's so cool to really be able to sim this type rocket! (yes, this sim runs)
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Narcon 2009
This year, Narcon (the Annual National Association of Rocketry Conference) will take place in Connecticut, well within striking distance for NYC rocketry people.  I plan on attending, if at all possible.  There are several really interesting talks planned for Saturday.  The host club appears to ...
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Two Wheeled Rocket
The other day a friend at work rode in his friends Ducati Desmosedici RR , and I got an opportunity to look over this awesome machine in person. Not a true rocket, but an incredible machine none the less.
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The Torus
The other day I was looking through The Spaceship Handbook and began wondering about how to model a toroidal structure in RockSim (v9 not required). So here is an experiment...and it was a pain in the butt. I used multiple thin tube fins of varying diameter and thickness. I uses a thickness of ...
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The Torus to SpaceStationOne
(Well, the only evidence of The Torus is shown above...I was supposed to rename the file as I saved it. Oh well, no big loss) (for my reference: torus.rkt)
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iPowerRocket - the Swiss Army Knife of Rocketry Software
i PowerRocket is an application for your iPhone or iPod touch that puts everything you‘ll ever need on the range in your pocket. It includes tools for barrowman CP computation, flight simulation, calculating ejection charges and parachutes and a flight log, all in one app.
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December LAUNCH Mag - full articles
Via Mario Perdue on YORF, several full length articles from the MIA December edition are now on-line for ALL to read. From Mark and Deb... "As we prepare to bring the print version of LAUNCH Magazine out of hiatus, we wanted to thank you for your patience by uploading more content from our ...
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Pioneers 0,1,2
One of the most daring series of flights, from any space exploration project has to be the early Pioneer launches. Between August 17th, October 11th, and November 8th, three very small probes were launched into deep space in an attempt to orbit the Moon and return images of the farside. The ...
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Wordle
I just found Wordle , a word-cloud generator. I, of course, have seen the tag-clouds that are common in the blogaverse. Wordle, on the other hand, will make a word cloud out of any entered text, web link, Atom/RSS feed, or del.ico.us user name (although I'm not sure why you'd do the latter). From ...
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When satellites collide
They break into lots of little pieces. FlightGlobal reports that an Iridium communications satellite collided with a Russian Cosmos 2251 communications satellite over the South Pole at 1155h Washington DC time on Tuesday. The article title implies the Iridium satellite is owned by NASA, but it's ...
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BARCLONE on YORF
There is a new BARCLONE section over on YORF. Although there are several sections, the backbone of the section is the Designer's Studio , which at the time of writing presents 595 rocket designs. Actually, I'm not sure all 595 are in there. If they are not, then they can be found by referencing ...
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More on the satellite collision
Astronomer Phil Plait crunched some rough numbers and found the Iridium and Cosmos 2251 satellites, which met unexpectedly yesterday, had a differential velocity of about 1.5 km/sec. Slow relative to their orbital speed but still "pretty dang fast." With each weighing in at around 700 kg, the ...
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Rampant broken link alert
Maybe. This morning, EMRR announced that he will be renaming the directories that hold both reviews and RockSim files. I have made ample use of these in the Dungeon, so unless I fix them, there will be a lot of unresolved links, especially in the 'My Projects' category. Since I have no way of ...
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Announcement regarding links to my EMRR reviews
I won't bore you with whining, but it appears updating the EMRR addys in my blog will be a royal pain in the butt. After updating the links in a in a few label categories, I have decided I will not be trying to clean these up across the board. There just is not enough blog traffic to these posts to ...
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New FAA/AST documents
PJ Blount has compiled a list of recent documents issued by the FAA/AST.
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New Mexico to limit Spaceport America's liability
PJ Blont posts about New Mexico's Space Flight Liability and Immunity Act . I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on TV either but it seems clear such legislation is absolutely necessary to the success of a commercial spaceport.
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Sexy observatories
IO9 has posted a gallery of The Coolest Looking Observatories on Earth . And I borrowed one of the coolest shots - of the ESO Telescope in Chile. See the source for a big version.
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A mistake in the physics of the satellite collision
Earlier today I posted the results of Phil Plait's analysis of the collision between Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251. Well, he made a mistake in the physics of the orbits and has posted an update . The bottom line is that the collision speed approached to orbital velocity of ~8 km/s, which means the ...
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Concept Ships (update)
Check out the ConceptShips - An online animates spaceship and experimental aircraft art magazine . There is also a companion forum . I was going to swipe a sample image, but I couldn't decide on which one. (via the Essence of EMRR ) Update: I made my way back to August of last year and am ...
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Thursday Blogger weirdness - NOT
Some time this evening, something happened to Blogger. Using Firefox, the blog reactions selections have a line break in the middle of the list and there is a big gap at the bottom of each post. Next, the 'subscribe-to' links, well, aren't links. And finally, the followers icons are each on their ...
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DoD weighs in on the satellite collision
PJ Blount and Res Communis seems to be in the Dungeon's cross-hairs of late. PJ found and posted comments by U.S. Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In short: the debris field, which will be in orbit for around a year, may require "little bit of d ...
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Rockets Magazine V3 I6 Feb 2009 - including FAA analysis
I found this to be one of the better issues of Rockets . It features two solid tech articles - one on chain-stitching 'chute lines and one on molding fiberglass parts. I doubt if I'll use either, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested. The editorial discusses the recent FAA rule changes and ...
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Disney - "Man in Space"
" Rare Walt Disney Space series from 1955, speculating about going into Space. Remember, more than 50 years ago, Sputnik hadn't even gone up yet! This intro to the video is done by Disney afficionado, film critic Leonard Maltin!" These are the first three of 8 youtube video clips from this show. ...
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More on linking to me EMRR reviews
Earlier , I noted if you follow a link to one of my EMRR reviews and it doesn't work, you can go to the list of my reviews and look for the one that you wanted. I missed one important point...that that link resides in the 'About the Dungeon' section at the top of my sidebar. Like you'd be able to ...
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Removed the 'blog reactions' buttons
After having only one 'blog reaction' in the last two weeks, I figured they were pretty much useless.
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Pictures of last months launch
My friend James took some great pictures of the zinc/sulphur rockets at last months RRS launch. Zn/S rockets typically leave the ground like they're being shot out of a cannon, so many photos I've seen only include a column of smoke but no the rocket. You can see the rest of Jame's photos ...
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Radio Control
I've just recently gotten into radio control (after years of wanting too) with this Eagle Eye helicopter. It's already been a great learning experience, so using my infant knowledge of RC, I'm planning on tackling yet another ambitious project... but more on that later. I won't be able to do much ...
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ValueRockets.com e-Commerce Site Now Online
AeroTech`s ValueRockets.com full-featured webstore is now complete and open for business at http://www.valuerockets.com. Featuring an easy-to-navigate design, the store is divided into six major product categories: Single-use model rocket motors, reloadable model rocket hardware, model rocket ...
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NAR and TRA high power convergence
NAR Prez Trip Barber reports that the NAR has revised their high power certification requirements . He says: There are now very few differences between the technical requirements of our procedures for Level 1 through Level 3 high power certification and those of Tripoli Rocketry Association. ...
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Woohoo, it's build session time
This next weekend I'm going to go to a build-session at a buddy's house. It's the third he's held this year but the first I've been able to make. Besides good company and food, there will be power tools. I've got Lexan, motor tubes and tube fins to cut. I better start planning what else I'll need ...
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Constellation construction images
The Boston Globe has a great series called "The Big Picture" in which they post high quality images of some subject. A previous post from the cosmodrome was taken from there. Below, are a few of the images showing construction and preparation for the Constellation flight systems. Much of this work ...
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A Pogo-like UAV
I have always thought tail-sitting aircraft are cool, especially the Convair XFY-1 " Pogo " . I just ran across some info on the Skytote UAV : AeroVironment INC of Monrovia, California, manufacturer of solar-powered endurance UAVs described in a later chapter, is also developing a pogo UAV ...
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Stand-off Tupolev Tu-123 RockSim9
Here is a stand-off scale design inspired by the Tupolev Tu-123 . While you're standing-off, you might want to take a few more steps back! I really like the way pods let components blend together. I wish I could get 'em to do that in the real world. (scratch_tu123.rkt)
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A timely video

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More potential fall out from the satellite collision (oops, pun alert)
ParabolicArc reports on another possible impact from the collision of the Iridium and Cosmos satellites - the Hubble Space Telescope. The Chinese satellite shoot-down of 2007 raised the HST's risk of a catastrophic impact to 1-in-185, which exceeds the agency's normal risk threshold. NASA will ...
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Finally, some movement in our lawsuit against the BATFE
Hot off the email: On February 17, 2009 the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the motion that we filed on October 1, 2008 for a hearing on our long-standing lawsuit against BATFE. We requested this hearing to provide an opportunity for Judge Walton to clarify with all ...
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Big news from Performance Hobbies
More heat from the email: Hey Gang, I've put this off long enough. I'm manufacturing carbonfiber and G-10 wrapped phenolic and cardboard airframes. We're using two wraps of 6 ounce cloth and they're sanded to a smooth ready to prime and paint finish. Orders are filled in two weeks. They'll fit ...
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When rockets fall over
--Photo removed at the request of the owner. The source had it mis-attributed-- Steve Jurvetson has a smokin' hot report from the Valentine's Day ROC Launch. Besides the eye-candy, he reports that the Discovery Channel was shooting a special “When Rockets Go Wrong” show. The ...
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The end of rocketry as we know it - NOT
--Photo removed at the request of the owner. The source had it mis-attributed-- Every time someone does a stunt involving rockets, some sport rocketeers express concern about how the stunt will affect the general public's view of the hobby. The same has evidently happened with news of the V2 ...
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Revised TU-123 RockSim model (updated)
(scratch_tu123.rkt) click for bigger images I only simmed it on one motor. Note that, as usual, I didn't sweat the details of the design. If I was building it I'd have to iterate the design to determine the actula weight, stability margin, etc. Max data values: Maximum acceleration:Vertical (y): ...
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TU-123 video
Here's a video that features the Tu-123 drone:
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A Visual History of NASA's Project Constellation
A TRF member found this comprehensive website - A Visual History of NASA's Project Constellation . Well worth a look-see!
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Nice space posters
My apartment is hardly large enough to hold one of these, but some day in a new place... Posters
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More Constellation photos
This link from boston.com via leenks.com (?) isn't nearly as comprehensive as the previous link I provided (nor is it intended to be). However, it's nice to be able just to scroll through a set of high-res photos without navigating around.
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Really bizarre, humongous plane (update)
(via leenks.com ) Tagged as an ekranoplan, but that's not what it is. Left it tagged that way anyway. I should have known this would be featured on Dark Roasted Blend - Monstrous Aviation: World's Biggest Airplanes . From that post, I find this is the Russian Ka-7 dating from the 1930's.
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Remote sensing may be able to predict the zombie apocalypse
Well maybe. It seems NASA GSFC and UMBC scientists successfully predicted the 2006 outbreak of a deadly virus in Africa, giving local health officials a 6-week warning.
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The MotherShip
Started because of this post , inspired by the WhiteKnight II . I was just too lazy to try to make a scale version. I may fiddle with the design a bit more. (Click to see more detail.)
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Interesting rocket photos - resurrected
You may remember Ray Dunakin's rocket photography. I had always looked forward to his photos. With most rocket photography, you get similar views of the world - sod farms and dry lake beds lined with rows of cars. With Ray, you usually got remote desert sites with interesting rock formations and ...
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A 2.6x upscale of a C6 motor
George Katz referred me to this interesting post from Oz. Normally, I'd think a 2.6x upscale of a 'C' motor should be a small 'E'. But Krusty had another idea :) (photo via Sascha Grant's Flickr stream )
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Wanna own your own town?
I see Albert, TX is up for sale again. A couple of years ago it was going for around $2.2M on Ebay, today the price is a mere $883K. How about your own rocket ranch? Naw, not big enough and too many trees.
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Name the Space Station's Next Node
I can think of a few names. Nutria Den, Alligator Nest, Red Fish Hole. But I don't think there going to get approved by NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/name_ISS/index.html
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Build session post-mortem
I spent my day building, talking rockets, eating, and drinking coffee and beer. Warthog was as usual a great host - thanks bro! The following photo shows most of what I accomplished. I have now have a mostly built Estes Big Daddy. I replaced the 24mm mount with a 29mm one, added a steel fishing ...
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Unreasonably good results
Paul Breed reports good results in his quest for the perfect H2O2 catalyst. He had some good test runs using a solid catalyst in an old motor (as opposed to the new motor that he's currently fabricating). I found it interesting that he got pointers from Anthony Cesaroni of CTI fame. That guy gets ...
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Kepler
For the longest time, I had thought about large schmidtt cameras with huge CCD surface areas at the primary mirror. Probably, I was not the first to think of it. "Excerpt: WASHINGTON -- NASA's Kepler spacecraft is ready to be moved to the launch pad today and will soon begin a journey to search ...
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Reinforcing couplers
You might recall my concern about the level 3 rocket folding under tremendous stress at the coupler interface between the booster and payload sections.  I was able to easily reach into the 7.5" space and apply 3-4 layers of fiberglass/resin to that region to prevent failure.  Now I'm building ...
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First vacuum bagging project
Having watched Dave Triano's composite videos twice I've been ordering all the goodies necessary to create high-strength composite materials with optimal weight.  Several mistakes are likely but I embraced my enthusiasm and decided to invent on my very first vacuum bagging project today.  My idea ...
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Launch Magazine - Christmas in February edition
Not surprisingly, there has been a lot discussion about LAUNCH Magazine's announcement that they are facing financial difficulties and will be taking a time out. They subsequently posted .pdf files of select article from the December edition, which had been a no-show. Well, last week reports began ...
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Update on Aerospace Engineering
You haven't heard from me in a while because of my busy schedule. I'm taking a strategic step forward with this aerospace engineering class, and I wanted to write a brief summary of how that's been going. Before this point, much of my self-directed study has been on rocketry. This class has ...
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Steve Eves' Saturn V launch date
I just saw the article on Rocketry Planet regarding Steve Eves' 1:10 scale Saturn V and suddenly it struck me that I've been remiss in announcing the launch date has been set. The big Saturn V will go up on April 25, 2009 at the Higg's Farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore. You can find more about the ...
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Laminate plywood
Tired of filling and sanding? Try some plastic or phenolic clad Baltic birch plywood and let me know what you think. (via Toolmonger ) PS - This material may not be that advanced, but this seemed like the best tag.
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"Want to say you have flown a rocket at NASA?"
NARHAMS sponsors regular rocket launches at the GSFC Visitor center on Sundays. 'The Prez' points out that the April 5th launch is being billed as a part of GSFC's 100 Hours of Astronomy .
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Stupid rocket trick #8
Leave the lid to your Elmer's wood filler loose, especially during idle periods.
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The V-2 Bumper WAC has a diamond anniversary (update)
On February 24th, 1949, a two stage V-2 'Bumper WAC' launched from White Sands, New Mexico became the first documented rocket to reach space. It attained an altitude of 244 miles, well above the currently accepted definition of space - 62 miles. Read more on Wired . ( Wikipedia notes that a German ...
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Astronaut Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger?
Reportedly, Richard Branson has offered Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger a job at twice the salary of other Virgin pilots. This job offer comes with another option - becoming an astronaut with Virgin Galactic. Branson says, “The man can write his own ticket with me.” S ...
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NASA JSC helps law enforcement
The Houston Chronicle reports that NASA JSC's Image Science and Analysis Laboratory helped the FBI and local law enforcement analyze security camera video in the case of a local woman's abduction. The Lab, which was established after the Challenger disaster, has assisted in around 50 criminal ...
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Video games tied to geeky palm disorder
Must...resist...urge...to...make...the...obvious...joke... Here's the report .
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4-stage rack rocket static test (update)
Here's a high speed video of the static test of a 4-stage, 18mm rack rocket. Cool. (by Tom Desmarais) You can find lots more info about rack rockets in this post .
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Cold power returns with a Sharpie rocket
Office Supplies Rocket - video powered by Metacafe See the instructable for the entire how-to.
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Updated Mothership
I angled the upper stabilizers a bit more, added the lower stabilizers, and included a cockpit. next up will be under wing 'engines'.
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AeroTech Spring `09 "Level 1-2-3" Certification Promotion
AeroTech is once again offering a special promotion to its NAR and Tripoli Level 1, 2 & 3 certification customers, available only through participating high-power RMS? dealers. The Level 1-2-3 promotion begins March 1, 2009 and includes the H123W-M reload kit for $12.50 (50% off MSRP), the ...
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High power 10 years ago
As Feb. 2009 is slipping by, I found the Feb. 1999 issue of High Power Rocketry. So, what was going on in high power 10 years ago? Well, besides me getting into it. Impulse Aerospace started a new branch, Rocket Vision, to sell their new line of mid-low power 'Rugged Rockets' and pads. Alas, ...
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Mystery at Salt Flat
Clark Lindsey provides the link to the Mystery at Salt Flat , which explores a facility near Jeff Bezos's test area for Blue Origin in West Texas.
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"Giant rockets are fun to ponder" - Clark Lindsey
Yeah, I have to agree, so I thought I'd pass along Next Big Future's In Praise of Large Payloads for Space by Joseph Friedlander Part 1 . I was aware of the Aldebaran and Sea Dragon, but had never heard of the Liberty Ship (aka Nuclear Lightbulb) or the Super Orion. The latter is an extrapolation ...
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Noscript alert
If you use Noscript with Firefox, there will be a glitch with the 'following' feature in Blogger. Blogger has fiddled with the way that following is handled by integrating it with Google Friend Connect. Noscript is barfing on a cross-site XSS script to that service. Unfortunately, there is no way ...
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Attention non-Blogger readers
Blogger now supports the Google Friend Connect and here is what they have to say: Friend Connect encourages readers to use one account (whether it's a Google account, a Yahoo, AIM or OpenID account) to follow any site - a Blogger blog, a WordPress blog, or any other site that has incorporated ...
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Make: 17
I didn't detect anything rocketry related in this issue so I'll merely ape what Make had to say about the issue: Volume 17 goes really old school with the Lost Knowledge issue, featuring projects and articles covering the steampunk scene, makers creating their own alternative Victorian world ...
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A Trip to the Grand Canyon
I'm taking a brief hiatus from my vigorous studies. Over spring break my family is going to drive all the way to the Grand Canyon! I've got many hours to kill on the road, so this is my opportunity to make designs for spring! When I come back (on the 4th), I'll probably have a few things to blog ...
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Recycled Big Daddy + junk build
This rocket was built with the remains of my Big Daddy that core sampled last year: The base of the nose broke off so I added a Luan bulkhead and a small eyebolt. The body tube is a wrapping paper tube that fits the nose perfectly. The body was a bit flimsy so I reinforced the inside ...
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The Moon
These are some landing sites on the Moon.
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More on the Iridium-Cosmos collision
Last Monday's Space Review features a good article on the Iridium-Cosmos collision - Billiards in space, by Brian Weeden . Mr. Weeden, an ex-USAF officer who worked in orbital analysis, provides insight into the state of orbital conjunction assessment and, in the subject case, the lack thereof.
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new spaced-out magazine launching soon - UniGalactic
Via a post on Rocketry Planet : UniGalactic is an online Space Travel Magazine with one simple mission - research and deliver (in either electronic or paper format) Space Travel relevant content to our subscribers. UniGalactic Space Travel Magazine will be launched in 2009 with the first issue ...
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The Mothership refitted with turbojets
I think I figured out the reason some of my RockSim9 sims won't run. I often add complicated pods on pods on pods. I then copy the top level pod to the flip side of the rocket and adjust all the radial distances and angles until they match. I did this when adding the turbojets to the Mothership. ...
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Robo-Tonka trucks
The Spaceports blog reports on a plan to use robotic Earth-movers regolith-movers to build lunar landing pads. The 'robo-Tonka trucks' were proposed by Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon University at last Friday's NASA Lunar Surface Systems Conference . You can get the presentation here . ...
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Curt von Delius Sets New J and M-Class Altitude Records With AeroTech Reloads at XPRS 2008 Launch
Curt von Delius, using a modified version of his record-setting Level 3 airframe, crushed his previous ?M?-class altitude record of 37,762 feet by flying it to a GPS verified altitude of 45,328 feet AGL on September 19th 2008 and also set a new ?J?-class altitude record of 19,758 feet on September ...
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Brinley's "Rocket Manual for Amateurs" - online
Via Rocketry Planet . Thanks, Darrell!
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Congrats to Verna and Randy on their 5th anniversary
Not their 5th together, just their 5th online. Drop by for some Fire and Smoke ...photos of their fleet, and launch reports...and the rocketgirl is just a bonus ;)
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4x29SS Rocketry Build
I have been busy building my latest creation. It's a modified LOC 4x29SS. It has been reinforced with fiberglass and customized for dual deployment. It has airstart capability and will be capable of flying on up to 4 x I200 motors. That puts it in the K impulse range and around 9,000' in altitude. ...
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One-pulse Orion
In a new series of posts, Next Big Future analyzes the feasibility of a nuclear cannon (one-shot Orion) for inexpensive access to space. I'll merely point you to his Project Orion label . If you look at this writing, it will be the top two posts; if you look later, there may be additional good ...
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Apogee Rocketry Workshop Video #4: How To Mount An Altimeter In A Small Model Rocket

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Mother Ship, adjusted
I updated the turbo-jets after I saw Craig McGraw's Cormes Protectorate Drakken Defender . I tried swiping (copying) the turbos from Craig's design, but they broke my sim. So, I settled for adjustments to the size of the existing components and some added ribs.
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Soviet dog flights to space
" Laika (meaning "Barker") - died during a mission (Sputnik 2, November 1957) Lisichka (meaning "Little Fox") and Bars (meaning "Panther" or "Lynx") - died during a test flight on July 28, 1960 Strelka (meaning "Little Arrow") , Belka (meaning "Squirrel"), 40 mice, 2 rats and a number of plants - ...
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When space had gone to the dogs
R2K's post about the Soviet dog flights to space prompted me to add a label on Space: Animal Explorers . I have made several posts on Laika - the dog, the book, and the monument. Woof, woof!
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Cosmic motors - concept art that should be able to fly
DRB is Featuring the Cosmic Motors Concept Art by one Daniel Simon . That link is actually to DRB's post - you can find Daniel's sites here and here . Although much of his concepts actually have wheels, they all see to fit well into the worlds of spaceships, starships, and rockets...and so they ...
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But whos's watching the Watchmen?
Well, it had to happen...I'm posting about the movie Watchmen. So, the obvious answer to the post title is me. And judging from the Friday morning crowd, a lot of others are also. I wasn't very familiar with the story line or characters, having just seen the trailer and read one Wikipedia article ...
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Astronomy geek humor
I don't know about you, but I laughed my a$$ off. Via Bad Astronomy via someone else: Emboldened by their success in declaring Pluto not a planet, the International Astronomical Union determined this week by a close vote that February is too short to be considered a true month. It has, however, ...
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Saturn Orion references
This is Rocket Science has some interesting Project Orion images , including the modified Saturn booster. I really wanted to post one for my future reference, but am trying to be better about snatching copyrighted images. Request is yet unanswered. This page also has some renderings and includes a ...
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Saturn Orion project idea
I think I have the motivation for my next build. I downloaded the .pdfs from my previous post and they include a lot of info on the Saturn V Orion booster. More than I need...I only looked at the diagrams. There are a lot of variants of both the booster and the Orion payload and, since I'm not a ...
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New propellant - flour and compressed air
A discussion on the water-rockets Yahoo group asked if talcum powder could be used in lieu of water in a water rocket. (Yeah, I know, it wouldn't be a water rocket.) One respondent came up with a link to a Thai site that presents several videos of a flour rocket. [ raw link ] [ translated (as if ...
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UFO turns out to be planet Venus
Planet Venus hung bright in the night sky at the Zeus parade Feb. 19 2009
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Kepler Observatory
Last week NASA successfully launched the Kepler Observatory on a Boeing Delta II rocket. Resulting in what may be the greatest launch photo of all time. Awesome picture.
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Tripoli Motor Testing Certifies New High-Power Mojave Green Reload Kit
The Tripoli Motor Testing (TMT) Committee of the Tripoli Rocketry Association has certified a new AeroTech high-power Mojave Green? propellant RMS? reload, the L1390G-P. The L1390G-P fits AeroTech, Dr. Rocket? and Rouse-Tech? 75/3840 RMS hardware, delivers a maximum thrust of 408 pounds and ...
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Onboard Video
I 've recently purchased a 2.4 GHz video camera from BoosterVision.com. I haven't flown it yet, I'm working on a rocket that will carry it. I think there are a few drawbacks to wireless transmission, and there are a few drawbacks to internal memory. The drawbacks to wireless transmission are that ...
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Sport Rocketry, March/April 2009
Just got the new issue and am a little disappointed. Not due to the quality of the articles but their subjects just didn't excite me. Hopefully, this curmudgeonly post will be taken with a grain of salt. Rats, this is the 2nd issue in a row that I've felt this way about. The first feature is a ...
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Project Orion
There is a great post over at Dick's Rocket Dungeon on Project Orion. This has to be one of the most exciting proposed forms of space exploration. Using 1950s technology only... it was possible to use Nuclear bombs to propel a large spacecraft at very high speeds. Fast enough to take lots of ...
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Flight of the 2.6x Estes C6
Earlier, I posted a photo of Sasha Grant's 2.6x upscale of an Estes C6 motor. Sascha now has flown it...and has the proof -->
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Retro rocket car: Opel RAK 2
Here's a photo of the Opel Rak 2's 24 rockets, which held a combined 265 lbs of propellant. This car was developed in the late 30's, well in advance of the infamous V2. Hemming's Auto Blog has a nice article on the Opel rocket cars, including more photos. Astronautix also presents a timeline of ...
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Return of EMRR-on-CD
Nick just announced that EMRR-on-CD is back , and is now on DVD. For ten bucks, you can now carry around: 3,448 Reviews/Articles from 830 Authors 29,660 Flight Logs 2,064 RockSim Files 1,653 CP Listings 3,330 Recommended Motors 2,537 Opinions 404 Stories 429 Hints/Tips 819 Rocket Specific Tips 894 ...
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Videos and models of the unexpected Iridium-Cosmos meeting
Analytical Graphics has a new web page about the Iridium 33 and Cosmos 2251 Satellite Collision . It feature a really cool (but big) animations and computer models of the the collision. There are some still images, but they aren't nearly as good as the videos.
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Google Satellite Tracker
Check Out the Space Station on Google Sat. Tracker Today's spacewalk outside the space station completed successfully. http://tinyurl.com/bloqs4
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CNN - Behind the scenes at Kennedy Space Center
Behind the scenes at Kennedy Space Center Going behind the scenes at Kennedy Space Center is like visiting another planet. The employees working on the shuttle fleet speak their own language -- a language made up of acronyms. The orbiter is maintained in the OPF (orbiter processing facility) ...
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More hybrid rocket car coverage
Here's a video for a YouTube user appropriately named laffingastv. He/she has a bunch of videos including a somewhat wimpy 1/4-mile run. Hat tip to Chuck_Rudy on Rocketry Planet. Chuck posted this vid after a post regarding the Bloodhound SSC (this link is to a new article that may have more ...
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The new killer app: the rocket-powered 'super soaker' (?)
The Wall Street Journal has an article that outlines various proposals for cleaning up the growing quantity of space junk that is building up over our heads - A Cosmic Question: How to Get Rid Of All That Orbiting Space Junk? These ideas include ground-based lasers and garbage collecting ...
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ISS evacuation
I see that the ISS crew was temporarily evacuated to the Russian Soyuz capsule today. A 5-inch * piece of space junk was expected to pass within the 2.8 mile 'danger box' around the station. Normally, the ISS's orbit is adjusted to avoid objects but in this case there wasn't enough advance ...
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My Next Book

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Now you CAN say your rocket is built like a tank!
Here's the announcement from Always Ready Rocketry (ARR): In conjunction with Phenix Tube , ARR is proud to announce Blue Tube , a new airframe material borne from the most unusual source, TANK AMMUNITION ! Highly abrasion resistant, with massive acceleration potential for a spiral wound ...
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Latest Joint Statement on the NAR/TRA Litigation with the BATFE
Joint Statement on the NAR/TRA Litigation with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives (BATFE) March 13, 2009 Today Judge Reggie Walton, presiding in our case before the US District Court, heard arguments from both legal counsel for NAR/TRA and the BATFE. At the conclusion ...
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Joint Statement on the Litigation with the BATFE
Today Judge Reggie Walton, presiding in our case before the US District Court, heard arguments from both legal counsel for NAR/TRA and the BATFE. At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Walton stated that he was inclined to agree with our position. While this is extremely encouraging, there will ...
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Light-bending nano-cups may make cloaking a reality
The ACS Journal NANO Letters has a paper written by Nikolay A. Mirin and Professor Naomi J. Halas of the Department of Chemistry, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Laboratory for Nanophotonics at Rice University. The full article requires a subscription but here's the ...
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Report from LDRS....6
ZZakk's Lab has an interesting report from LDRS 6, which was held at Hartsell, Colorado in 1987. Dig them shades!
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APCP not an Explosive, Rules Judge Reggie B. Walton
District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton for the District of Columbia today issued an order finding in favor of Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA) and National Association of Rocketry (NAR) vs. the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The decision followed a status hearing ...
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Flour rockets - no leavening required
When the folks over at Air Command heard about flour rockets , they just had to give them a try. The following video documents several successful flights. Flour Rockets from AirCommand on Vimeo .
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Dang, I missed the STS-119 webcast
I waited, and waited, and watched the time...and got sidetracked. The good news is Discovery is up safely.
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Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off from the Cape. March 15th 2009. Awesome Photo by: Bill Turner of Tequesta, Florida 160 mile south of the launch site.
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Space shuttle Discovery,STS-119 blasts off
Space shuttle Discovery,STS-119 blasts off Sunday, March 15, 2009 at the Kennedy Space Center on a mission to the International Space Station. (Red Huber/Orlando Sentinel) (Red Huber, Orlando Sentinel / March 15, 2009)
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A rocket collapse
Dwayne Day has a short article on the failed launch of an Atlas/Agena-D in today's Space Review - Not a bang, but a whimper . What I want to know is, does this qualify as a CATO? LOL (rhetorical question)
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President's challenge design for 20,000+
The San Diego club has a standing "President's challenge" to reach or exceed 20,000 feet.  I've decided to take a crack at this at Plaster Blaster on October 3rd.  Here's my preliminary design: I have many of the parts already including the bad-ass nosecone so construction will begin shortly. ...
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Judge Walton rules in favor of the NAR/TRA!!!
W00t! I can hardly believe my ears. This is big enough that I'm re-posting info from the Rocketry Planet post . That post includes a .pdf of the ruling and undoubtedly a lot of opinion and analysis of what this will mean to us. I am so excited that I posted it before even digesting it myself. ...
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Announcing a New 2-stager!
"Untitled" Length: 48 in Diameter: 3 in Payload: camera, altimeter Max. altitude: ~3,000 ft Max velocity: mach 0.5 Max acceleration: 350 ft/s/s No. stages: 2 MMT: 29mm-29mm Intended motors: G64 to F40 or G64 I'm VERY excited about this one. It's my first composite motor staging attempt, and (once ...
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WE WON!!! TRA/NAR win there 9 year long lawsuit against the BATFE
Yes it's true! APCP is no longer on the BATFE's list of explosives. Read it all here! http://www.rocketryplanet.com/content/view/2788/30/
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NAR prez on Judge Walton's ruling
Fellow NAR Members -- As the result of nine years of hard work by our legal team and the teamwork and leadership of a series of key leaders of the NAR and TRA (especially former NAR President Mark Bundick), and as a result of your generous financial support for our cause, this case is now ...
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We won (maybe for real this time)
JOINT TRA/NAR STATEMENT ON THE LAWSUIT VS BATFE March 18, 2009 After a conference with our legal counsel, we provide the following information to our members on how to proceed in the aftermath of the favorable decision by Judge Walton in our lawsuit to eliminate the unjustified regulation of ...
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Joint TRA/NAR Statement on the Lawsuit vs. BATFE
After a conference with our legal counsel, we provide the following information to our members on how to proceed in the aftermath of the favorable decision by Judge Walton in our lawsuit to eliminate the unjustified regulation of Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP) imposed by the ...
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Tax executive bonuses at uber-high rates? (update)
Hey! Wait! That was my idea! But then I guess nobody was listening. I won't try to add references but I've heard the administration is considering tax rates of between 90% and 100% on bonuses paid to execs of companies that accepted bailout cash. This was prompted by the news that AIG execs got ...
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Just foolin' with old videos
A couple of on-topic clips, taken at the War Eagles Air Museum in Santa Teresa, N.M. And, some cute non-rocket chicks :)
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Vacuum-bagged fin half
I was supposed to provide an update on my fin layup weeks ago. Well I finally cut it out and here's the result: You can see that the perforated film drew too much resin out so the texture undulates rather than being smooth. You'll also notice the slight profile near the edges so that pretty ...
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Did Bat Hitch a Ride to Space?
The bat, seen clinging to the external fuel tank of the Space Shuttle Discovery before its launch on Sunday , apparently clung for dear life to the side of the tank as the spaceship lifted off. Closeup of a bat clinging to the fuel tank of the Space Shuttle Discovery during the launch Sunday, ...
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Robo-toro...olé!
Via Short Sharp Science .
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Animal astronauts - monkeys, dogs and now a bat
I had heard the report that a bat 'stowed away' on Discovery last Sunday, but hadn't seen the photos. Now that I have, I just had to post one. I doubt if he made it to space, but either way I'm afraid he gave his life for the program. ( ABC News )
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Joint statement on Judge Walton's decision
I guess this is pretty much what I knew, but it seems more depressing when embedded in a formal statement. That is, despite the initial elation, a final victory is far from a certainty. As expected, there has been tons of discussion on this subject since Judge Walton's ruling was released. There ...
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Happy News for Rocket People
There's some big news going around in the rocket community (I've heard this from about five different sources now). The rocketry associations NAR and TRA have been waging a legal battle against the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) for several years, which was recently ...
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First carbon fiber tube wrap
Last night I finally mustered the energy to lay up my first carbon fiber tube. In this case I reinforced a partially built booster for a 54mm minimum diameter craft. I roughed up the phenolic tube to better take the resin, followed Dave Triano's layup schedule to the letter, and ended up with the ...
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On 'backyard' technical education (and formal education too)
"True "Homeland Security" means letting our kids know they can, and must, experiment, discover, and, sometimes blow things up." - Dan Dubno Think this sums up this article nicely and should be enough to tweak your interest. Hat tip to Bill Gurstelle (who has a short synopsis if you don't want ...
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Heck Yeh I Made It!!!

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AeroTech Unveils New 24mm Single-Use Motor at NARCON 2009
AeroTech is releasing its first new 24mm single-use motor since 2001, the 24 X 95mm Blue Thunder? F32T, during NARCON 2009 in Wethersfield, CT. The F32T features an all-new molded phenolic casing with a built-in thrust ring, a new molded plastic bulkhead and uses a specially-optimized version of ...
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Undersea eruption...simply awesome!
This is one of a series of photos of the undersea eruption off the coast of Tonga in the South Pacific. See The Big Picture for the whole set.
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NASA's Ares I-X Motors Arrive
A train hauling rocket motors for NASA's Ares I-X mission chugged in to Kennedy Space Center today, marking a key milestone for the first in a series of test flights aimed at qualifying Ares 1 rockets for launching American astronauts. http://tinyurl.com/dyyqnq
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It's baaaaaaaaak (LAUNCH Magazine, that is)
Yesterday, someone on YORF noticed LAUNCH's subscription page is back, with magazine deliveries resumine in June. In January, they announced that they were experiencing financial difficulties and would be taking 'a hiatus'. The December issue experienced publishing problems but was eventually ...
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X-20 Dyna-Soar Carrier in RockSim9
As I was pulling my X-20 Dyna-Soar Carrier out for tomorrow's launch, I realized that I could refine the RockSim model by adding the X-20's winglets. Its maiden flight showed that something was amiss with the original sims. Since then I added some nose weight and will try again on a D12-5 this ...
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Apogalacticon and the army of the dark empire!
We all know Apogee and Perigee from rocketry work, and also those of us in the deep space camp often use the helion, astron, jove, lune... but here are a few new ones to boot. Apogalacticon is the best, and also probably the most crazy orbit you can have in this Universe.
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Apogalacticon, the newest enemy of the Fantastic Four or just another astronomical term?
R2K presents a table with a variety of terms for the maximum and minimum orbital distances of various astronomical bodies. For instance, apogalacticon is a star's farthest orbital point from its galaxy's center.
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World Record RC Glide Duration (not new)
The longest glide duration for an RC model was a staggering 36 hours and 3 minutes. I discovered this when looking for common glide ratios. It puzzled me for a while, and I decided to look into it. Usually gliders can hitch a ride on columns of rising air called thermals. As the sun warms ...
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March Madness mojo
I'm not much of a basketball fan but, if a team I have some association with gets into the NCAA tournament, I'll try to watch the games. That morning, I randomly grabbed a t-shirt since the weather was showing signs of getting to a comfortable range. I had thought I heard Maryland didn't make the ...
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Launch Report 2009-1
Location: Old National Pike Park, Mt. Airy, MD ( NARHAMS ) Weather: up to 48 degs, wind calm to mild, sunny to overcast Total flights: Today - 10; YTD - 10 Total motors: Today - 10; YTD - 10 The weather was great for March but was a tad chillier than expected. The flight rate started low with ...
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Cosmos on Hulu
I hear that the entire Cosmos series is on Hulu. What else would you expect? Hulu is run by brain-eating aliens, after all.
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RIP Terps
Bah, maybe I shoulda washed the t-shirt?
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Rockets take to the sky in Luling, LA
We had a beautiful day with temps in the 70's and little wind all morning long. Many rockets were flown including this beautiful Cherokee G built and flown by Ray Mancuso . We had a group of students with there TARC projects. Lots of good usable data was gathered and they are well on there way to ...
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Narcon 2009
This weekend, I was lucky enough to attend one day of the two day National Association of Rocketry annual conference. The location was in central CT. New York city rocketry people (me and probably one other guy) are very lucky this year; LDRS will also be very close. The host, CATO #581, was the ...
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Ahhh, painting weather is here
Today was reasonably warm and calm so I ventured forth the slung some primer on my 29mm Big Daddy and the rebuild of my 58mm JATO bullet rocket.
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What, you missed NARCON 2009?
Well, so did I. But R2K didn't and he has a nice report of what he saw .
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Smoke on the water, fire in the sky
If you see a massive fireball over the Potomac just north of the Key Bridge on March 25th between 9:30am and 12:00pm (noon), have no fear. The DCist reports that it will just be CBS Paramount will be filming the “Washington Field” .
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Big a$$ rocket of the day - 1/3 scale X15
Not really a rocket...yet. But this is a build you may want to follow - PunkRocketScience X15 .
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NARHAMS photos
My photos from last weekend's launch can be found here .
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Tower construction at Cape Higgs
I see the launch tower at Higgs Farm is going up in preparation for the April 25th flight of Steve Eves' 1:10 scale Saturn V.
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Sprint ABM part 3
These are just some new images of the Sprint rocket or the Spartan - Sprint system. There is also a PDF out there (check the Sprint wiki page) with lots of info, but I have yet to read it.
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Slow blogging, brief catch-up
Blogging has been slow around the Dungeon. I got Roxio Creator and am copying old videos to DVD. My laptop was of average power two years ago but manipulating multi-gigabyte files eats its lunch. It will do it, but it tends to barf if I try to even surf the net at the same time. Here's a few ...
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A poof on the Potomac
DCist has a couple of shots of today's FX explosion on the Potomac. Meh. I wouldn't even have been concerned had I seen it and not been forewarned. But then, thanks to the good folks at MDRA. I'm used to 'M' - 'O' fire and smoke.
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On tissue regeneration (egads...an Oprah post)
I actually watched Oprah late last night (technically early this morning). The show was pretty interesting. Oprah regular Dr. Oz talked about life extension . I've heard about calorie restriction for over 10 years so that wasn't new. However, the segment on tissue regeneration was fascinating. The ...
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Home made gadget meets bomb squad
The TSA's Evolution of Security blog has a post warning do-it-yourselfers, hackers, and 'Makers' not to try to sneak home made electronics by the screeners. These things look suspicious on the X-rays and their people evidently aren't qualified to tell a harmless gadget from a nefarious one. The ...
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It's almost Robot Fest time here in Maryland
Just in case any of y'all have any interest:
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The Mythbusters shake, rattle, and roll Yolo County, California
The Mythbusters went out to the country for one of their experiments and got more than the bargained for. They reportedly set off 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate, which rattled the nearby town and broke windows. Unlike the recent stunt on the Potomac . I guess that's a good thing. (via KCRA.com ) ...
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Burn Baby Burn !
Another awesome launch picture. Expedition 19 headed to space yesterday on the top of this Soyuz rocket. The Russians have us beat, hands down in launch capability. They sure know how to do it consistently. (See the Video Here)
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TRF '1.0' database has been recovered
Today, TRF owner AKPilot announced that another admin, Troj, had recovered the corrupted database from the original TRF (aka TRF 1.0). Access to this data may be a month or more away and it's not clear how well integrated it will be. In any event, this is a good thing as there have been several ...
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Is there a new propellant coming?
There is an great thread on YORF about an Estes-Cox patent application for an new propellant. This propellant, Vulcanite TM EB-75, is based on potassium perchlorate and offers an ISP of over double that of BP, approaching that of AP. Like BP, it would be packed, which means existing machines at ...
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EMRR stuff
Well, today's update features my first rocket review of the year...for the Area 51 SPEV Saucer . I'm now tied with Chan for the most reviews and IT'S ON! :)
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New AeroTech Hobby Line Dealer Announced
AeroTech is pleased to announce the addition of Always Ready Rocketry (ARR) as a new dealer of its hobby line rocket products in sunny Tampa, FL. Randall Ejma, owner of ARR, is very excited about the prospects of being an onsite vendor for local launches at Tripoli Tampa, as well as providing a ...
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RDS is back
Every so often the question arises: where is Rocket Dynamic Systems (RDS)? Evidently they went underground due to family health issues. I'm happy to hear that's resolved and that they are back with a full line of HPR kits, parts and supplies.
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Blue Scout Jr.
"The Blue Scout Junior was regarded by the USAF as the most useful of the various Blue Scout configurations. It was used between between 1962 and 1965 by the Air Force to launch suborbital scientific payloads to very high altitudes. The SLV-1B* was effectively identical to the XRM-91, and was ...
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The post that never was
Man, I got totally sucked into a pre-April Fools Day gag and came close to posting about it. And no, I ain't about to say what it was.
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Knock, knock, anyone home?
Man, my blogging hasn't been this slow for years. I slowed down when I got busy on a non-rocketry project but since I re-emerged I just haven't found much material that has motivated me. That, coupled with few projects in the Dungeon, has decimated my posting rate. I've continued priming my new ...
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Estes chief Barry Tunick fields questions
YORF's Scott Hansen has orchestrated a Q&A with Barry Tunick of Estes Industries. Scott gathered questions from YORF member, submitted them to Mr. Tunick, and has received an preliminary set of answers . Here's a few of the most interesting responses (to me). I think the corresponding ...
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Critters!
After seen a red fox on out deck last night, I thought I'd note all the critters we've seen on our deck. around 4 varieties (?) of small sparrow/wren-like birds, cardinals, blue jays, orioles, a hawk, a turkey buzzard, crows, doves brown squirrels, black squirrels opossums raccoons ...
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Rockets and the environment
Reports about the potential environmental impact of rocket exhaust are popping up all over the interweb today. Clark Lindsey points to several of them .
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Pat Gordzelik on the new FAA rules
Rocketry Planet has just published Pat Gordzelik 's editorial on the FAA's recent changes to their amateur rocketry regulations. The changes went into effect last February. This editorial had previously been published in the February 2009 issue of Rockets magazine . Here is a snippet from my ...
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Barry Tunick answers a few unasked questions
Scott Hansen has posted an email he received from Estes Industries' Barry Tunick . In this email, Barry addresses issues that he didn't think were adequately addressed in his previous responses to the forum members' questions . I think his email provides a lot of insight into the issues Estes ...
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Hobby Works news for DC-area locals
Snipped from an email: The Legend Continues! Hobby Works' famous Spring Clearance Sale starts Saturday April 18th. We're getting ready right now, so stop by the stores and preview the sale. Look for the yellow tags. Look but don't touch - because the savings don't start until the 18th! What's ...
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No more Future Space Access
Well, at least not here. I decided to disable my so called Future Space Access Database. There was just too much old, incorrect information there. I suggest searching HobbySpace or The Big List o' Space Links to find out the latest scoop on your favorite space project.
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And some more from Estes' Barry Tunick
In this post (again posted by Scott Hansen), Barry continues his "stream of consciousness" while in between hops on a business trip to China. He talks about the size of the company relative to historic levels, why sales at Walmart feed hobby stores rather than harm them, that $7+ motors sell ...
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Re-LAUNCH statement
Mark Mayfield and Deborah Martin, the publishers of LAUNCH Magazine, have posted a statement about their return to publication. The short version: they'll be back in June, existing subscribers will get the issues they've paid for, an electronic version will be provided.
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Amateur rocketry at Space Access '09
No new info provided, but Clark Lindsey notes that the FAA/AST presented their new amateur rocketry rules at Space Access '09 . Clark has been providing a brief summary of each session.
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Neologism of the day
Billionaut Hopefully, this term will be retired soon, being replaced by 'millionaut'.
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Interesting interactive pattern generator
subblue has an interactive Flash app lets you play with Guilloché patterns . You can find out more here if you are interested in knowing in a bit more about what's under the hood. I was happy just to twiddle with the slider bars and stare at the screen.
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"High Cotton" Rocket Launch
Saturday's launch was awesome with many successful flights including a two stage and my 4x29SS Ultimate flying on two H180's and air starting two G79's. One H180 came up to pressure first then the second kicked in after it had left the rail. So the flight was a little less then vertical. Only ...
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The Mocket Man, say what?
This might have been a better post for April 1st, although it appears to be true. Reuters has a story about a rich Japaneses dude who supposedly spent $350K on mock missiles to act as deterrent against N. Korean aggression. The person who found this article comments on Rocketry Planet that, for ...
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RockSim 9 gone wild: USS Enterprise
I just entered this interesting 'what-if' RockSim design into EMRR's database - a rendition of Star Trek's USS Enterprise. In the comments to his design, Lester Anderson asks that anyone who gets this to work in the real work let him know. Well, I don't think that will happen unless you ...
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Electronics inventory update
Dok and Kurt encouraged me to build experience with varied electronics packages. As such I've been stocking up. At the time of my L3 cert I was using: Ozark Aerospace ARTS2 altimeter BlackSky AltACC 2C altimeter (BlackSky is now defunct but here's a review on this page ) Missleworks ...
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Belated March launch updates
The March Plaster City launch featured amazing, wind-free flying. I must say that this is the first year of many when the stars have aligned to allow confident flying so I'm going as often as I can. I had four flights that day: Vertical Assault 3" on a K185 - 7,076' with successful ...
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April launch report
Yesterday was the April Plaster City Launch.  Again the weather was almost perfect so that makes three months in a row for San Diego now!  Coincidentally both the March and April launches were preceded with excessive wind gusting to 35+ MPH the Friday before.  Then as of Saturday morning calm to ...
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Back to off-topic - spring yard work
Today was the first day of hard core yard work this year: mowing extracting leaves from around shrubs edging picking up pine cones bought mulch - I usually get it from a sod farm, but there was good sale at Home Depot spread ten bags - the old back needs to break into yard ...
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Revisiting an Old Project...
I'm not giving out too many details just yet, but I will disclose that I'm improving my supersonic design. It should be able to withstand higher airspeeds, so the motor of choice will hopefully be the 137 N-sec G80, the most powerful single use model rocket motor available. If I'm brave, I ...
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METRA Launch - 4/5/09
Today I attended a METRA launch. Visibility was good, but wind was a steady 10 - 15 mph. Despite the wind, which did eventually die down by 2:00, several dozen flights were launched. Most METRA launches feature a few very large flights, and this one was no exception. Two most notable flights were: ...
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An Unreasonable Space Access presentation
Paul Breed links to his Space Access '09 presentation ( slow link alert ) and the corresponding YouTube video. Rocket people are cool. (I wonder if Paul will note the purple background on the video? Sorry, I just had to do it. You may have to read his presentation to understand.)
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Gyro stabilization and the big a$$ rocket of the day
Clark Lindsey points to the latest flight of the Gyroc VTVL testbed . This gyroscopically stabilized testbed uses commercially available long-burn model rocket motors for takeoff and landing. While looking at the site, I also found this video of the Blue Peter hybrid rocket , brought to you by the ...
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The Commercial Future of Spaceflight
A SpaceX rocket will be the next U.S. vehicle to travel to the space station after the shuttles retire. (Click Here For More Info)
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RockSim 9 tutorial
In Apogee Newsletter #232 , Tim Van Milligan guides the reader through the process of designing polyhedral wings in RockSim 9 using the pods feature. Here's what Tim days about polyhedral wings: A polyhedral wing is a special form of dihedral where the wing is angled upward to provide roll ...
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Finocyl grain testing
The Sugar shot project has begun testing finocyl grain geometries. Rick Maschek is doing a great job of actually casting the segments. Rick has managed to remove the mandrels with ease , something that is notoriously difficult with complex cores, by cooling it first by running nitrogen through the ...
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TED: Three predictions on the future of Iran, and the math to back it up
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, a consultant to the CIA and the DoD, successfully applies Game Theory to predict messy human events such as war and political power shifts. In this talk, he provides some general background on how he does this and makes three predictions about Iran. I embedded the talk ...
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50th Anniversary of the Mercury 7
And then there were seven. It's hard to believe the it has been 50 years. We have come a long way since then. We still have a long way to go. We are still using the technology that was developed 50 years ago to put our astrounauts into space. Who would have thought that it all would work so good. ...
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Launch Coming Up
I will probably have the first launch of the year this weekend, provided the weather cooperates (which it looks like it might). I have 2 or 3 rockets ready to launch: 1) Arrow 2 , my most flown rocket with at least a dozen flights, will hopefully fly on a C6-5, possibly even with a D12 booster. 2) ...
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Old image from the archives
This image is from about 10 years ago, but shockingly it is a the very same (and only) Graduator that I fly today. But here it had a green nose cone (still have the cone, it is interchangeable with the red one). In any event, the story behind this photo starts with the vendor recommended motors: ...
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Computer Rendering of Next Mach Muncher
...And updated information. I was wrong about the projected speed. If I leave the rocket the way it is (without adding weight to the nose, or payloads), it's predicted to go 1800 ft/s! I don't want it to shred or anything, so I will definitely do something about this.
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How far away is that big a$$ rocket on the away cell? (estimating size and distance)
Rocket Jones points us to a how-to for a business card sized tool that allows you to make quick estimates of the distance to, and size of, remote objects. Now, how far away is that big a$$ rocket on the away cell? (Bah, I changed the title and text of the post to reflect the measurement of ...
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The LA Times tips over the OXCART
The LA Times has a really interesting article about Area 51. With the declassification of the top secret OXCART project, five ex-Area 51 employees can now spill their guts about their experiences there, including speculation about where many UFO stories have originated from. Cool stuff. All you ...
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First Launch of 2009
I had some great launches today; no failures! Good launches and good recoveries. Plus, my onboard video worked for once! The quality isn't the best, but I've got it. I'll post it to YouTube and my blog once I get it off my camera. - My altimeter reported a boring altitude on Sky Spy's ...
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Onboard Video!
You can almost see my house from this shot.
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Space Walking Astronaut Seen From Ground
Astronomy Picture of the Day
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Limiting spaceflight liability in Texas (update)
Following in the wake of Virginia , Florida and New Mexico , it appears Texas may also limit the liability of space tourism flights. Clark Lindsey provides several links. Update: Res Communis links to the bill itself in case you are interested.
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Space is moving up
This story has made the rounds in the blogaverse, but I thought I'd post about it anyway. It appears that researchers at the University of Calgary have made accurate measurements of the altitude at which space begins. Their Supra-Thermal Ion Imager, which flew on the JOULE-II rocket back in ...
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Easter rocket missile-any
Dale Windsor's on-again, off-again model rocket motor history page is on-again . The LDRS-28 featured projects page is coming along nicely. No Polish rocket jokes, please...they've got a B15 , and we don't. Thrustcurve.com now has a McMaster-Carr-like motor browser to help you zero-in ...
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Friedwardt Winterberg, Starship Designer
The Next Big Future points to, and comments on, Centauri Dreams' interview with physicist Friedwardt Winterberg . The post has several other links for those who want to dig deeper, and those links lead to more links, and so on. Too much info to assemble a summary, so I'll just add a teaser: ...
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From Virginia to the Moon
In 2011, Virginia's Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport will host its first Moon launch. In a history making flight, NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) will be launched atop an Orbital Sciences Corp. Minotaur-V from Pad 0B. LADEE's will orbit the moon for some 100 days, ...
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Finocyl Propellant Segments Fired
Rick Maschek successfully conducted a static test of the small test motor which used a finocyl core geometry for the SStS project. This is exciting because of the possibilities that complex core geometries open up. Many of the most impressive small sounding rockets utilize a monolithic grain ...
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Sugar-Shot-2-Space and Ares finocyl geometry motors
Richard Nakka reported that the SS2S project test fired a couple of finocyl grain motors last weekend, and Randy Dormans provides a link to a video (with other photos and info too). While on the subject, check out the humongous 12-vane casting mandrel that ATK built for the Ares-I booster.
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Steve Eves' 1:10 Saturn V: T - 11 days and counting
I've posted about this huge project fairly often so the regulars have no excuse for not knowing all about it. For the rest of you, you can see the official pages on ROCKETS Magazine's website or the reprint of an article from the February 2009 issue ROCKETS that is now up on Rocketry Planet - One ...
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EMRR has gone contest crazy!
He just added another one and just imagine the loot that is up for grabs. Or you can visit the contest pages and see for yourself: NEW! Rocket Video 2009 - ends 9/27 Box o' Parts 2009 - ends 7/6 Elevate Eleven - ends 7/20 Rocket Family - ends 10/1 Design This Spaceship - ends 11/1 EMRR Challenge ...
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A compendium of rocket sleds
IO9 presents The Astonishing Speed and Beauty of Rocket Sleds . The subject images are from a compilation on OObject , which provides links back to the source pages. The following photo is one of my favorites. The sled traveling at 4,800 ft/s (3,273 mph). It was photographed by Alan Sehmer of ...
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Rocket sleds redux
Phil Plait has fed my rocket sled appetite with coverage of a Mythbusters episode where they tried to find out if a head-on collision of two semis could fuse the metal together. Well, the myth was busted, but in a very entertaining manner. Here are the videos from two angles and in super slo-mo. ...
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Reaction Research Society Boosted Dart
Despite being among the most impressive amateur launches ever, I have yet to post about this project. The reason for posting at this time (many years later) is because I was recently given the flight data for this launch. The best article about this boosted dart flight is not online, but rather in ...
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Update on the Iridium-Cosmos debris field
So far, it appears the collision could have been worse, with only 823 large pieces cataloged so far. Although the cataloging is still underway, it appears they don't expect to find the1300 that were originally estimated. This makes NASA think one of the two impacted a solar panel or antenna on the ...
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Prep day
In preparations for Red Glare VI tomorrow, I lugged rockets and range boxes up from the Dungeon, made sure I had all the motors I'll need and built G185-5, G67-7G, G69N-P, and F39-6 reloads. All less charges and igniters, of course. Below are my planned launches. I scrubbed plans for any high ...
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Earth gravity data
Gravity Data "CHAMP (860 days) and GRACE (200 days) satellite gravity data have been combined with 0.5 x 0.5 deg surface data (gravimetry and altimetry) to generate the high resolution global gravity field model EIGEN-CG01C." More details on these two spacecraft: CHAMP GRACE
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Launch Report 2009-2 - Red Glare VI
Location: Higgs Farm, Price, MD ( Red Glare VI ) Weather: mid 70's, light breeze Total flights: Today - 6; YTD - 16 Total motors: Today - 11; YTD - 21 The day started well with light traffic and one car ahead of me on the Bay Bridge. I again got to camp with Don Brown under his shade. The weather ...
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The Estes Saturn V is the numero uno rocket of all time
At least in the TRF Rocketry Mach Madness contest , which just closed yesterday. The Saturn V edged out the Estes Interceptor for top honors. It was interesting to see how the contest played out. If you log in you can see all the brackets.
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Moon to Hide Venus April 22
Click here for more information.
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NASA buys 24 seats aboard Russian Soyuz space vehicles
NASA plans on buying up to 24 seats aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft to fly astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) after the Space Shuttle is retired. NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, intends to contract with Roscosmos for a minimum of 18 Soyuz seats up to a maximum of 24 ...
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Steve Eves' 1:10 scale Saturn V is burning up the Internet
Scheduled for launch next Saturday, April 25th at MDRA's Price, MD launch site, Steve's ginormous Saturn V has been covered my many local (to Steve's home) TV channels and many more web sites. Recently, Rocketry Planet's 'reprint' of the ROCKETS Magazine's feature on this project has been picked ...
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M750 payload section layup
I had purchased two 48" lengths of 98mm cardboard tubing for the M750 rocket below. However design stuff nags me in my sleep and lucid dreams so, instead, I purchased much stronger phenolic tubing from Public Missiles Ltd. just to be sure.  The added weight will probably cost me margin for the ...
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Holy Cow!
The new rocketry blog Rockets and Stuff has posted the following video of Neil McGilvray's Cow rocket flying on a P10,000. The title are Brett's words - I couldn't come up with anything better! His blog was added to my reader so updates should appear in my sidebar.
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Steve Eves' Saturn V has been Dugg
Run for the hills, your bomb shelter, or wherever, the Rocketry Planet is at risk of exploding after their article on Steve's Saturn V hit Digg .
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ROCKETS Magazine - April 2009
This issue features several articles about, or at least motivated by, the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11. Besides the fact that we sport rocketeers are also space program fans, the tie-in to sport rocketry appears to be Steve Eves' 1:10th scale Saturn V. The main article is about the celebration ...
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Two-Stage-to-Orbit ''Blackstar'' System Shelved at Groom Lake?
Has the top secret space plane that supposedly does not exist been shelved? Have you ever wondered why there are so many long runways out in the middle of nowhere? Especially the one at the famous Area 51 site. It would make sense to me that this program has reach it's end and has been replaced ...
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Steve Eves' Saturn V hits Fox News
The word is spreading . If Tommy is grilling, maybe he better stock up. On Saturday, April 25, the Saturn V, the rocket that sent men to the moon 40 years ago, will once again lift off from U.S. soil and soar over the Atlantic. Well, not quite over the Atlantic, but nice press anyway. I ...
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Some insane images from Saturn
The flagship scale space missions always produce great results. Cassini may be the most incredible planetary mission to date. "NASA's Cassini spacecraft is now a nearly a year into its extended mission, called Cassini Equinox (after its initial 4-year mission ended in June, 2008). The spacecraft ...
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Steve Eves' interview on WJFK (updated!)
Via Dave Olson: Steve Eves will be interviewed tonight on WJFK Radio's "Tech 411" show. 8:30pm EDT for 15-20 minutes. WJFK 106.7 FM - Washington D.C. http://www.wjfk.com A reader points out that this website says the launch is on May 2nd vs. the currently publicized date of April 25th. Dave ...
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Quote of the day
A fictional space program will always be faster, better, and cheaper than a real space program. - Mike Griffin, Goddard Award Dinner 2009
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Build delayed
Recent events in my personal life have been taking up any free time I have. I'm hoping in the next few weeks I can get some build time in and try to get it done in time for the Memorial Day launch event.
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Celebrating Easter with a bottle rocket war
Evidently, people on the small Greek island of Chios celebrate Orthodox Easter by launching fireworks at each other's churches during the services. Check out this crazy video. My Big Fat Greek Firework Battle - For more funny videos, click here
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In the event Apollo 11 is lost
"On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. The following speech, revealed in 1999, was prepared by Nixon's then speechwriter, William Safire, to be used in the event of a disaster that would maroon the astronauts on the moon: Fate has ...
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Steve Eves' 1:10 scale Saturn V - my photos
I decided to create an OurPlanet album for Steve Eves' Saturn V . I hope to add to this album this weekend!
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Tripoli App Submitted
I just paypal'd my funds over to Tripoli. Hopefully I will get my card prior to Mile High Mayhem, but it not I'm sure we can work it out. Still planning on doing my L1 Cert at that time along with my friend Kevin.
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Subject for a mid-power, full scale build - The Spike (update)
This 5 lb missile is currently in development. I bet Richard Hickok will be all over this one (if he hasn't already built it). (via Asian Defense ) Update: Here's a video interview about this new missile.
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Two more build ideas
I don't think either are actual rockets, but... The center black think might be buildable: But the 'tail sitter' looks more up my alley:
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Red Glare 6, documented
The MDRA page is being populated. And like I previously noted, my photos are here . I should submit some to MDRA too, I reckon... Egads, I just noticed the flight of my ill-fated Messer-Fo-Shizzle is the first segment of of Peter Abresh's video entitled The Ugly . IMO, this flight was more The Bad ...
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Who's your Big Daddy? updated, already!
Here is my mostly completed, 29mm Big Daddy. 'Mostly' because I won't install the nose cone bulkhead and any required weight until I lay hands on one of Quests new F12 BP motors . (see note below!) They were supposed to be out in the Spring (i.e. around now) but may be held up by the new CPSC ...
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Air Force Academy boosted dart a success
I had thought about posting about the FalconLAUNCH VII launch but somehow forgot. But now that Clark Lindsey has a post packed with relevant links, I couldn't resist correcting this omission. The dart, launched from White Sands, was tracked by radar to 354,724 feet (67 miles). Not too shabby and a ...
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I have a Tripoli #
I'm officially a member of Tripoli now, I got my member # not 2 minutes ago :)
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Pocket Rocket
Woohoo, I finally figured out that you can grab images from Flickr. No stealing and no storage required on my side. Here are some photos of rocket-powered funny car. In the builder's words (photos are clicakble): In the early 80s I built the Pocket Rocket, a hydrogen rocket powered mini funny ...
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Worlds Largest Model Rocket Set to Fly Tomorrow
http://wjz.com/local/rocket.saturn.five.2.993924.html
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Do Hard Things
Here is a quote from Calvin Coolidge: - ?Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. ...
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Worlds Largest Model Rocket Sits on the Pad!
Looks like the real thing. Photo by: Fred Wallace
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Largest Model Rocket Flies Successfully
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4l2aFkZ_VM
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Steve Eves' Saturn V ROCKED Maryland's Eastern Shore
After testing the winds with a 'tiny' Nike Smoke on a J350, Steve Eves' Saturn was launched into the beautiful Maryland skies at around 1PM local. The central 'P' and eight 'N' motors (that's 'R' impulse, baby - yeaaah) lifted it majestically to around 3-4K feet. At apogee, the rocket was ...
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Largest hobby rocket to date
Rocket was about 1600 LBS (a record) flying on one central P motor and 8 N motors. Recovery was good (unlike the last record.) More coverage at The Rocket Dungeon
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Focke Wulf Triebflugel
I just found this French web site on tail-sitter aircraft. Besides the more common examples such as the Convair XFY-1 " Pogo ", it features the Focke Wulf Triebflugel concept (shown above). Although intended to be ramjet-powered, it does seem to be suitable for a tri-copter-like rocket. In fact, ...
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Details on the Saturn V flight
I decided to go ahead and make a new post and relay some details I've seen about the flight. This thread on TQC#39 has some really good up close and personal shots and so does this TRF thread . TRF user MAXQ reports there was a fairly big zipper on the lower stage, a couple of smaller ones on the ...
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LAUNCH Missile
I just received my LAUNCH Missile. Semroc is producing a replica of the missile that appears in LAUNCH Magazine's logo and is sending them to registered subscribers prior to putting them up for sale. I needed something to build :)
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ROCKETS Magazine's photos of Steve Eves' Saturn V launch
ROCKETS Magazine's photos of Steve Eves' Saturn V launch
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Updates to the Steve Eves Saturn V links list
FYI, although I've made a few follow-on posts, I have also been adding to the links list on my main launch report .
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Shuttle SRB splashdown
Photo from nasa1fan's Flickr set :
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Apollo 11 - The Day we saw "Columbus Set Sail"
Read more here
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1:10 Scale Saturn V Rocket
I heard about this a little late, but apparently it set a record for size:
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We once had a Rocket
Mike Roberts posted a link to this interesting documentary film on arocket today. Mike reports that it was inspired by Francis Spufford's book " The Backroom Boys " and it's called "We Once had a Rocket". It documents how the engineers responsible for Black Arrow went ahead and launched the ...
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Layup... FAIL!! Then success!
Alright so I completed my layup as planned below. Again the Mylar stuck preferentially to roughly 50% of the cured surface. It took me 3+ hours (no exaggeration) to peel/cut/scrape/wedge the film off the part. Note the voids, scrapes, and residue: Having failed to release the film cleanly with all ...
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Russia mulls rocket power 'first'
Russia's next-generation manned space vehicle might be equipped with thrusters to perform a precision landing on its return to Earth.
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Fast food style satellites
Via Parabolic Arc - Satellites, Built to Order in 2 Days . The source post is short, so... Guy Norris has an interested blog post over at Aviation Week about how quickly small satellites can be built these days: As you read this a satellite is being built to my order in New Mexico ...
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Goonies!
The Goonybirds were a goofy, "cartoony" line of kits developed by Estes - "The zaniest flying freaks of the universe" (I think that's an original quote). Sport rocketeers have since been kitbashing Baby Berthas and scratch building their own 'Goonified' versions of their favorite kits and real ...
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The Double Standard
Ben Ullman just announced the next huge project from the "Outlaws of the East" - a 2x upscale of the Standard ARM. Planned motors include: 1 x Q15000 4 x O3700 4 x N3500 I'm sure this will evolve and watching it develop will be fun. He noted there is a Cafe Press store to try to fund the ...
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58mm JATO re-build - head scratching
As I've mentioned, I am in the process of re-building my 58mm JATO (the name being a play on words with NATO ammo designations and JATO rocket boosters). When I built it, I did the 'leave the rear ring off and add internal fillets' trick. On its last flight, the fins (again) stayed in due to my ...
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N - Prize
One can hardly improve upon the many posts and articles regarding the N-Prize, which has now been active for quite some time. We have discussed many of the possible plans and debated everything including the value of such a competition; one that is nearly impossible to complete. But all the same, ...
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“Russia launched a Soyuz rocket Wednesday carrying a covert military payload believed to be a spy satellite with a high-resolution optical camera.
“Russia launched a Soyuz rocket Wednesday carrying a covert military payload believed to be a spy satellite with a high-resolution optical camera. “The Soyuz rocket lifted off at 1658 GMT from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, according to Roscosmos, the Russian space agency. “The ...
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New 2009-2010 AeroTech Catalog To Be Released at TARC Finals
The new AeroTech Consumer Aerospace 2009-2010 product catalog is planned for release during the Team America Rocket Challenge (TARC) finals in The Plains, VA on May 15-16. The 20-page catalog includes new rocket action photos taken by contributors Mark Canepa, Steve Jurvetson and Nancy Snyder. ...
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N-Prize reminder
R2K has a short summary of the N-Prize and related team links. I've been snoozing on this one so I appreciate the reminder!
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Wanna glue thisTOthat?
The pop over to thisTothat glue advice.
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GSFC turns 50
(From the Goddard PAO) May 1, 1959: Beltsville Space Center becomes NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center On a clear March day in 1926, in the middle of a snow-covered field in Auburn, Massachusetts, Dr. Robert Hutchings Goddard changed exploration forever. Launching from a modified music stand, ...
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On-board video from Steve Eves' Saturn V
ROCKETS Magazine has updated their Saturn V news coverage with the Fox news story , which includes some on-board footage. They also have posted some flight data from several ARTS flight computers. These data include trajectories derived from GPS data that was ported to Google Earth.
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Not Rockets
Other than offering a tiny bit of support to the ongoing Sugar shot project , I've been way too busy to do any real rocketry work. On top of being busy at work, we've decided to replace the floors at home with tile, to the tune of around 900 sq. ft. downstairs and 200 sq. ft. upstairs. I've ...
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RAPTORS ARRIVE IN NEW ORLEANS
F-22 Raptor in a high G turn on full afterburner. The F-22 Raptor put on an awesome show.
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UP Aerospace's launch was a partial success
The launch appeared to go off as planned, but Spaceport America reports the vehicle failed to reach its planned altitude of 75 miles. (via KDBC, Las Cruces with a hat tip to John)
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Rocket launches ain't horseshoes or hand grenades
Yesterday, I mentioned that UP Aerospace's launch from Spaceport America was a partial success. I basically regurgitated what the source report said without thinking. Reader John points me to a follow-on report that says the rocket appeared to oscillate and come apart shortly after motor burn out. ...
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My nozzle is red hot...
Russell Blink posted a few photos of a hot nozzle, right after a static test (one is embedded below). You can find them here but, since these aren't in a separate folder, they will be buried by future photos. For future reference, the title of these are simply 'May 3, 2009'.
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Rocket Car Day, Up to Eleven
The results of the 11th installment of Rocket Car Day are now appearing . You can see a bit of the action here . Some photos here and here . Not much coverage so far, but I'm sure more will be posted on their blog and on Flickr. Unguided rocket cars give the NAR shivers, but it appears the Aussies ...
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EMRR review wars
As that scoundrel Chas Stevens pulls away in the EMRR review wars...I thought I'd inventory what I have that may be up for review: My Goonball XL5 , should it be stable. The Semroc Launch Missile . I probably wont have much to add to the review that was just posted , but will do one anyway. The ...
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Civil war and football
Huh? Is the title saying football is a form of civil war? So, what's really the connection? A friend of the family passes along that their father in law has just published a book on the Civil War that is written using football terminology. Just in case you are a Civil War buff and a football fan: ...
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5 New rocketry books
Here are 5 new books from Amazon; Apollo 12: The NASA Mission Reports This book book is one in a large series of books by Apogee that covers many NASA missions in great detail, usually with a CD rom included, at a great price. Most of these can be found on Amazon for a few dollars. Apollo 12 was ...
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Get Me Off This Rock
That is this week's theme on Gizmodo .
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Fringe propulsion and DC-X model (update)
Here are two items from Clark Lindsey (short, thus quoted). Non-quoted lead-ins are mine, now that I actually read the referenced items. This book is a collection of papers and is "not for the casual reader." (or possibly even for the causal reader :o). The authors want to improve the S/N ratio ...
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Rocket car montage
Here's a video montage of Rocket Car Day 11 held in Sydney. Some of the cars actually seemed to go fairly straight. The most interesting and least functional design was the Steve-a-pult. This had the motor on a rotating arm that drove the wheels via belts (probably rubber bands).
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Fringe pre-finale recap, the best crappy horror movie I've seen in a while, and a Josefus video
Let's see, yesterday evening I watched Fringe and Feast , a low budget horror flick from Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Wes Craven, among many others. The Fringe episode was great. It really started explaining just what the heck is going on and left me drooling for more. It seems a war between our ...
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The Earth from Space
There is a great 24 hour portrait of the Earth from a Clarke orbit, but sadly it can't be embedded. This spacecraft, Echostar 11, is in orbit around the earth at sufficient altitude so that it makes one orbit in about 24 hours. For this reason, it remains over the same part of the earth at any ...
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NASA should abandon its problem-plagued Ares I rocket
I agree that the rocket is over budget and is never going to meet it's design goals. It is a terrible design. But then no one ever listens to me. The Bayourat Click to Read
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Masten static test video, for mach diamond fans
Clark Lindsey found this video from Ben Brockert and Masten Space : A test fire on the 750lbf engine on the XA-0.1B-750 in hold-down testing. Here the engine is putting out about 800 pounds of thrust. The vehicle will be capable of hovering on rocket power for approximately a minute and a half. ...
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UP Aerospace launch video
This must be video day. The following was seen on the 62 Mile Club and also found thanks to Clark Lindsey . The launch doesn't look more impressive than the large HPR launches I've seen. But, you have to realize that the space-bound launch failed and still reached over 8 miles. That altitude is the ...
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Minotaur/TacSat3 update
NASA Wallops reports that the launch of the Minotaur 1 carrying the TacSat-3 satellite is looking good with a 70% chance of favorable weather. The launch should go around 8 p.m. EST with the window open until 11 p.m. The webcast is live.
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Minotaur/TacSat3 update
Scrubbed - a 70% chance of good weather still means there is a 30% change of crappy weather. This is old news to anyone who was watching. For me the launch was scrubbed due to a clogged toilet and Chinese food. Unrelated, luckily :)
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Mini-rocket cars:
Check out these Rocket Powered Matchbox Cars!
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Delta II launch at Vandenburg, May 5th
Posted by the Air Force Space Command on Flickr.
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Patriot launch
Follow the link to see more in the sequence.
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Minotaur/TacSat3 update - launch time moved up
The latest from NASA Wallops' webcast status page : Posted by RCC on 2009-05-08 at 17:35:11 EDT T-5:35p.m. T- 2 hours and counting. Expect to begin moving the shelter from around the rocket in next 30 minutes. Posted by RCC on 2009-05-08 at 15:53:24 EDT New launch time of 7:35 p.m. This to ...
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Minotaur/TacSat3 update - launch time moved out
Posted by RCC on 2009-05-08 at 21:42:31 EDT In the final phase of the countdown Posted by RCC on 2009-05-08 at 21:38:04 EDT New launch time is 10:40 p.m.
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Minotaur/TacSat3 update - scrubbed at T - 00:02:13
Posted by RCC on 2009-05-08 at 22:50:49 EDT We have scrubbed the launch for tonight
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Rockets promote dental hygiene
I was just browsing the latest issue of IEEE Spectrum and saw a modroc...in an ad for IEEE dental insurance. The teaser says, "Remember when you were a child, you imagined anything was possible?" I see the tie-in between that statement and rocketry but the link to dental insurance still elludes ...
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4th Time's the Charm!
On Saturday I had the privilege of attending a high-power rocket launch in North Branch, Minnesota. I launched Exporter 2000 with my new onboard video system, and for the first time ever I have video from this rocket! I'm pretty pleased with the results, but the wind was kind of high (~10 mph) and ...
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Project NOTS EV-1 (NOTSNIK)
This is, above all others, the sister rocket to my personal favorite; Project Farside. But in NOTS EV-1 launches, the complex but rather small rocket (again very similar) is lofted to modest altitude and velocity by a jet aircraft, rather than the very high altitude but negligible speed of a ...
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NOTSNIK
The High Power Rocketry blog has an interesting and detailed post about the title project, which might have been the first, all-solid motor, orbital-capable vehicle. Evidently, there were both air- and ground-launched tests, none of which worked. So, I guess this program was a FLOPNIK (haha). ...
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Make mine a Bud (big a$$ rocket of the day)
Speedweiser, King of Speed
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Photo of TX-38 SPARM ramjet missile
TX-38 SPARM solid rocket / ramjet missile, ATK rocket park, Utah / 2008 (hat tip to Greg Goebel's Public Domain photo site ) Note: I've followed the occasional discussion of ram-rockets on the various rocketry forums with interest. So, when I found this photo I thought I'd post it. A quick Google ...
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Build Progress
Saturday I got some good build time in and some assistance from my friend Kevin. I built the e-bay, 38mm motor adapter, 1/2 of the 54mm motor mount, and slotted the fin can. We also sorted out motor retention, recovery hardware and ejection charges. More building to come this week along with some ...
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They ain't just blowin' smoke, but the smoke they are blowin' is cool
A reader just pointed me to this interesting photo on Blackfive . Thanks, Skycopp! (U.S. Army photo by Spc. William Hatto)
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Atlantis is Hubble-bound
I was Internetless until a few minutes ago, so I had to watch the Shuttle Atlantis launch on the TV in the ER. (Don't ask - besides the psychosis induced by 7 1/2 hours of sitting on my a$$, all is now well.) Hubble SM4 is a GO! Here's a great photo of the launch! (embedding turned off, grrr)
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Had to post this Atlantis STS-125 video
My 2 favorite parts are: About 30 seconds in when the Shuttle rolls and you get a side view showing the massive SRB plumes and the clear, mach diamond laden main engine plumes. Awesome! On-board video at 2:13 seconds when the SRBs separate. Very nice!
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Cool EMRR contest entry!
For me, the highlight of today's update is Hans "Chris" Michielssen's entry into the Elevate 11 Contest, aptly named Elevate 11 . The name is not exciting but the number of features with the number eleven is amazing. I emailed Nick and said he should declare a winner and continue the contest for ...
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Re: accuracy of info in the Dungeon
I've said it before and I'll say it again, the Rocket Dungeon ain't journalism. My posts, other than those reporting my work and experiences, are derived from one or more sites and are often copies of copies. If there's one thing I learned from the movie Multiplicity , it's that, "You know how ...
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Venetia Burney Phair, Girl who Named Pluto, Dies at 90
Venetia Burney Phair was an accountant and taught economics and math to school girls. But the British woman will best be remembered for what she accomplished at age 11, giving Pluto its name. Phair died April 30 in her home in Banstead, England. She was 90.In an interview with NASA in January ...
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Compressibile Aerodynamics
I've decided to start a summer-long study of compressible aerodynamics, that is, the compressible nature of a gas at speeds above Mach. It ties in very well with my supersonic projects. I'm going to try starting my investigation using the NASA guided tours . It is my hope to actually conduct ...
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Drogue-less recovery, Shuttle style
Here's a video of STS-125's External Tank falling after separation. This was taken from the flight deck to inspect the tank for foam loss.
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Can you indentify this rocket?
Source: White Sands Missile Range Museum Can you help identify this rocket? It is an Air Force rocket that was flown as the White Sands Missile Range. To date, I have not been able to find out what it is. And I do not think that anyone else knows. If you can help, please place a comment. ...
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Space music video - Plasma
RP user Chuck_Rudy pointed me to the following rocketry/space themed music video on Sinch TV Well worth a look! Chuck notes: They have something called the Occular sound machine , which stores the clips you see and one of the band members changes the clips on the fly. If you go to a Sinch ...
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General Atomics unwraps new, Stealth(y) robot war-jet Avenger, son of Reaper, son of Predator
Pic General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc (GA-ASI), maker of the famous Predator and Reaper unmanned warplanes, has taken the wraps off a new and still more powerful kill-robot - the "Avenger". The company says that first flights have been conducted successfully this month. (Read More ...
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Are 'fizzy' propellants in your future?
Chilled “Fizzy” Propellants for Vapor Pressurized Rockets are being discussed over on Jon Goff's Selenian Boondocks (with a hat tip to Clark Lindsey )
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The USAF looks at reusability (again)
Clark Lindsey points to this Aviation Week piece on the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL) Reusable Booster System (RBS) request for information (RFI). A YORF user found another reference , which includes a link to a white paper that you can download (if you register). I didn't, but I did ...
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Rockets Into Space documentary on YouTube
Wayne Hill points out that the 5-part episode of the “Rockets into Space” documentary entitled “The Edge of Space” is available on YouTube. Here is the link to the playlist .
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Graphics are being printed
My friend who has a vinyl graphics company is doing some for my rocket. I worked out what I wanted this week and he printed/cut them last night. Sunday we will be wrapping the rocket, this is the first time either of us have done vinyl on a rocket. If this goes well, we'll be wrapping one other. I ...
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Slow motion video of unguided rocket cars
The latest documentation from Rocket Car Day 11 is the slow-motion montage embedded below. Safety code? We don't need no steenking safety code! My favorite is the Steve-a-pult. Rocketcar Day 11. Slow Motion Montage from sixty40 on Vimeo .
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Shuttle against the Sun
From The Rocketry Blog
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Amateur geekiness from the old world (rocket motors!)
Great find! The EGE links to a fantastic British site - The Rockets Red Glare - a very different British amateur rocketry page featuring model rocketry heritage . Although British, it also has motor history from othe European countries; and even a little from America. So far my favorite tidbit is ...
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SS2S video compendium
All the Sugar-Shot-to-Space videos have been compiled into a YouTube Channel: moonlighter 1000 .
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Sport Rocketry - May/June 2009
This is a great issue. But a slightly odd one. First, the cover shot is cool but it is the second in a row that was not taken at a NAR event (not that I care, just a curiosity). Second, there isn't a single launch report article. I don't remember another issue that didn't have at least one. What ...
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Ares 1
To my mind, this rocket is a great replacement for the shuttle because it will be far cheaper and safer. It is a no brainer to chose large solid motors for a first stage of any rocket system. They don't get the high ISPs, and the per pound cost of propellant is quite high as well when compared to ...
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Joint Statement on the BATFE Litigation
Since the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives has not appealed the decision of the Federal District Court of March 16, 2009, which ordered the agency to vacate their classification of APCP as an explosive, and the period for their ability to do so has expired as of May 16, 2009, ...
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Minotaur-1/TacSat-3 scheduled for tomorrow
NASA Wallops reports that the launch of the Minotaur-1 carrying the TacSat-3 satellite is set for May 19th or 20th between 7:35 to 11:30 p.m. EST. The webcast should again be active for your viewing pleasure. Right now, the weather looks great for both days. I hope it's on the later side so that ...
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LAUNCH Missile - built!
Here's a photo of my completed Semroc LAUNCH Missile. The stand-out feature is the laser cut fins and rings. The rear ring is notched to accept tabs on the tail vane. Nice! The down-side is that several of the decals flipped over on themselves and were a bear to straighten out. In fact, it is ...
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Federal BATFE Permits No Longer Required to Purchase and Store AeroTech High-Power Motors and Reload Kits
Following the resolution of a long and difficult legal struggle, AeroTech is very happy to report that effective immediately all AeroTech high-power (generally `H` class and above) rocket motors and reload kits are now free from regulation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ...
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The date to appeal Judge Walton's ruling, which vacated the classification of APCP as an explosive, has come and gone
Hot off the presses. I may actually fly an 'H' motor next month to celebrate. JOINT NAR/TRA STATEMENT ON THE LAWSUIT VS BATFE Since the BATFE has not appealed the decision of the Federal District Court of March 16, 2009, which ordered the agency to vacate their classification of APCP as an ...
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Joint Statement on the BATFE Litigation
Oh yes we did! We won! We Won! We Won! We Won! Joint Statement on the BATFE Litigation May 18, 2009 Since the U. S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives has not appealed the decision of the Federal District Court of March 16, 2009, which ordered the agency to vacate their c ...
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MOL parts reused in Arizona (?)
In today's Space Review , Dwayne Day explores the possibility that mirrors from the canceled Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) made their way into the unique, 6-mirrored, Multiple Mirror Telescope (MMT) Observatory on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. His facts aren't all confirmed, but it is an interesting ...
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Hubble SM4 on The Big Picture
Here are 31 amazing images of the mission . Amazing, simply amazing. Includes the Shuttle silhouetted against the sun. Did I say amazing?
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Jet flyover alert - a bit late (updated)
Fighter Jets to Fly Over D.C. For Next Two Nights Either the didn't fly over my house or I slept soundly. Maybe tonight. Last year some jets buzzed us at a surprisingly low altitude. Cameras, it seems there's never one around when I need one. Update: Nada, not a peep.
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Joint Statement from NAR-TRA
Joint Statement on the BATFE Litigation May 18, 2009 Since the U. S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives has not appealed the decision of the Federal District Court of March 16, 2009, which ordered the agency to vacate their classification of APCP as an explosive, and the ...
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UFO over Montgomery County, MD (update?)
Just spotted this UFO hovering nearby. It emitted a cyclic pulse of bright light, which I suspect was some sort of communication. Or, it was a balloon of some sort and was reflecting the afternoon sun. Update: It seems there was a similar sighting in Arizona, which turned out to be a NASA ...
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The Milky Way rises
The following is a time-lapse video taken at a star party near Fort Davis, TX . It is a compilation of photos taken every 20 seconds over a 9 hour period. The camera was equipped with a fish eye lens and a red-filter that reveals the rise of the core of the Milky Way. How cool is that? You can see ...
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Minotaur-1/TacSat-3 launch successful
Well, last week I waited by my computer with breathless anticipation. But, tonight I was distracted and missed the launch. The launch was successful and Wallops reports that both the TacSat-3 and PharmaSat spacecraft have communicated with their ground stations. (click photo to see a few more)
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Graphics 75% complete
I ended up opting to paint the nose cone then apply the vinyl over it as opposed to just wrapping it in vinyl. Due to this change I won't have it finished up until tomorrow most likely. We did get the rocket wrapped from the nose cone shoulder down to the fin can however. It looks really, really ...
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Need to get a cable across that gorge?
Via Dark Roasted Blend .
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Rocket bathroom fixtures
These Rocketeer-styled faucets are perfect for space fan-atics. However, I think we sport rocketeers might be happier with a port-a-potty styled makeover and a deodorizer with the scent of burned APCP (or BP, as you prefer). Get a good rocket mag and dream of being on the field. Ahhhhhh.
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There will be video
Earlier in the month I picked up a Flip Ultra camcorder. I will be using this to video prep and the launch from the ground. It is also small enough to be mounted inside the e-bay if I so choose. Today I picked up an Oregon Scientific ATC2K "Action Cam" This comes with several mounting options, one ...
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TRF 1.0 - Back to the Future
TRF 2.0 just announced that the TRF 1.0 Archive is on-line! It's read-only, but at least all that great reference material is again available. Now to see if there's I can easily translate my stored links... Schweeeeeet! All you have to do is follow the old link, replace 'rocketryforum' with ...
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Successful Ares parachute test
(click photo for more) From nasa1fan: NASA and ATK successfully conducted an Ares I main cluster parachute test at the U.S. Army Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona. The test was conducted on May 20, 2009. It involved three 150-feet diameter parachutes lowering a 41,500 test weight to the desert ...
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Pictures & Graphics
I finally took a few quick snapshots of the rocket. Not the best pictures, but I needed something to post before I left for the launch. Before the Vinyl was applied: Full View: Nose Cone Art: Layed Out:
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New rocket company says, "be square or be square."
New Way Space Models will do it their way - with square body tubes. They will begin offering their first three kits this summer.
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Fembot mania (updated)
Not rockets. NSFW. Blame this post on IO9 and the little red version of me that's sitting on my left shoulder... Well, this post was removed for a while after a complaint from a reader. I just ran across it while clearing out the drafts that seem to spontaneously pop up while I'm composing my ...
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More phenomenal Hubble eye-candy
http://gigapica.geenstijl.nl/2009/05/bye_bye_hubble.html
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Lenticular rockets: FGG-3/Darque Sol/Pye Wacket
I just ran across this stuff and will present it in the order I discovered it vs. in any logical sequence. First, I saw a brief report about a project called FGG-3/Darque Sol on the Tripoli Pittsburgh site. The FGG-3 , named after Tripoli founder Francis Glenn Graham, is a lenticular rocket. That ...
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PEPP Aeroshell info
In my surfing for info on the Pye Wacket , I ran across an entry on the PEPP Aeroshell on the Identified Flying Objects site. (The site is packed with info on all sorts of real UFO-style vehicles.) I have seen many photos of the PEPP Aeroshell but had never seen photos of the motors firing. Here's ...
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UFO - the movie
io9 reports that Gerry Anderson's UFO series from the '70s is being made into a movie. I watched the Thunderbirds as a kid but never saw this one as far as I remember. Might be fun nevertheless. And, what's up with UFO's this week? This is my 4th post with some reference to them.
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Unknown rocket
I knew the Scale Rockets Yahoo Group didn't know what it is. Then R2K posed the question on his High Power Rocketry blog. And it appears the White Sands Missile Range Museum also wants to know. However, they evidently do know it's a USAF creation.
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Odd rocket resource (but not oddrocs until ya' build 'em)
Another offshoot from my lenticular rocket surfing... Designation-systems.net's Directory of U.S. Military Rockets and Missiles, Appendix 4: Undesignated Vehicles . The whole site is great, but this section seems to include some of the rarer, odder items. Not all are rare or odd, but how about ...
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Speedweiser, King of Speed (big a$$ rocket of the day, again)
If you didn't read this thread the first time I posted the link, then you've been missing out. Not only is the rocket big but is is one of the most complicated builds I've seen documented. There are more wooden ribs and slotted components than you can shake a stick at. The builder, user GiachiG ...
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Perfect weather, no launch
Dang. Low 80's. Crystal clear skies. Wind calm to maybe a few mph. Too bad there are no local launch areas around here anymore.
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Hwacha say?
Here, the Mythbusters recreate an ancient Korean weapon called the Hwacha using around 200 Estes D12-0s. The fire and smoke was impressive but still doesn't challenge the largest sport rocketry mass launches (which use modrocs pointed in the safe direction - UP!). They did demonstrate that such a ...
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Pure unadulterated awesome
The Son of Rocket Jones got that right! Yeeehaw!
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Largest Amateur Rocket in MN!
I just happened to turn on my computer and check my email for the first time in six days yesterday, and got the news that Tripoli MN was going to have a research launch that same afternoon. The plan was to launch Big Yeller, a twenty foot tall rocket weighing 180 lbs, the largest amateur rocket ...
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German planes, rockets and rocket-planes
Luft'46 has been on my Aerospace Links list (see sidebar) for a while. I thought I'd featured this link in a previous post but so far haven't found the post. Wayne Hill just featured the site on his blog and I though I'd correct any potential omission here. The site is packed with real (and some ...
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Happy Memorial Day!
My flag is out. I ate my BBQ (yesterday). I remembered, Yeater. A shot from Rolling Thunder (2008). Over 400,000 bikes were expected this year.
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Aerospace web FAQ
"Aerospaceweb.org is a non-profit site operated by engineers and scientists in the aerospace field. The goal of this site is to provide educational information on a variety of subjects ranging from aviation to space travel to aerospace technology. Our primary areas of expertise include ae ...
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Soyuz launcher transferred to launch pad
25 May 2009Early this morning, the Soyuz launcher that will bring ESA astronaut Frank De Winne to the International Space Station for his six-month OasISS mission was transferred to the launch pad at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazahkstan. The launch is scheduled for 12:34 CEST on 27 May. More Info Here.
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More Air Command high tech low tech
Water rockets use the simplest of fuels. But they don't have top be simple. When I built a water rocket, the components consisted of a tire stem, basswood, foamboard and duct tape. For Air Command , the components include steel, aluminum, PVC, carbon fiber, rubber and nylon. I jealous of George's ...
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Cluster monocopter spotted at NSL2009 (update)
Monocopters Yahoo Group member krambo63 provides news of a 7 x 18mm clustered monocopter at NSL. More importantly, he provided photos: see this post He notes: It had flat balsa wing roughly 24 inches long x 3 inches wide. At takeoff, the wing was flat with a constant pitch. However, once ...
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Russian Soyuz TMA-15 Launch
The Russian Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft carrying the crew of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Frank De Winne of Belgium, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk blasts off from the Baikonur cosmodrome May 27, 2009. The craft is on a mission that will increase the ...
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Tripoli Level 1 Certified!
I flew "Neurotic Ape" on a CTI I-345 White Thunder motor Friday afternoon. Due to wind there was a little bit of weather cocking and it was coning a little bit. However it flew up to 1998ft and deployment was just past apogee. I recovered it fairly close to the launch site, returned to the LCO got ...
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AeroTech Creates Karl E. Baumann Signature Product Line
AeroTech is pleased to announce that it has created the Karl E. Baumann (KEB?) Signature Line? of specialty and high-performance rocket motor products. Karl is currently AeroTech`s Director of Operations and was Tripoli Rocketry Association`s (TRA`s) first Level 3 certified flyer. Karl certified ...
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AeroTech announces the first three items in their new Karl E. Baumann Signature Product Line
AeroTech Information Release 5/28/09 AeroTech Creates Karl E. Baumann Signature Product Line AeroTech is pleased to announce that it has created the Karl E. Baumann (KEB™) Signature Line™ of specialty and high-performance rocket motor products. Karl is currently AeroTech's Director of ...
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Cluster monocopter photos
After seeing my post on the 7 x 18mm cluster monocopter that flew at NSL2009, several folks asked be to cross-post the photos. Here they are, with the blessing of BobCox from TRF. Thank you for posting the awesome shots!
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For the love of rockets and robots (RG # 72, plus)
Even rockets need a hug. Images removed at reader request.
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Web site on "autorotative flight"
TRF user BobCox also posted the following link on the on the Monocopters Yahoo Group. Looks great on first glance, haven't read it yet. Autorotative Flight
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D-Fusion Bomb - named, and built
I finally got around to building a rocket form the D-Fusion Denny's drinking cup. The background can be found by following the tag at the bottom of this post. I had previously ground the threads off the lid (aka the nose cone). This left a short shoulder so I was happy when I found 54mm tubing fit ...
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Soyuz Docks With the Space Station
DOCKING. The Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft has docked to the Zarya module of the space station, delivering European astronaut Frank De Winne, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk to the double the size of the outpost's international crew. Read More Here
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Odd, sad (fireworks) rocket tragedy
News from Thailand about a man who tragically lost his life at their yearly rocket festival. It sounds like the victim was drinking in the cordoned off recovery zone. Bad idea.
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IEEE Spectrum is spaced out
I see the June IEEE Spectrum is packed with space stuff: Do We Need to Go to the Moon to Get to Mars? A Russian Return to a Martian Moon Mars Is Hard Could China Get to Mars First? Mining the Moon India Joins the League of Lunar Nations His Space - about space author James ...
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Late Star Tek (2009) review (minor spoiler alert)
I may be the last citizen of the Federation to have seen the movie, but will try to limit the spoiler content anyway. I was pumped by the trailers, had thought Sylar would make a most excellent Spock, and I'm a huge J.J. Abrams fan. Then, after seeing the 95% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes , I ...
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2009: The year of the motor!
A huge set of new motors is on the way down the pipeline at the very moment. Most of them come from Cesaroni , but Aerotech also just announced three end burner motors (one with an extra grain of white lightning propellant to get things started quickly, for boost power.) What we seldom appreciate ...
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I'm a 'dog person' but I shouldn't forget the monkeys too
I've posted a few times about Laika and the other space faring dogs who gave all for space exploration (see tag below). Tonight, National Geographic recognizes the monkey astronauts by commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1959 flight of Baker and Able on a Jupiter AM-18 rocket. Unlike some ...
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"Rockets Beyond Strange" at NARAM 51!!!
As you all are aware, NARAM-51 is just around the corner. It will be held near Johnstown, PA on August 8 - 14, 2009. I sure had fun at NARAM-50 and #51 should be a blast. Unfortunately, even though it is relatively close, I won't be attending. As you all probably also know, I LOVE ODDROCS ! So, ...
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Nice video of flight 7 of Masten's lander
From their blog (short, so I quoted the whole thing - hat tip to Clark Lindsey ): Here it intentionally flies a jig around the center while fighting the tether, and then does 45 degree rotation using RCS before landing. The flight was 30 seconds long.This is the first bipropellant RLV to fly ...
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Rockets take to the sky over Luling!
We had a great time today at the SoLaR launch. The weather was perfect. We arrived at the field in Luling about 9:00AM. The grass was a bit high. but I brought the weed eater and soon had a nice clear area for us to launch from. Here is my launch report: SemRoc Repro kit of the Estes Astron Sky ...
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Whirlygig 38mm - just thinking 'out loud' (update)
I've been thinking about building a larger Whirlygig for the newly announced AeroTech I49N or I59WN motors . These long burn motors will be good for either extreme altitude - or extremely low altitude in saucers, monocopters...or Whirlygigs. I have some 3" tint tube and some 3/16" thick 4.5" wide ...
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Getting antsy for launching
I am anxiously awaiting ESL-133 , and already have my tentative line up: Goonball XL5 on a D13-7 Small Endeavour on a G69SK-7 Starfighter on an H148-4 NCR Archer on an H148-6 Big Daddy 29 on an F35-6 Hat of Death on an F24-P 59mm JATO on a G64-7 D-Fusion bomb on a ...
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Going to Join the NAR...
It's hard to believe June is already upon us, but it's going to be an excellent summer for rocketry. I can just feel it. To fly some of my larger project this summer, I've got a bit of a problem. There's no way to get HPR motors until you're 18... unless you join the NAR . The NAR has a special ...
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Google loves this blog!
For some reason... High Power High Power Rocket High Power Rocketry Sprint ABM This page only gets at most 50 hits a day, yet it ranks at times above, and others only one below the TRA web page. If only the quality of posts was consistent enough to justify this ranking.
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FGG-3/Darque Sol flight update
I've been checking for the flight report on the FGG-3/Darque Sol and see it's now updated. The report includes photos and couple of videos. I'd like to try something similar, but on a smaller scale. Maybe around 18" in diameter. Although building a fiberglass shell is the high tech way to go, I've ...
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Whirlygig-38 promoted
From a mere project idea to a real project in the Dungeon. I cut the openings for the motor mount and launch lug in a 37" length of 3" dia. window tint tube. I'm going with a 3/8" lug just to give it more support. Even though the Whirlygigs don't seem to spin while on the rod, I thought there ...
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Mad Tweeting
Or is that Madcow Rocketry Tweeting ...or Twittering? Heck, I don't know. I don't even like Twitter very much but, once I have the account, I might as well get Madcow's updates too.
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Madcow introduces mid-power fiberglass kits
I got sidetracked by Madcow's presence on Twitter and forgot to mention that they have two new fiberglass kits . An ARCAS and an Honest John. Both are 2.6 diameter (BT size) and are under $100 bucks without a 'chute and 'chute protector. If I were inclined to but a kit at around that price, the ...
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AeroTech Offers Prize for Fastest RMS Assembly Video
AeroTech/RCS will provide a $500 AeroTech gift certificate to the individual who produces a video that demonstrates the fastest assembly of an AeroTech, Dr. Rocket or Rouse-Tech RMS-29/180 motor hardware with an AeroTech RMS-29/180 reload of their choice. The video must show unpacking the reload, ...
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Soyuz rendezvous with ISS mistaken for UFO activity.
A bright and fast object seemingly "overtook" the International Space Station May 29, according to several witnesses observing from two different states, according to testimony from the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) witness database. Read UFO report at the UFO Traffic Report index page .
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Quest F12 test flight
Here's a video showing a Quest F12 being prepped for flight. This was a private launch hosted by MDRA member, formally known as FooseFest. One of the attendees employee in the sport rocketry 'industry' and got some pre-production motors for testing. This is possibly not the best video from the ...
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Another rocket-near-airplane report (update)
Officials in Liberty County (northeast of Houston) and the FAA will be investigating a report by a Continental Express pilot that a “missile or rocket” passed within 150 feet of his plane. He was at 13K feet so, if it were true, this would be a serious HPR-class rocket. So far, the ...
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Who's Your Daddy is ready to go
Thanks to the mass number (102 g) provided by rokitflite in this TRF thread , I made a dummy motor using a spent casing and installed the appropriate nose weight. Needs a loooong rod. Has rail buttons :)
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X-37B news
Space.com reports that the USAF and Boeing plan to launch the X-37B OTV-1 in January 2010 atop an Atlas V EELV. I like the following photo from the drop tests performed back in 2006.
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To boldly go where no one has gone before
Via Yahoo News : A robotic vehicle named Nereus has made the deepest ocean dive ever - 6.8 miles (10,902 meters), a team of scientists and engineers reported yesterday. At this depth, Nereus was able to explore the Challenger Deep - the ocean's lowest point, located in the Mariana Trench in the ...
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Rocket video...my head is still spinning
Steve Jurvetson's Photo Synthesis has part 1 of a piece on video rockets . Take your Dramamine for this one:
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Another compendium of Ekranoplans
Dark Roasted Blend has another lengthy post on Ekranoplans , from the humongous ones that first caught my eye to personal versions. Here's a chart depicting various versions (image via "Science & Vie").
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Cirque de l'espace
Clark Lindsey has a list of articles about the next space tourist - Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil. I am happy to say that I did my small part to make that possible, having seen several of his productions: Mystère , "O" , KÀ , Zumanity , and Dralion . Looking at ...
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Update on supposed rocket incident in Texas
Here's another article on the report that a rocket came within 150' of a plane over Liberty County, northeast of Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport. The report notes: Graduation ceremonies were being held about the same time as the pilot reported seeing the rocket, and it could have been a ...
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Saturn V F-1 Nozzle

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A Trip to the MSP Control Tower...
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport has been ranked 7th largest in the nation. So it was definately a priviledge to tour behind the scenes the workings of the air traffic control at the MSP airport. The tour was for my aerospace engineering class, and though it was geared more towards the ...
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Warp-9 endburners in a spinning rocket?
I doubt I'll build a 38mm monocopter to fly on the newly announced I49N or I59WN long burn, end burning motors but was contemplating it nevertheless. Late last night, I thought back on my experiences with the G69N end burner. On the first flight, I noticed the liner was completely burned away at ...
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Tourist Touts Commercial Space
New York - Space tourist Richard Garriott believes an "inflection point" is coming in which the cost of access to space will drop low enough to reveal a variety of viable new commercial space ventures beyond just tourism or communications. Read more from Aviation Week Here
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A Double Shot, Texas style

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"N" power without epoxy?
The typical Level-3 class rocket involves a lot of epoxy and fiberglass, Kevlar, or carbon fiber (or some combination thereof). I've heard of several examples. These are not well documented so I have no references. Although common in amateur circles, all-metal rockets are frowned upon in HPR ...
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'Scuse me while I touch the sky (rocket video)
Steve Jurvetson has posted part 2 of his video rocket article on his Photo Synthesis blog. And I stole borrowed the video from his Sledgehammer M1550 flight.
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Unreasonable liability concerns impact Unreasonable Rocket
Paul Breed presents the sad story about how his supply of hydrogen peroxide evaporated - Business ethics and cuts by a thousand lawyers . It didn't physically evaporate, but his suppliers will no longer sell to amateur rocketeers. One big lawsuit and it isn't worth the litigation risk for a small ...
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Whirlygig fin selection
I had originality planned to make the Whirlygig-38's fins from some 4 1/2 inch wide, 1/4" thick wood that I liberated from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Upon closer inspection, I found this is not plywood. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I don't trust it for the big 'Gig. I'm leaning ...
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AeroTech Offers EFC-1 Electronic Forward Closure in Kit Form
AeroTech is offering its EFC-1? Electronic Forward Closure? recovery system deployment device in kit form as part no. EFC-1K at $99.90 suggested retail. The EFC is a timer-based electronic recovery system deployment module that attaches to the forward end of any AeroTech, Dr. Rocket? or R ...
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The "Quadra-tator" potato cannon
Bill Gurstelle reports on a machine (spud) gun seen at Maker Faire 2009. Four tanks, crank operated, gravity fed magazine, 20 spuds/min., 85 mph muzzle velocity. All I wanna know is WHERE'S THE VIDEO!
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Cheap access to space: lessons from past breakthroughs
The X-33 is one example of how expensive efforts to lower the cost of space access have been. Read Article Here
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Video of my Level-2 flight
I got my Level-2 at LDRS2000 outside Orangeburg, SC. My Great Googly Moogly flew on a J350 that was generously provided free by AeroTech. Recovery was controlled by a GWiz altimeter with motor backup. My paperwork signed by Jeff Taylor. Find more videos like this on Our Planet
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"Space Race: Project Orion" on YouTube
The 5-part documentary on Project Orion (the original atomic pulse detonation project) is now avaialble on YouTube. You can access the playlist here . I also embedded it below. These are highly recommended! You can see all 25 of my Project Orion posts (including this one) by following the tag ...
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Black Knight Rocket Car in action
The Black Knight: Hybrid Rocket RC Car blog has photos of the hybrid motor mounted in the car and a video of the first run.
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Whirlygig 38 progress and doubts
Well, I've charged ahead with the simple part of the project, that is, cutting tube, gluing fins, etc. The attached photo shows the fins attached and, for no particular reason, a chunk of 38mm tubing dry fit. The fins were epoxied in place and then I added a thick fillet of Gorilla Glue on the ...
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Another online CP calculator
For those who don't want to buy a rocket simulation package or download a free one, here is a quick and dirty CP calculator based on Stine's Handbook of Model Rocketry . Hat tip to The EGE .
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Project Orion
Below is a youtube video series on Project Orion. I have yet to watch all of the videos. The best part of Project Orion is the fact that it could, with proven technology and reasonably small costs, send people to Mars and beyond in style. Indeed manned missions to Saturn and Jupiter could also ...
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"Space Race - Race to the Moon - Vol. 1"
I really liked Volume 2 on Project Orion , so I suspect Volume 1 is also good. Haven't looked at these yet.
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alt.Whirlygig-24
KenKzak made some suggestions in a comment to my previous Whirlygig-38 post so I decided to try some variations of my original 24mm version . I want to fly: One with the main tube shortened by the width of two fin roots and with the same fin dimensions (3" root, 5" span). One with the ...
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Signs of the Black Rock Desert (update)
Update: Check out the links provided in the first comment. The following was a sign indicating the Navy's interests in the Black Rock Desert.
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Project 463 revisited
Launched at FireBALLS-005 in August 1995, Project 463 was the biggest sport rocket ever flown at 42' and 1200 lbs. It flew on a P and 2 N's in the booster and a single N in the sustainer, although the sustainer didn't ignite. This huge project was built by Chuck Sackett in his Florida shop. It ...
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Launch Report 2009-3 (update)
Location: Central Sod Farm, Centreville, MD ( MDRA ESL-133) Weather: 80's, calm to a light breeze, no thunder bumpers Total flights: Today - 8; YTD - 24 Total motors: Today - 8; YTD - 29 Another great day, with the wife and pooch attending. It started right with no wait at the Bay Bridge. Then, we ...
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Update on my Whirlygig-24 variations (minor tweaks)
Based on the performance of my shortened Whirlygig-24 at yesterday's launch , I've adjusted my plans. All use 2' diameter tubes and fly on 24mm motors (some dimensions updated to reflect the fin material I acquired) : Baseline version: tube length = 22", fin root = 3", fin span = 5", fin angle ...
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ss-25 "Topol"
Single 550 KT warhead. _________________________________________ *Most recent Google searches to this web page: (Google robot please note this is not spam.) high power model rocket photos high power rocketry high power rocket motors 3420 mph rocket how many g force (I love this one! If you read ...
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Video of the Quad Pod II lander
Just noticed you can embed videos from flickr. If I knew this, I forgot. Anyway, this is Dave Hein's gyro-stabilized rocket. More reference links can be found here .
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Whirlygig-24 building and re-thinking
I updated my previous post earlier today but now think I'll just re-post the next round of status and thinking out loud. Baseline version: status = flown; tube length = 22", fin root = 3", fin span = 5", fin angle =120 deg from top; 13 flights using D12, E9, EM F20, and F24 motors 'Shortie': ...
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ROCKETS Magazine, June 2009 (Saturn V issue)
The lead story in this issue is Steve Eves' 1:10 Scale Saturn V. Having attended the record-setting launch, I'll be setting this one in my 'short stack' of favorite rocket magazines. The two articles are well written and have some excellent photos. My favorite is the sun rising over the Eastern ...
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NAR/TRA files suit for fee recovery
Rocketry Planet has an article on the lawsuit, including a download of the entire 118 page source document. Here's the intro/summary: Attorneys for the Tripoli Rocketry Association and the National Association of Rocketry today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ...
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Info on Dr. Rocket's modular aluminum rocket
A while back, I posted about N-Power without epoxy? .One of the rockets I mentioned was Michael "Dr. Rocket" Reiner's modular aluminum rocket. I learned the following from Point 39 Productions video of LDRS XVII (Bonneville, August 1998): The nose, upper body, and fin can were all aluminum ...
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Interesting large cluster
Here is Brian Weese's Purple Haze , which flew at LDRS XVII in the Bonneville Salt Flats back in August 1998. It flew on an H180 and 60 Estes 'C' motors arrayed along the entire body. It looked like the central 'H' and many (most? all?) of the 'C's lit. It cork screwed a bit and separated, but was ...
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"Better science through miniature golf"
The Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY now features the Rocket Park Mini Golf course, where kids can learn space physics while playing miniature golf. The course features actual Atlas and Titan rockets that have been there since the 1964 World's Fair. (via the NYTimes.com with hat tip ...
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Old Photos
This is a rocket I flew back in March of 2004. My friend Peter and I got a lot of ribbing from the guys as the vehicle was constructed almost entirely from sewer pipe. The motor utilized an unrestricted burning grain, which basically means that it lept off the ground like a bat out of ...
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I'm getting ready for Southern Thunder this weekend!
I'm looking forward to the "Southern Thunder" launch this weekend. It looks like we will have good weather. However it will be hot. So if you are attending make sure to bring plenty of water and sun screen. I have been in a build frenzy over the last two weeks. I have my Competitor 5 "The Max ...
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How long is yours?
I was contemplating a 24mm 'H'-powered fin shredder. So, just how long is a 24mm 'H' anyway? Well, the 24/250 motor, which will give you either an H200-13 or J365-15, is a mere 15" long. If this isn't enough, try a 19.25" H470-P.
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More Old Photos
These are pictures of the very first rocket that I launched at the RRS back in 2002. I hadn't bought a lathe yet and the motors were constructed primarily out of PVC pipe and fittings. It was the largest PVC motor that I have ever constructed and the last before moving on to fully ...
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Suborbital Sounding Rocket Goes POP!
I think this launch happened about a year ago. The rocket suffered an anomaly and was destroyed by the RSO. It doesn't sound like what you might expect a rocket explosion to sound like. It sounds more like a firecracker!
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Long Awaited Big Yeller Onboard Video
Tripoli MN finally posted the onboard video of Big Yeller to YouTube!
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Team Prometheus Balloon to Near Space
Team Prometheus is a team working on the N-Prize.
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The ginormous Stratospheric Dreams post
At R2K's request, I went ape shit with the screen snaps. But first, some details about the rocket: The project concept and motors were by Mike Ward and the construction was by Chuck Sackett. 'Flew' after BALLS-005 on its own waiver. Motor was 'S' class. The 320 lbs of propellant was ...
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Scary near miss and a lesson on cluster ignition
This was a full scale SAAB that flew at LDRS 17 on a central M and four I's. The I's lit and lobbed the rocket off the pad. The M then ignited when it was oriented in the wrong direction. Lesson: ground start the main motor and airstart the outboards. Oh, yeah, this is also why you have set-off ...
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Project 463 construction details
For historical purposes, I decided I'd capture some close-ups of the beast. In order, nosecone-to-thrust plate (L-to-R, top-to-bottom): nosecone on playa, nose section in the shop, upper sustainer body (2' Sonotube), lower sustainer body (four 10" aluminum tubes and plates), fin can with 4" motor ...
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My Massive Gassive was featured in the EMRR Corner
EMRR Corner , a regular feature in Apogee Component's Newsletter, highlights rocketry material from, as expected, EMRR's site. The theme of Newsletter #235's EMRR Corner was Let's Cluster Some Motors . The center photo in this Corner shows the business end of the still unpainted 10 x 24mm Massive ...
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ACK!
The forecast for tomorrow's launch now calls for a 80% chance of thunder bumpers. Well, I shouldn't complain. The first 3 launches of this year were perfect and all of last year was great.
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APCP cost may be rising
Rocketry Planet has learned that, due "increasingly limited supply" of surplus ammonium perchlorate (AP) and the "serious decline" in the quality of surplus AP, AeroTech has announced they will be immediately adding a 10% surcharge on all dealer and distributor motor orders. The MSRP remains the ...
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First Day at Southern Thunder
It's hot! I got every thing setup. We should be flying soon. I am taking a break to cool off.
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It's not 'research' but what is it?
Last year, I ordered a 3-pack of F24 RMS loads that was missing a ton of parts including 2 of the 3 delay assemblies. I contacted AeroTech and, after emailing some evidence, they promptly replaced the reload pack. I quickly decided that I really liked this motor. Later in the year, I picked up two ...
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1st Day of Southern Thunder is in the Books
It was a awesome day. Very hot but lots of flights. I flew my rocket Bones to 3,892' on a AT I435. Here is a picture of Scott Taylor's Armagetin Rockets leaving the pad on a K1000 sparky motor. Were still looking for the rocket. The main came out on top and it drifted a couple of mile away.
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A rocket for the desktop..a wooden desk, not the one on your computer
Check out this cool General Dynamics 'nut dish'. Photo embedded from Telstar Logistics; originally seen on Dinosaurs and Robots .
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3000 posts = a lot of hot air
I just noticed my previous post was number 3000. It appears I'm doing my share to raise the noise floor of the Web.
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Saturday 06.20.2009
The NARAMS ECRM launch was on despite the threat of rain and afternoon thunderstorms. The weather reports looked like there might be breaks in the rain so I staged my stuff last night. This morning I decided to bag it anyway. It was poring here so loading the SUV would be delayed. Then, I figured ...
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We Choose the Moon
This should be cool. For 4 days starting on July 11, We Choose the Moon will provide a real-time audio and video recreation of the Apollo 11 mission. There are various ways to share and follow the action. I added it to my Twitter feed.
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Max Attack just flew!
I just flew the Max Attack to 8,920'. It was recovered on the field successfully. The motor was a Loki M900 Red Propellant with a 6 second burn time.
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The Telstar song
I saw this on Clark Lindsey's Space for All blog . Aside from the significance of the song, it provides a nice montage of space exploration photos:
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Stratospheric Dreams
One of my personal favorite rocket attempts of all time was this one; an S motor attempt, that sadly failed in a CATO. Simmed to hit over 100,000 feet (claimed at 115,000), the most impressive part of the project has to be the quality of the parts used. At all times this rocket was built like a ...
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Research 3 flight
I few my 4" rocket Research 3 this afternoon with the new 3" booster section. I had a K800 BB motor in it. I also had the camera payload. I got a nice video from it. It turned in a respectable 6,200'.
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Photo hosting hiccup - fixed
Blogger experienced a photo hosting problem that zapped some of the photos that I loaded during the middle of last week. They should all be back now. My thanks to Chrisn for commenting. Without people letting me know, problems like this could go unnoticed for a long time.
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Third Day at Southern Thunder
Scott Taylors XST Triangle rocket is on the pad. Whit R.
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Carl Hicks One Third Scale Patriot
We just flew it on an M2500 Blue Thunder
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My Ultimate 4x29SS Flight Ended In Disaster
I flew my Ultimate 4x29SS today with a full load of 2xH180's and I was going to airstart 2xG79's. I had a Missileworks RRC2 setup for dual deployment and a Perfectflite mini timer for the airstarts. I flew my Ultimate 4x29SS today with a full load of 2xH180's and I was going to airstart 2xG79's. ...
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99G74 completed
Here's the complete motor, showing the epoxy plug. I borrowed an idea from the world of PVC sugar motors and drilled holes in the case above the grain. These provide glue rivets on the plug. (click the tag to see the previous post)
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Rocket rebuild
I recently dusted off one of my oldest scratch rockets from my early BAR days. The body is a 2" mailing tube, the nose cone is balsa turned on a hand drill, and fins were made from scrap wood from a doll house kit I assembled for my daughter. When I looked at the fins and gasped. After a couple of ...
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Toypedo rockets, maybe
After many years, I recently found our Toypedo. Its V2-like looks screams rocket . I also recently got an online coupon from Plaza Artist Materials . I seldom buy anything there but I needed some more thin masking tape so I printed the coupon and popped over. I left with my tape and some 2-part ...
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"It's been far too long since any human visited the place."
The post title is the last line of Taylor Dinerman's article in today's space review entitled Why is it so hard to go back to the Moon? He points out the political, and funding differences between the '60's and today. And that it will likely be 51 years between the last landing and the next (at ...
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HPR on "The Space Show"
Mark Canepa, author of “ Modern High-Powered Rocketry ”, will be this week's guest on Dr. David Livingston's The Space Show .
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How to behave on an Internet forum
As an ex-TRF moderator, I just couldn't resist posting this video. (hat tip to UncleVanya, a mod on Rocketry Planet). Internet: Useful Tips : How To Behave On An Internet Forum
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Mold making madness
I found a suitably sized cardboard container and lined it with plastic to contain the liquid latex. I also devised a method to suspend the Toypedo over the mold. Earlier, I had checked the volume of material required but I obviously didn't hit 'recalculate'. Mid-stream (the stream being the mixed ...
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Breakthrough propulsion references
Picked up from Clark Lindsey (I musta been snoozin' as I missed the Next Big Future posts): A 2004 Air Force report Advance Propulsion Study (pdf) Nuclear DC-X : Recent Nuclear Thermal Rocket Proposals - Next Big Future - June.17.09 Blast Wave Accelerator: Space Launch System - Next ...
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Big day in the RLV and Space Transport News
More missile-aneous stuff from Clark . Haven't read them...yet... Asabooster CD004 (pdf) - "a conceptual design for a [VTHL] reusable rocket vehicle able to lift 152 lbs with a total delta velocity of 10000 feet per second vertically (not taking gravity and aerodynamic losses into account)" ...
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Nuclear DC-X
I posted links to the source article earlier today, but thought I'd capture the diagram of the proposed Nuclear DC-X/LANTR SSTO Heavy Cargo Lifter. Another diagram shows this vehicle in scale next to the Saturn V and Shuttle. This would be an interesting build.
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Toypedo, extracted
There are a few minor flaws, but the mold turned out OK. Hmmm, I wonder if I have enough scrap fiberglass to build a shell?
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Selene falls slowly towards the Moon
SELENE (Selenological and Engineering Explorer) JAXA Wiki
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First Toypedo half-shell: FAIL (update)
I tried 2 layers of light fiberglass and used the Toypedo to compress the fiberglass against the mold. The quality is bad, but I guess not that bad for a first try. I need enough cloth so I don't scrimp. I also need to fill the bubbles in the mold. Finally, the strength is poor so more layers ...
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Nuclear DC-X RockSim model
BT60 based, 18mm mount, plenty stable
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An add to the Internet etiquette guide
When tagging uploaded photos, don't apply a keyword to every photo just because it applies to one of them (or even a few). This will not help you find the photo(s) in question and will piss everyone else off. (Of course, people on the Internet generally don't care if their actions piss someone ...
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The way I'll remember Farrah

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Nasa Photo of the Day
See the full res image here This has got to be one of the most impressive images I have ever seen. Sarychev Volcano A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev volcano (Russia’s Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage ...
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When it's 3th and long, you sometimes fall back to Plan B
And, for NASA, Plan B is Shuttle-C (still? again?). ZZakk's Lab point's out that the timing of this realization is odd. That is, it was revealed during the Augustine Commission's review of Ares I. Take that Team Direct. I'm shaking my head. I am sure there is a down side (there always is). ...
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Successful Tests of New Russian Rocket Engine
New Russian liquid-fuel rocket engine 14D23/RD-0124A, built for “Soyuz-2-16” rocket carrier, passed first tests, conditions of which were beyond operation conditions. During last four tests within warranty limits on thrust and fuel component ratio, the engine worked for over 3000 ...
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Lensman is coming to the big screen...YES!
io9 reports that efforts are well underway for a Lensman movie. I'm not a huge sci-fi novel fanatic, but E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman series is my second favorite after Dune . That means a screen adaptation will could either become one of my favorite movies or suck big time (unfortunately, the ...
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Virtuality goes boom 183 times (or something like that)
I have been watching Virtuality , a sci-fi TV movie on Fox, and didn't take note when the name Orion was first mentioned. I was later surprised when I heard that the ship, the Phaeton, was powered by nuclear pulse detonation, ala the 'real' Project Orion . This played a very minor, almost ...
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AMATEURS AND ROCKETS-1
I was asked recently if I had lost interest in rocketry. Nothing could be further from the truth; I love rocketry as much as ever and can't foresee ever losing my interest in it. Time constraints have kept me from actually doing much, but I'm always keeping my eyes open for anything rocket related. ...
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OpenRocket - a new rocket design/simulation package
OpenRocket is a free, Java-based, open-source simulator program. It features graphical design, 6-DOF modeling, wind simulation, and graphing. The software was written by Sampo Niskanen for his Master's thesis at the Helsinki University of Technology. Hat tip to Clark 'Space for All' Lindsey .
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If ya' don't bring your battery...
...ya' can't take photos of your day on the Chesapeake.
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Toypedo update
Well, since my last Toypedo update, I formed two paper mache shells and am building a rocket from them. It is going to be ugly with a capital UGLY. I may or may not reveal its ugliness. Although they are the way to go, I'm not going to be building a fiberglass version any time soon. If I need ...
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My OnBoard Rocket Video From Southern Thunder 2009
Find more videos like this on Our Planet
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RockSim vs Barrowman vs the Toypedo (update)
Last night, I was making a RockSim model of another strange design (more later) and ran into the often asked question: RockSim or Barrowman? As an aside, RockSim can either compute the CP using the venerable Barrowman equations or using a proprietary method that accounts for some additional factors ...
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More "The Big Picture" shots from space
The big picture
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From rockets to rocks
Steve Jurvetson has handed over the reins of the Photo Synthesis blog. That means no more rockets there for now. The latest post explores Rocks that ROCK !
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A look at the Max Launch Abort System
You can read about the actual Max Launch Abort System over on ZZakk's Lab . I've seen several people wonder about this thing's static stability...and it ain't good. Luckily, professional rocketeers can apply active stabilization. Here's a quick-look at a 1:72 scale version. Methinks some added ...
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First Multistage Rocket: Complete!
I just finished my first mid-power dual-stage rocket! I've built several low-power ones on Este's dash-zero motors way back when, but now I'm venturing into the world of electronic ignition, misfires and lawndarts. I've got a small electronic timer that activates 2 seconds after the G-switch is ...
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Uranium Found on the Moon
By Clara Moskowitz : 29 June 200905:59 pm ET Uranium exists on the moon, according to new data from a Japanese spacecraft. The findings are the first conclusive evidence for the presence of the radioactive element in lunar dirt, the researchers said. They announced the discovery recently at the ...
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High speed video of the inside of a water rocket
Air Command has acquired a Casio Exilim FC-100 and have documented the dynamics inside the chamber of a water rocket. Cool!
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Presenting the Stink Bomb
Here's my paper mache version of the Toypedo rocket. The quality of the surface stank from the start and continued to deteriorate as, I guess, the middle layers totally dried. I started to try to clean it up but ended up throwing in the towel. I then started wondering about paint and a name. ...
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Shuttle-to-DIRECTv3
Just ran across the YouTube version of the v3 animation:
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Warning: Fireworks can blow up your mannequin's head
Via the Consumer Products Safety Commission's (CPSC) Fourth of July fireworks safety conference near the National Mall in Washington.
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Apogee Newsletter #238 explains the Toypedo
I had mentioned how the default Barrowman CP of the Toypedo was messed up. Apogee Newsletter #238 not only discusses the differences between the Barrowman and RockSim methods but has an example that specifically address the issue at hand (see excerpt below). With a wide body and a relatively skinny ...
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The Most Powerful Telecommunications Satellite Ever Launched. Will Enable Satellite Communication From Your Smartphone!
Lift-off of the Ariane 5 ECA of flight V189 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana on its mission to place the heaviest and most powerful telecommunications satellite ever launched, Terrastar 1, into geostationary transfer orbit. Deployment of TerreStar-1 Marks Significant Milestone for both ...
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Another animation: NASA Shuttle-derived Sidemount Heavy Launch Vehicle Concept
Universe Today's article on NASA's 'plan-B' features this nice animation. Switch to HD and you can read the text. (via Clark Lindsey , who does the best job of scouring the net for space news)
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Live Tweeting from LDRS
Ack, I never thought I'd use that term. Anyway, Rocketry Planet is providing a feed of LDRS28-related Tweets. So far, I've been underwhelmed by Twitter but maybe this will prove interesting. Brett Keller is reporting live and here are his 1st two posts: tomorrow will be muddy but hopefully ...
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2nd test of the InterPlaNet
IEEE Spectrum reports that researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder performed the 2nd test of JPL's Delay Tolerant Internet. This test involved sending images from the ISS to their control center in Colorado. The next proof-of-concept will be performed in October using the the Deep ...
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Rocket-powered and mosquito-killing lasers
The current IEEE Spectrum has a nice article on the quest for 100+ KW, solid state, missile-killing lasers. One of the systems described is the Airborne Laser (ABL) . This 1-MW beast, which fills a 747, is a flowing gas laser. These are "powered by burning chemical fuels like those that drive ...
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LDRS 28 - a mud bowl
Rocketry Planet has posted more details on the first day of, er, flying. As Brett Keller reported via Twitter , the field conditions are terrible. Darrell has posted some photos, including the following one, which shows some rocket vehicle extraction units (RVEU).
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Goonball XL5 review on EMRR
Somehow, the fact that this review had been posted slipped under the Dungeon's radar.
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Ham
If I invest hundreds of dollars in a minimum diameter supersonic G-motor rocket that ends up going to nearly the end of the troposphere (just a slight exaggeration), it goes without saying that I will lose a lot of money. So I realized that it would be in my best interest to study amateur radio ...
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Tilt sensors
Here's a link to a source for $2 tilt sensors. These appear to employ small metal balls and should basically operate like a mercury switch. In the old days, mercury switches were used for electronic staging. I've heard people had used them for apogee detection but in my experience they would ...
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Continuing composite saga
OK so I've worked in chemical engineering-related R&D for almost 15 years now. As such I can attest to the fact that, when you're pushing the limits of your personal or collective knowledge, things can fail. My most recent rocket science failure stemmed from a) the hasty use of b) a handy resin ...
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M750 build progress
Can ya tell it's a holiday weekend and I'm fired up?! Happy early Independence Day by the way, my vast readership. Last week I used JB Weld to bond the 98mm Slimline motor retainer to the end of the 48" long booster section and this worked well. I should also note that it took me roughly 20 minutes ...
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Success on the most expensive part yet
I'm, like, sorta happy... or something! I test peeled some of the film this morning and the part had obviously cured. When I cut the Mylar™ film free it popped right off exposing a virtually perfect surface! There are still some surface voids in the resin but far fewer than when I first ...
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Messer-Fo-Shizzle officially DOA
I finally decided to rebuild the Messer-Fo-Shizzle after it failed to deploy at Red Glare VI . Well, the news was worse than expected. I thought I'd have to trim and extend the upper body, reattach the two fin units that shredded off and re-tack the motor mount(s). It turns out that all the foam ...
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My simple Independence Day post
I hope everyone has a great day! (image courtesy of Res Communis )
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Happy 4th of July!
Happy 4th of July to all from the Bayourat and Family. Stay safe and enjoy the fireworks.
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LDRS 28 photos (updated)
I'm adding to this thread as new sources are found. The latest will be on top. (posted 7/11 12:22 AM ) And, although only Day 1 is currently listed, ROCKETS Magazine's albums should provide the best photographic coverage. (They should have a video teaser soon also.) Their site is slow at the ...
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BBQ, beer and boom

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M750 = Em-Sem-Fity or EM-SEM-FITY!?
I've decided to channel my rap alter-ego and name the as-yet-to-be-named-vessel-under-construction "Em-Sem-Fity" or "M750" as 50 Cent would utter it. Which logo do you prefer: mixed or all caps?: You can vote via comment below. And please do.
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Ait Command's latest clustered, staged, video water rocket
Real time, high speed (which makes the video slo-mo), and on-board footage from the Acceleron V: All the details can be found here .
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It must be video Monday - on-board Shuttle footage

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Steve Jurvetson's view of new-space
CNET has an article on Steve Jurvetson, High Power Rocketeer and managing partner of the venture capital firm Draper Fisher and Jurvetson . The article covers his interest in electric vehicles and his belief in 'fringe science'. Here's what he says about 'new space': He's also a fan of space ...
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July 16th is the 40th Anniversary of the Launch of Apollo 11
For the next 10 days. The Bayourat Rocketry Blog will count down with interesting Apollo 11 facts, photos, and stories. Please comment with your thoughts and experiences.
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The Greatest Machine Ever Built
Forty Eight years ago (May 25, 1961) U.S. president John Kennedy announced the goal of landing Americans on the Moon by the end of the decade. Kennedy's ambitious speech triggered a nearly unprecedented peacetime technological mobilization and one result was the Saturn V moon rocket . Its ...
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Did You Know?
"During the cold war, the code to unlock nuclear missiles was 00000000. Strategic Air Command thought the eight-digit combinations necessary to launch ICBMs were for [dumbbells], the kind of fraidy-cats who engage the safety on their personal firearms. So the combination for all the missiles was ...
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Twitter disappoints, again (update)
First, let me say that I appreciated Brett Keller's efforts to provide updates from LDRS 28 (his Tweets can be found here ). I enjoyed hearing some feedback from the field. So, this is only a criticism of the media (more its application), not the user(s). When I heard there would be real-time ...
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MLAS launch tomorrow
NASA Wallops will launch the Max Launch Abort System between 5:45 and 10:00 AM tomorrow. The 33' tall, 45k lb vehicle is only expected to reach about a mile and should last less than 2 minutes. You can watch the webcast or follow the launch on Twitter . (hat tip to Maryland Weather , NASA photo) ...
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LDRS 28 coverage reminder
I've continued to add links as I found them. More to come. Have some I missed?
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MLAS launch (update!)
Twitter indicates it happened on schedule but doesn't cover the flight or any results. Anyone know if there was a webcast? I hope a video crops up somewhere. Well, NASA Watch was watching and found an article, with the following photo, in the PilotOnline.com . Click it!
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Space Oddity, times four
Clark Lindsey passes along news of a special moon walk release of multiple versions of David Bowie's Space Oddity , which was originally released nine days before Apollo 11’s Neil Armstrong and Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin Jr. took their giant leap. Here's a video for you Bowie fans.
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The Next Step. The Second Stage.
The second stage, S-II, would need about a million pounds of thrust and, if also powered by five engines, would call for the development of new 200,000-pound hydrogen-oxygen engines. When bids for the new J-2 engine were solicited, Pratt & Whitney with its ample liquid-hydrogen experience was ...
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MLAS launch video (update)
I see there is a video on NASA's Exploration/MLAS page (in the sidebar). You can also access it directly . Cool, I love low and slow. (I wish they made their videos embeddable.) There is more on this vehicle on NASAspaceflight.com . (links from Clark Lindsey's RLV blog ) The video, as expected, ...
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I didn't take note...
Of today's unique second in history: 12:34:56 7/8/09. In fact, I missed it twice!
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More MLAS launch shots
Via the AP and io9.
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Interesting solid rocket designs
"The disadvantage of a solid fuel rocket is the whole block of solid fuel must be located inside a though rocket motor. This implies an excess of weight and of volume. Perhaps there is a way to avoid this drawback." "One could smear a little bit of solid fuel inside the supersonic diverging nozzle ...
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Ad Astra plasma engine meets a critical milestone
OnOrbit reports that Ad Astra Rocket Company has successfully run the VX-200 VASIMR plasma engine's superconducting first stage at full power. This is an important step towards 39 day trips to Mars. (via NASA Watch )
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Flint's pyro book
Flint, a frequent contributor to the SugPro list, has compiled his rocket/pyro web pages into a .pdf-format e-book . It covers fireworks, BP and sugar motors, and related subjects/devices. Worth a look if you're interested in such things. Read the disclaimer and don't damage yourself or others, ...
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Air Turbo Rockets
Air Turbo Rockets (ATRs) are a cross between turbojets and rockets. The basic version is an air breathing engine augmented with a rocket gas generator that drives a turbine and in-turn an air compressor. However, the concept can be extended to an engine that can transition from this mixed mode to ...
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5 interesting searches from today
- uk high power rocketry - carbon fiber high powered rocket - G80-13 rocket engine description - Save Igloo - unstable high power rocket video I hope you all found what you wanted!
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DIY Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC)
For the space geek in all of us, Echoes of Apollo has plans to build your own AGC. (hat tip to falingtrea on TRF ) While you're at it, check out the main site .
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MLAS flying model - WANT
Sounds like Quest may have one in the works .
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An existing MLAS flying model! Yeah!
This is too awesome. TRF member wilostr reports on his completed, but not yet flown, 1:20, 19.8" dia. MLAS model (photo stolen from his post). Beautiful rocket. It is built to fly on 3 G80s, and has several custom 'chutes. He provided a RockSim model, whose CP is very close to the actual wind ...
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MLAS, MLAS, and more MLAS
I see YORF memebers Gus, sandman (who turned the components of the flying model from my previous post), and Peter "Rockets of the World" Alway got to attend the MLAS launch. It turns out the model builder, Tim Wilson, is the assistant director of NESC , which built the MLAS. You can read their ...
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How long a sidebar is too long?
I just added two new widgets to my sidebar, recent posts and recent comments. Dang, the sidebar is getting long. I'm going to leave these for a while and try to decide if their presence will help others navigate around or be useful to me. Since more than 10 posts are already displayed, I'm not ...
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Brain surgery ain't rocket science, but it appears rocket science might be brain surgery
And it isn't even April ...LOL.
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Sport Rocketry, July/August 2009
The main theme of this issue is NARCON 2009. Unfortunately, the descriptions of the sessions can only provide a hint of what was covered. I really would like to have seen the 'dumpster diving' session. There are good articles on GPS tracking and how to outfit your custom paint shop. Tom Beach ...
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"Untitled" Set to Launch!
It's embarrasing to have spent so much time and energy on a project you can't even come up with a creative name for. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. Later today I will be flying this rocket for the first time in its two-stage configuration. This is the moment of revelation. ...
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S-IVB The Third Stage or Earth Departur Stage
The S-IVB (sometimes S4b, always pronounced "ess four bee") was built by the Douglas Aircraft Company and served as the third stage on the Saturn V and second stage on the Saturn IB . It had one J-2 engine. For lunar missions it was fired twice: first for the orbit insertion after second stage ...
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D-Fusion Bomb, Block 2
Well, the first version was underpowered on a D12 and unstable. I still am a tad confused but, instead of taxing my feeble brain, I decided more fin area was in order. So I added some quick-and-dirty basswood fins on an extended motor tube. It's actually heavier than the original and has margin of ...
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EM-SEM-FITY fin attach
For months now I'd planned to reinforce the 1/4" fins with at least one fascia layer of carbon fiber/epoxy prior to attaching them to the booster. I mentally devised several layup scenarios ranging from vacuum bagging individual fins through stacking all four, stratified, and curing simultaneously ...
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Ist eine Rakaten fantastisch!
Sorry I was channeling Brüno for a moment there... So I pieced the beast together and it's looking just as I'd hoped it would: The metal-tipped, filament-wound carbon fiber nose cone doesn't quite fit yet and, since it's the single most expensive part, I plan to finish that fitting ...
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Disaster Strikes
I can't get over my absent-mindedness of yesterday. I'm embarrassed to even mention it, but I never even armed the timer before counting down and launching all my hard work up into the sky... It was especially embarrasing since we had some friends over to witness the flight. One thing I have ...
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Nose section of new project
P.S. That's 8" in diameter.
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Free-range Unreasonable Rocket spotted in the Mojave
Paul Breed briefly reports that his untethered Blue Ball flew and landed well. He provides photographic evidence and says he'll post more when his body temperature returns to normal. That's awesome Paul, congratulations! Hat tip to George Katz for finding and passing along the video.
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One down and one to go (blog format discussion)
OK, I'm dumping the list of recent posts but for now am keeping the comments list. In what should be the top comment at post time *, The EGE confirms and reminds me that the recent posts list is redundant. If you have to scroll through the sidebar to find the list...might just as well scroll ...
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Is the life expectancy of the completed ISS only 6 years?
This probably isn't news to people who paid attention and could count, but it appears that unless additional funding is sought, that is the case. The Washington Post points out that the Station will be complete and fully manned by the end of next year (2010) and the current plans are to begin ...
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Falcon 1 launch today (maybe - update)
In Steve Jurvetson's post on his visit to the Russian Space Agency , which itself was interesting, he notes that a Falcon 1 launch is set to go this afternoon. The launch window opens at 7pm EDT and the webcast will start at 6:40. The Falcon 1 will be launching Malaysia's RazakSAT. Read more about ...
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What it will take to land on the Moon. The concept of a LEM
A young engineer by the name of John Hobalt came up with the concept that it would require two separate space craft. The Apollo program was moving forward with the one big rocket concept. When John risked his whole career and went over everyones head to prove his concept was the only way. The LEM ...
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Falcon 1 launch
Posted July 13, 2009 - 20:36 PDT T-+:00:00:00 We have liftoff! Posted July 13, 2009 - 20:40 PDT Kestrel fires for over 6 minutes on its way to orbit. Posted July 13, 2009 - 20:46 PDT T+:00:09:50 We have SECO. RazakSAT in parking orbit Good job SpaceX team. Of ...
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Videos added to yesterday's posts
Aw heck, I could link to them but since embedding uses no resources... And while I'm at it...
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8" MLAS construction notes, part 1
I'm writing this to document how I'm building the nose section. If it works I'll use this for part of an EMRR review. You can follow the MLAS tag if you aren't familiar with what the real one looks like. The ~2.5" body section and shoulder shown in the photo is 8.25" Sonotube. I really could have ...
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The Command and Service Modules
The Command Module is the most complex piece of hardware in the entire stack. The Command Module has a double structure, comprised of the cabin and the outer wall. For heat shielding, the outer wall is made of stainless steel brazed honeycomb between steel alloy face sheets. It ...
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8" MLAS construction notes, part 2
Still struggling with the internal structure. Decided to build for 38mm 'G' motors. They are stubbier, which can't hurt in this stubby design. Plus they give the option for a G185 should this sucker get too heavy for a mere G64/71/77/80. Here's what the nose section looks like now.
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Saturn V, Lunar Module and Command Module cutaway drawings
Via Flightglobal: Saturn V Lunar Module Command Module Includes links to .pdf files.
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Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969

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Space X does it again!
This was the launch of "RazakSAT," a 180kg sattelite described as a "remote sensing" craft. It includes a solid camera, and was placed in a "NEqO" or Near Equitorial Orbit. Why? Because they want to see things in that area. Source
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Name for "Untitled"
Because of Saturday's major disaster, I thought of a name that should suit this rocket. "Double-Trouble" is indicative of its double-stage characteristic, not to mention its miserable life-story.
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T-~09:16:00
Crew resting for morning liftoff.
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We Choose the Moon - reminder
Remember, We Choose the Moon is providing a real-time audio and video recreation of the Apollo 11 mission. There are various ways to share and follow the action. I added it to my Twitter feed.
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We Have Lift Off!
Lift off of Apollo 11. Forty years ago today those are the words that every person watching there television remembers hearing. But what was it like for the three men who road the elevator to the top of a thirty story tall rocket. A rocket that was full of millions of pounds of explosive fuel. ...
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Trinity Site history
Courtesy of White Sands Missile Range The first atomic bomb was tested at Trinity Site on July 16, 1945. Most people are familiar with this and the fact that the National Historic Landmark is on the north end of White Sands Missile Range. However, most are not familiar with the Trinity ...
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Email from TRA RE. continued conflicts with the BATF
This is a letter sent out recently to certain TRA members. "TRA Prefects: I would like to urgently obtain some information related to any inappropriate BATFE actions which you may be aware of since the court judgment was considered "final" (May 15, 2009). I have already been informed of several ...
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Apollo 11 in The Big Picture
40 Apollo 11 photos from The Big Picture
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Do you know where Apollo 11 was?
Well, at this date 40 years ago, Apollo 11 was about half way there. Landing will be in a bit over 78 hours.
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Blue Scout
Here's a nice photo of a Blue Scout. Click the photo to get to the source. A bigger version is available.
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The top 10 Saturn V models
OObject presents their Top 10 Moon Rocket Models . The link goes directly to the undisputed (by my criteria at least) #1 entry - Steve Eves' 1:10 scale Saturn V . You can navigate forward and backward from there. Dr. Zooch's 'ant scale' model and Apogee's 1:70 kit are also represented. Missing, ...
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Falcon 1 photos
Clark Lindsey relays SpaceX's photo gallery from their successful Falcon 1 launch. Here's my favorite:
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8" MLAS construction notes, part 3
Since my last post, I finalized the decision to go with a 38mm mount. I cut three rings with my Rotozip, each of which was imperfect. The first one, despite 2 measurements, was too small. :expletive deleted: Luckily, I can use it inside the cone's shoulder. The next one was a different diameter at ...
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Quote of the day
From Mark Whittington regarding comments from Norman Augustine, who is leading the commission that is reviewing NASA's exploration plans. He means to say things like going back to the Moon cost what they cost, not what some people wish they would cost.
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New Lunar Landing Site Photos. First Photos of Landers in 40 years!
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has returned its first imagery of the Apollo moon landing sites. The pictures show the Apollo missions' lunar module descent stages sitting on the moon's surface, as long shadows from a low sun angle make the modules' locations evident.The Lunar ...
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Hmmm, tempting
Cardboardsafari.com is offering a retro sci-fi cardboard Astro Rocket. Laser cut components, 9" W x 21" H. A couple of tubes and some paper skin and you'd have a nice, fat, light rocket.
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Progress galore
Alright so I masked off the fins and applied the black high-temp epoxy fillets: I had a scare while preparing the epoxy. It's approaching its shelf life of 6 months and the curative is yellowing. According to Dave Triano the resin:curative ratio is critical so he provides the former in a ...
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Launch Report 2009-4
Location: Great Meadow, The Plains, VA ( NOVAAR ) Weather: Min 70's to 80's, wind 5 - 10 mph Total flights: Today - 9; YTD - 33 Total motors: Today - 11; YTD - 40 This was a great day, although a little windy. Saw several friends, including Skycopp. Rocket Jones and Maelstrom were missing or ...
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Amateur Space Access Timeline
Creamy Robot Goodness presents the following Amateur Space Access timeline. I won't offer any opinions except to say all the items are of interest and/or importance to rocketry enthusiasts.
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This just in...
The entire phenolic/plywood/carbon fiber/Kevlar/motor retainer booster section weighs only 4 pounds!! [G's jaw drops] Now it's into the curing oven for a one hour of post-cure on the fin layups:
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Really good Saturn V article
Via Jerry Irvine on Rocketry Planet: 'One small step for man,' one massive rocket project for engineers, LA Times, July 18, 2009 . The young scientists who created the Saturn V rocket that powered Aldrin and Armstrong to the moon on Apollo 11 in July 1969 were the unsung heroes in the space ...
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Big automotive primer session
After two previously failed car paint attempts the stars finally aligned today. I had queued up six parts that had been sanded and ready to spray prime with Martin Senour Crossfire primer. I carefully sprayed each part with their cleaner, wiped each down, and allowed all to dry. I then sprayed ...
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Boring progress update
I cut the motor tube for the 8" MLAS. Wow. The replacement cone for the Stink Bomb is installed. It looks even goofier now. I scrounged a suitable plug for the base of the launch tube and packed an extension wire for the igniter. I attached a screen snap from the video of yesterday's flight. ...
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Moonfest at Moffett Field
Steve Jurvetson reports from Moonfest with a photo of one of his flights. He says 1,500 spectators attended. There was, of course, a lot more than rocketry going on. But, nothing better. Flickr user LauraAtkins has a gallery from the event. Here's a line of Saturn V's ready to go. I hope they had ...
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Plane Crazy in Mojave
The Mojave Air and Space Port celebrated Apollo 11 this weekend also. Mojave Skies reports XCOR has their Rocket Racer and the original EZ-Rocket, Masten displayed their Zombie lander, and the Mojave Desert Advanced Rocket Society (MDARS) had a bunch of sport rockets on display. Follow the link ...
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Ancient rockets, revisited (again)
Erik Gates reports on another show that he has helped out with. He just returned from a photo shoot at Lucerne for an episode of R. Lee “Gunny” Ermey's new series Lock N’ Load . In the 3 days we launched 5 ancient Chinese bamboo rockets and 2 sets of 200 rocket arrow Hwachas ...
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"That's One Small Step for Man" 40 years ago today!
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the surface of the moon 40 years ago today.
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LAUNCH Magazine won't return to print
Sadly, their efforts to rise from the grave have been staked by the economy. You can read the official statement on their site.
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Touchdown
The Eagle has had landed!!!
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Apollo 11 surface activties on a baseball diamond

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Missing Stink Bomb photo
I guess if I forgot it, I can't expect anyone else to miss it...
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"The Summer of Hell" in Texas
When I saw this photo on Frankensteam's Log , I was sure it was photoshopped. The blogger promised it wasn't but I still didn't believe him/her. The NOAA GOES web addy, date, and time were conveniently logged on the image, so I checked for myself. Sure enough, there is the weather demon blowing ...
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Incredible "amateur" discovery on Jupiter
Amateur image of dark spot, now thought to be the result of an impact. Astronomy is second to none among hobbies where amateurs regularly make discoveries. If you get an 8 - 12 inch telescope, live in a fairly good location, and perhaps build you own enclosure... all you need then is a CCD, ...
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After nearly 5 years of posting, Google has decided R2K should be suspended
After nearly 5 years of posting, with over 500 posts, Google has decided R2K should be suspended. Hopefully the situation will be fixed quickly, and this post will be removed. Hopefully the next post on this matter will be me commending Google for doing the right thing, and supporting the freedom ...
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Who let the Armadillo out? Who? Who?
Well, Armadillo Aerospace themselves, of course. Clark Lindsey points to a video of last Saturday's untethered free flight of their Methane/LOX-powered lander. The video itself isn't that exciting since it is taken from so far away. What's cool, however, is what it means for this year's Lunar ...
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Sweet Rocket History
IEEE Spectrum presents a podcast on the Von Braun Group, entitled Sweet Rocket History . Here's the description: They call it rocket science, but at it’s birth it was really rocket play: teenaged boys, getting together to make things soar high into the air. Originating with student ...
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Astroland Rocket
Several times per year, I along with my friends and family have visited Coney Island. To see the beach, have a dog, get pizza, take a walk, or do many other things (now one can see a Cyclones game also). For years, there was a rocket above the boardwalk. After starting in rocketry, I couldn't help ...
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Aurora Flight Sciences
Besides hosting the Old Rocketeer's Reunion during NARAM-50, Aurora Flight Sciences designs and builds cool flying things. Wired's Danger Room discusses the flight test of their prototype Excalibur VTOL UAV: In a previous post , they link to a video of another cool concept vehicle - their ...
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Aerospace Exhibit Going to State!
I made State once again, with my re-built multi-stage rocket "Double-Trouble." The last few days leading up to the county fair I have been sanding, priming and painting it to give it a glossy paint job. What's funny is that the new nosecone came in the mail just hours before bringing it over to ...
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Russians launch a Progress resupply ship.
Flying atop a Russian Soyuz U booster, the Progress M-67 spacecraft rocketed away from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1056 GMT (6:56 a.m. EDT). A preliminary orbit was achieved after a nine-minute ascent provided by the three-stage rocket. Onboard commands then extended the Progress ...
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8" MLAS construction notes, part 4
Since the last update I drilled the rear CR for the four 24mm mounts, drilled the rear CR's for motor retention and an eyebolt, found misc tubing suitable for the ejection piston and started filling spirals on the lower body. Where this leaves me is needing to finalize the fin extensions. I ...
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Port-o-Potty missiles
Text via Wired's Danger Room , photo credit: Raytheon. Missiles in a Box is a collaboration between Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, doesn’t look like much. Popular Mechanics compared the 1.5-ton launcher to a “Port-O-Potty-size crate.” The individual missiles are packed ...
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I hate it when the motor won't fit
Crap. I had planned to fly my Quest DC-Y Space Clipper on an 18mm reload. The engine hook and block think differently. No time for surgery...gotta find something else to fly the assembled load on.
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Apollo 11 astronaut's customs declaration
Res Communis posts about Apollo 11's customs form (see image). I guess I won't gripe about having to fill mine out next time. Hmmm, I thought you had to declare values on these forms :)
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Why I love Giant Leap
This is the latest motor purchase, from the Giant Leap motor division. I am excited to get back into high power soon, now that I can store the motors without a LEUP (probably.) To do this, while also keeping my budget within reason, I purchased the smallest CES motor case that will fly H motors; ...
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18mm RMS dilemma solved
This photo shows my modified delay charge holder. Instead of the stock cap, that won't fit through my rocket's motor retention components, I made one from a piece of MicroMaxx tubing. I built-up the tube with masking tape so that it's snug in the ejection well. Insert powder, plug with wadding, ...
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StickerShock23.com rocks!
The consensus was that the all caps version of the logo won. I contacted StickerShock23.com and Mark quickly replied with a mock-up and a quote. I had mentioned the font in my quote inquiry and Mark cleverly downloaded the font, fed it into his CAD cutter software, and exported a JPEG preview for ...
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First successful car paint sesh
Last weekend I'd posted pix of the priming session. Well that primer was ready to sand in 2 hrs so I did. I then enthusiastically proceeded to apply paint and here are the results: I'm very pleased with the outcome this time although there's still room for improvement: I left the primed V2 (white ...
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Launch Report 2009-5
Location: Central Sod Farm, Centreville, MD ( MDRA ESL-134) Weather: high 80's to low 90's, clear, 10+ mph winds Total flights: Today - 8; YTD - 41 Total motors: Today - 8; YTD - 48 The day started poorly with lower gas prices and hot weather leading to a long backup at the Bay Bridge (beach ...
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Gluing real rockets together
Clark Lindsey points to a NewScientist article about Burt Rutan's patented method for saving weight in the SS2 by gluing the fuel tanks into the airframe. Who else think this makes sense and is cool?
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SStS Success!
The Sugar Shot project reached a significant milestone this weekend with the first successful firing of the flight configuration dualphase motor. This is a design concept that many "experts" have said would never work. Congratulations to the team and particularly to Richard Nakka for never losing ...
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SS2S success
Richard Nakka reports the successful static firing of a 2-phase test motor (aka the MiniSShot Mark III):
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A great SS2S dual burn test!
Wow! The technical challenges that this team is taking on are really impressive. Granted, you are always better off doing a dual stage rocket than dual burn, but it is a cool project anyway! I think they will make space in only a year or two more!
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Unreasonable death of a camera (update)
From Paul Breed . Mmmmm, toasty! Update from Paul .
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The mask of... V2
Best masking job I've ever done... I should note that I found a masking mistake as a result of shooting this photo. It's fixed now and all we need is black car paint. Bonus: for the ULTRA observant you might have noticed that my masking job is mirrored from the yellow/black paint guide ...
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Total repair bill? less than $5
George Katz made the following, highly entertaining music video of his Acceleron Vb water rocket CATOing. It includes full speed, slow motion, shrapnel identification, on-board, and forensic footage. You may read the full report of this event and his other flights here . That video was well worth ...
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Whaaaazzzup in the Dungeon?
Still contemplating a source of cheap clear square tubing the the MLAS extended fin set. I've been diverted by non-rocketry stuff and building a beta kit from First Flight Hobbies . Sworn to secrecy but I will say it's a sleek looking small LPR bird. First Flight had previously released the ...
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Model jet car
MAKE posts about this cool RC jet car. The folks at Hobby Media sent us this item: V8 Supercar driver Rick Kelly is a R/C model cars fan and he recently built the Red Bull Mojet T40, a 1:10 scale replica of the Thrust SSC machine that set the World Land Speed Record on 15 October ...
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My blog is like watching primer dry
Finishing is becoming easier and more rewarding so I continue to muddle through but this remains my least favorite phase. I wanted to share the final approach to booster section greatness with some pics, info, and time stats: Since I used only gravity on the fin reinforcement (no vacuum or shrink ...
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Skylon spaceplane concept is reusable, cheap*
Somewhat reminiscent of one of Professor Calculus's creations for cub reporter Tintin , the Skylon is what is known as a reusable launch vehicle for unpiloted space shenanigans. In short, it's a space plane. The creation of Reaction Engines Limited, a British outfit based at the Culham Science ...
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Another 'concept vehicle' gallery
Here is an interesting, hypothetical tail-sitting aircraft from cutangus' 3-D gallery . I like gawking at these things and have really been liking the Concept Ships blog. I wonder if these may have been featured there?
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Watch dem asteroids
NASA JPL has started a new website dedicated to asteroids, especially those that could hit Earth - Asteroid Watch .
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Powerful, gas-powered vortex cannon
I had previously posted about a huge, manual vortex cannon capable of blowing out candles at 180'. Impressive, but not as impressive as the gas-powered version shown in the attached video. Watch the 200 mph vortex ring knock down huts made of straw, sticks, and bricks.
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Hobby pulsejets
Check out this pulsejet-powered Long-EZ R/C plane...and make sure yer volume is ON! Now, if I lost my mind and decided to divert money from rocketry, I'd probably want one of these (eventually). Let's see. About $300 for one of these pulse jets or $2k-$3k for a turbine... More pulsejet links from ...
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Rocket/jet car for breaking 1000mph
"RAF fighter pilot Andy Green intends to get behind the wheel of a car that is capable of reaching 1,000mph (1,609km/h). Powered by a rocket bolted to a Eurofighter-Typhoon jet engine, the Bloodhound car will mount an assault on the land speed record." These are all fascinating attempts. The risk ...
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"Transferring launch control to Viper Pilots; launch when ready"
Randy and Verna's photo of the month documents the latest sortie by their Red Squadron of Battlestar Galactica Vipers. (Photo credit: George Gassaway)
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5-year motor usage stats
Just for grins, I fiddled with some stats. (The stats are from EMRR , I just fiddled to display them here.) 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 4 3 8 22 1 2 16 4 12 7 6 2 9 44 17 6 15 13 35 12 16 47 8 22 13 16 15 4 10 4 11 16 7 21 11 12 14 2 1 12 1 3 3 1 ...
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The SABRE Engine
The design of SABRE evolved from liquid-air cycle engines (LACE) which have a single rocket combustion chamber with associated pumps, preburner and nozzle which are utilised in both modes. LACE engines employ the cooling capacity of the cryogenic liquid hydrogen fuel to liquefy incoming air prior ...
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5-year flights by month
2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 10 12 6 7 6 13 25 25 14 8 8 28 22 7 17 17 28 22 18 15 21 7 11 13 4 6 9 14 9 5 Year: JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC Again, with a hat tip to EMRR ! BTW, I ...
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S.Korea first rocket launch set for August 11
SEOUL — South Korea has rescheduled its first space rocket launch from its soil to August 11 after repeatedly postponing it due to technical reasons, officials said Saturday. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said South Korea and Russia, a co-builder of the rocket, set the ...
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From Dusk Till Dawn the album
I've already mentioned that From Dusk Till Dawn is one of my favorite movies but I don't recall mentioning that the sound track CD is also one of my all-time favorites. It is hands down my favorite movie soundtrack. It features my two favorite groups, ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double ...
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EMRR's 2009 Box-O-Parts Contest's submission deadline is past
And the entries are being (have been?) posted . Why is it I always regret having not entered right after the contest is over?
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Lack of status
My quest for clear square tubing continues without success. It appears I'll pay for gasoline but not shipping costs. Looks like I need to scrape up some new project as my one active one is stalled. I hope the MLAS doesn't join the growing list of stuff I've started on but have never finished :eek: ...
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Building demolition FAIL
I've posted several videos of building implosions. Here's one that didn't work out as planned. (Warning: advertisement included)
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Georgie Grechko , age 78, is a Russian cosmonaut who flew three space flights: Soyuz 17, Soyuz 26, and Soyuz T-14. He also has a doctorate in mathematics and is a living legend in Russia. Grechko has gone on the record stating that he believes that UFO visitation is real and that aliens have in ...
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Spaceport America/UP Aero/Moog Industries launch
MSNBC reports on the latest from Upham, NM. UP Aerospace launched a 'low altitude' rocket with a Moog Industries payload, which evidently was basically a professional boost-glider. The rocket rose 2,200 feet (670.5 meters) above the desert, arced against the morning sunshine, cut power and ...
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A technique that I need to try again
In his latest how-to video, Tim Van Milligan shows you how to laminate your balsa fins with ordinary printer paper. While this doesn't sound like rocket science, I've generally have had poor success with this technique. I've tried white glue, wood glue, and spray-on glue with printer paper, card ...
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AeroTech Receives California State Fire Marshal Approvals for Three RMS Reload Kits
The California Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) has issued classification approvals for three new high-power AeroTech Karl E. Baumann (KEB) Signature Line RMS reload kits. The specific motors approved are: High-Power RMS Reloadable Motor System I49N-P (#09049P) I59WN-P (#09059P) L339N-P ...
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Coefficient-Of-Drag-Tard
Ya learn something new every single day... Jack Garabaldi of What's Up Hobbies informed me of a feature of my ARTS2 altimeter that I didn't even know about. After a flight you download the accelerometer data to your computer and enter pertinent flight info (initial weight, size, etc). The program ...
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Build/paint progress and simulation refinements
I've made quite a bit of progress on EM-SEM-FITY in the last few days. I applied car primer to the booster section and found a few more rough areas. I allowed this to dry then sanded down the remaining asperities. Tonight I applied the final coat of primer and that's drying now. Tomorrow I'll spray ...
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Electronics bay, sled, and layout
I'm really very happy with the final electronics bay. Again Jack Garabaldi provided these fine components and the results exceeded my expectations. Here are the top and bottom of the sled sandwiched between the two plywood/composite caps for illustration purposes: On the top-most image ...
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Video of yesterday's Spaceport America launch (with updated commentary)
Here's a cool report from Spaceport America by KRQE. It gives a good look at Moog's rocket boosted UAV and has great launch and landing footage. At the end it shows the Lunar Lander pads and the Spaceport site. I found one of the Moog rep's comments interesting - they didn't want to spend time in ...
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"You Stuck It WHERE!?" Short Film Contest
My family has been getting into filmmaking little by little. This summer we won an honorable mention for "Best Special Effects" for a short film competition featuring the library. Now we are planning on making a film for Post-It Super Sticky Notes. The point of the contest is to see if Post-It ...
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Holy early product placement, Batman!
Today, August 5th , I noticed that my local Michael's had their autumn and Halloween products out. Yeah, when it's hot and humid you really feel like stocking up on Halloween decorations. BTW, I scoured Michaels, Hobby Works, Plaza Art, the dollar store, the 5-dollar store, and even Bed Bath and ...
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Ares X-1 Assembly
This simple test rocket, in a way the biggest hobby launch ever, will be an early test of a man-rated rocket. Why is this a great rocket in my mind? Because it uses an inexpensive and fairly reliable solid rocket motor in the first stage, then more energetic liquid motors in upper stages. This is, ...
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Foam nose cone fab
While the filler is drying, I thought I'd document how I'm making the nose cone for an unnamed and not yet designed BT-101 model. I first cut three rings from a sheet of 2" pink foam using hole cutters. The lower 2 were slightly larger than the tube diameter and the top one was smaller. This ...
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BT-101 rocket ideas
I had these two pieces of BT-101 lying around for a while (hat tip to EMRR ) and finally decided to use one. The cone was an issue for this tube. Standard 4" MPR/HPR cones will fit but seem heavy for this light tubing. I thought about transitioning to a smaller tube since transitions are really ...
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New sim program: Virtual Range 1.0 for Mac OS X
Matt Wronkiewicz announces the release of a new simulator, Virtual Range 1.0 for Mac OS X. The program computes stability using the US Air Force DATCOM and Barrowman methods. It records maximum altitude, acceleration and time to apogee, and the flight profile is graphed. This program doesn't ...
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First Multi-staging Success
My summer-long project of multi-staging rockets has had its first success! I staged Double-Trouble from a 137 N-sec G80 motor to a G71 Redline motor. There isn't any data on this flight since I could spare any more weight for electronics, but I got a video. Even that is so-so; I'm so excited when ...
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Tech junk (aka surplus) supplier listing
Here's a list of brick and mortar surplus suppliers by state. And here are some of the tech junk emporiums that I've previously mentioned.
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Denial of service attacks!
I'm sure everyone has heard about the recent denial of service attack that brought Twitter and Facebook down for a while. I hear Blogger was also attacked but luckily Google's protections seem to be more effective. There have been some Blogger problems reported but as far as I can tell I wasn't ...
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Car paint + dust + wind = FAIL!
OK so you can't really tell in this photo but the booster has a large number of crater repellencies that I've narrowed down to a serious dust concentration in the air: This was my second attempt to get it right and, while it's better than the first, there will be a third to nail it. Anyway the ...
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NARAM Live 2009 is LIVE!
Chris Taylor's NARAM-51 coverage has started . There's not much there yet, but keep your eyes open! This year, he's got a YouTube Channel for his videos. That's good because I've always had codec issues with his videos. BTW, I have always linked to the current site, which generally means the links ...
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Dangerous MALFUNCTION!
I was prepping the electronics for the next flight of my rocket yesterday, and when I attached the igniter to the electronics terminal... POOF!!! The igniter fired. Needless to say, something was malfunctioning. I checked the manual, and one thing I saw was that if you switch the battery polarity ...
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Gonna need some high build-up primer
Glassing the cone for my forthcoming BT-101 rocket went pretty smoothly. Well, smoothly isn't exactly accurate. What I meant is that I got it done without glassing myself or my workbench. However, after it dried I found a lot of wavy imperfections. I used odd scraps of fiberglass which left a ...
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1st BT-101 'what-if' design
(nonami bt101.rkt)
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Putting the ODD back in oddrocs (update)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bartholomule/3801011485/ Update: There are two photos of this fleet on UROC's Hellfire site . These can be zoomed so you can check out the details.
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NARAM Live - Saturday recap
The Saturday coverage was smaller than normal. I didn't spot any particular shots that I thought were amazing. I did spot a handful of NARHAMs and MDRA regulars. Kenny (Performance Hobbies) actually set out a set of tables. There are some night launch photos in page 3 and a few more on page 4. ...
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Rocket competition tips and resources
George Gassaway has compiled a cool competition website for NARAM-51. I especially liked the scale, peanut scale and fantasy scale pages, which include lots of reference links. It's of course too late for NARAM-51, but not for your next project. (hat tip to the bayourat ).
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12,744' FTW!
[that's "For The Win" not "F*#k The World"] Yesterday at Lucerne Dry Lake I flew EM-SEM-FITY on a Cesaroni L610-Classic motor to 12,744' and that's a new personal record!: Here are some flame details (hot day, distant shot means serious convective optical warping): That motor burns for 8 seconds ...
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MLAS model spotted on NARAM Live
If you look around here you'll see what I think is a small model of the MLAS. I also think this is a vendor booth so I'm wondering if there is a kit out there? The big piece of Blue Tube with cones on it threw me...but there IS a Quest box under the table. If that's Quest's rumored model, the size ...
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NARAM Live - Sunday update
There are a 3 pages of photos from Sunday. The last page has photos of the scale and fantasy scale entries. Yes, the MLAS is represented and there is a cool Saturn V outfitted with SRBs. I hope now that Chris has taken note of the MLAS that he shoots the launch. A video would be nice. There are a ...
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Bringing a telescope to the people
The Smithsonian's AirSpace blog notes that 2009 is the 400 th anniversary of Galileo’s use of a telescope to examine the Moon, Venus, Jupiter and the Milky Way. This factoid is a side note to the post describing how they are relocating the idle Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory from ...
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When I was 12, I would have loved...
...a 200 round rubber band machine gun!
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Saucer OOPS --> RIP
You can now find a video of this 'flight' in Peter Abresch's area of the MDRA ESL-134 gallery .
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NARAM Live - Monday recap
Here are the Monday photo pages . Nothing there excited me. I liked the micro Saturn V's on the video page , however.
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NASA Will Pay Russians For Rides To Station
CAPE CANAVERAL: Nasa plans to use $50 million (R400m) of federal economic stimulus funds to seed development of commercial passenger transportation service to space, agency officials said yesterday. Aspiring operators will have 45 days to submit proposals. The US is retiring its space shuttle fleet ...
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Your flights, sliced up at least 9 ways
EMRR just completed a huge update of his site's personal flight profile feature so if you have any doubts that this is the way to keep track of your flying, forget them ! You flight profile now includes: 12 general stats about all your flight logs graphical breakdowns of: all the ...
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Videos of my flights from MDRA's ESL-134
You can now find a videos of my flights (Aeroshell CATO, D-Fusion Bomb, and Stink Bomb) in Peter Abresch's area of the MDRA ESL-134 gallery .
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Stalled-progress report
The good news is my BT-101 cone is almost filled and primed and is looking good. The bad news is that it is heavy. It and the rest of my first concept for the rocket's design. When I weighed the raw components, I found it wouldn't fly on a D12 (not close) and even on a F35 would require a 55" rod. ...
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SNAFU Wednesday
So, this morning I found NARAM Live's Tuesday page wasn't updated. TRF is giving database errors. There are no breaking news reports from the manufacturer's forum at NARAM. And, to top it off, the purple Metalcast clouded up on my scratch BT-101 nose cone. This happened to me before - I think this ...
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NARAM Live - Tuesday update
Well, the site error did in fact mean it was being updated, with the first appearing a few minutes after my previous post. On the first photo page , I noticed an Apollo capsule boosting on its abort motors. These are cute but, having seen them before, quickly moved on. Until...I saw the huge ...
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Manufacturer's Forum notes
OK, I broke down and listed to the .mp3 of the Manufacturer's Forum. I skipped along so I could have missed a juicy tidbit... AT - no new news I hadn't heard ARA Press - ditto Balsa Machining Service - now carries AeroTech Motors Chutes by Boe - skipped FlisKits - Jim caught pneumonia and was a ...
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The new nose cone, revealed
I managed to mostly buff out the clouded areas but the finish is not great. I'm going to wait a few days, lightly sand it, and shoot another coat.
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Design inspiration comes from the oddest places
brianc reports on his latest design, which is modeled after the image of a fireball from a Perseid meteor . I look all over the place for rocket inspiration, but have never looked to the heavens for it. At least not literally. Way to go Brian!
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NARAM Live - Wednesday Stuff
The highlights of page 1 , and of the three photo pages, was Vern Estes and his original Big Bertha - a staple at NARAM. I also liked the 'cherry picker' recovery shots. Here's the best video, a single motor 'bicopter' .
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While on the subject of making nose cones...
A while back, someone on some forum (Rocketry Planet?) described a method of making tail cones and transitions by removing triangular slivers of the body tube and pulling the gaps together. As I remember, several people then tried and liked the method. Me too! I made the tail cone for my ...
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Naram Live - Thursday
Whut I thunk wuz kool: Page 1 - Starting about 3/4 of the way down: A big rocket with a huge Easter egg as the cone. The NARAM equivalent of a bowling ball rocket? A cool sci-fi looking ducted rocket. Followed by a shot of it bending in flight. A Devo-themed rocket and flier. But I'm not up on that ...
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Peace, love, and rock 'n' roll, 40 years ago
Lots of anniversaries this year - tomorrow marks the 40th of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair . Even those of us who didn't attend got a lot of enjoyment from the event. So many good videos to choose from, and here's one:
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NARAM-51, stick a fork in it
Friday was the last day of NARAM-51 and NARAM Live has some good coverage of the scale flights. Here's some of what I liked, but the MLAS (which I've obviously become obsessed with) was the highlight. I lifted the attached shot from Chris' coverage. But take a look, there are more. Page 1 ...
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So, do I even need/want clear fins on my MLAS?
For some reason, I've been chicken about its stability. However, the RSim model I'm basing mine on was made by someone on the NASA team that directed its development and he stated his model agreed closely with wind tunnel measurements. And now that I've seen that one actually flew , I'm beginning ...
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Project Pluto
I've always thought the Project Pluto Supersonic Low Altitude Missile (SLAM) was cool looking and would make a fun scale subject. As I mentioned earlier, there are photos of one flying at NARAM . But before that, there was Mark Schrader's DESCON15 entry . It came in 1st, so I guess others liked it ...
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Disaster Strikes. AGAIN!!
Some days are just like that. One launch cost me almost 200 dollars in damage, because I flew every electronic payload I owned in it... and it flopped. I suppose "flopped" is a bit of an understatement. It "THUD-ed." The really scary part is that I have to fix this rocket up in 5 days, because I ...
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Lander photo (comments updated)
photo , originally uploaded by Russell Blink . Armadillo's latest lander. Is that a VGA monitor on the top? Update: Clark Lindsey reports that Armadillo will go for Level-2 of the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge over the Labor Day weekend.
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Large static rocket display planned for Burning Man
If you attend Burning Man 2009 , you will be cable to climb the 25' gantry and cross a 10' walkway into the 42', aluminum, 1940's retro-style Raygun Gothic Rocketship . (Cue the sound of the LP scratching to a halt...it sound like you may go into the ship and down the gantry...ooops.) Inside you ...
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What we did before Google Maps...
via Dark Roasted Blend
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For someone so interested in the MLAS, I've been snoozin'
I missed most of this YORF thread . The attached photo is what Quest came up with in 8 hours to start testing. :drooling: There's also an inference that sandman, who did the parts for wolsotr's 19" dia. model is making a smaller version of his own. WANT^2
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ICBM highway
ICBM highway , originally uploaded by Rowdius .
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Back to the clear fins for the 8" MLAS
Let's see, I documented Tim Wilson's MLAS model as being 19.8" in diameter BUT I now see the Rsim that he provided was actually 10.5" in diameter. The 19.8 figure stuck in my mind even though I used the 10.5 to scale the Rsim. So, my mind said that, if a 19" version came in at a whopping 12lb, ...
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Another glaring example of poor spelling
It wasn't something I wrote, but was nevertheless embarrassing. Fixed now.
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Steve Eves - backyard genius
The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Steve Eves has received one of Popular Mechanics' 2009 Backyard Genius Awards for launching and successfully recovering the world's largest sport rocket . (This is great, and I won't put word's in his mouth, but I think having his rocket on display at the U.S. ...
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Snapple fact #914
A manned rocket can reach the moon in less time than it took for a stagecoach to travel the length of England.
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Lockeed Martin takes a stab at Falcon 9/Dragon and Elon Musk.
By Guy Norris Lockheed Martin warns that fast-track plans to develop alternate commercial human-rated transport systems to the International Space Station could be costly in terms of time, money and even safety. The warning comes as the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee completes ...
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Viper sounding rocket?
After the MLAS launch I must have taken NASA Wallops off my Twitter feed. This morning Peter Stanley posted a report about another launch. Surrounding the main event, a Black Brant IX launch carrying the IRVE payload , they shot Vipers to check out the high altitude meteoroloical conditions before ...
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GPSIIR21 Video Highlights
GPSIIR21 Highlights , originally uploaded by Air Force Space Command . Here is more info from another of this Flickr user's posts: Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla (Aug. 17, 2009) - A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket blasts off with the Air Force's Global Positioning System IIR-21 satellite ...
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Popular Mechanics, September 2009
I went ahead and picked up a copy just to see Steve Eves' Saturn V in a mainstream magazine :) I was a little disappointed to find Steve was only given a one page blurb. Still, it was great to see his efforts were recognized! I was also happy to see other rocket references in the magazine. There's ...
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Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment (IRVE) a huge success
When I reported on today's Black Brant 9 launch from Wallops, the IRVE took a back-back-seat, and it shouldn't have. Parabolic Arc passes along that the 10-foot diameter heat shield, which is made from silicone-coated industrial fabric, deployed successfully. I don't know how promising this ...
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More on the Raygun Gothic Rocketship
There's an official web site with lots of info (photos, videos, data). Here's a direct link to the Flickr pool (embedded photos from NataliaEnvy). You just gotta love a huge nose cone.
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Launch Report 2009-6 (solo #1)
This was my first 'solo' launch in quite a while and, breaking with my previous policy, decided to tag/log this in the 2009 launch sequence. This will make sure I don't mess up my flight counts. Location: Derwood Test Range Weather: 90's, calm Total flights: Today - 10; YTD - 51 Total motors: Today ...
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Inflatable Heat Sheilds (Just in time for 2010)
Perhaps the best way to land very large objects on Mars with any kind of efficiency. Now why are there not tons of cool projects like this going on at all times? Why is it that we only try a hypersonic air-breathing flight once or twice a decade? These kinds of research are rather inexpensive, ...
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Soviet-Era Spaceships to Fly Commercial Space Missions
An Almaz Reusable Re-entry Vehicle (RRV), like this one shown here, will form the cornerstone of a private orbital spaceflight service planned by the international company Excalibur Almaz. The vehicle was originally developed to support Soviet Almaz space stations in the 1970s. Credit: Excalibur ...
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MicroMaxx Alien UFO on 'Roids
Since I have two...I thought I'd cut and grind one of them up. I cut the MicroMaxx motor mount out with my mini-Leatherman and then took the Dremel to the inner ring until an 18mm tube fit. The cuts are shown in the following photos. The connection point for the lower fins were weakened so I added ...
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Verna and Randy's Vipers strike...again!
Their Red Squadron of Vipers were featured as their Photo of the Month , which led to a Dungeon post . Then the Italian Hobby Media site found them, which led to a Make:blog post .
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Another use for a small fan blade
From the NARAM-51 sports range .
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Inflatable Shield for Earth Reentry Passes Test
Successful Test A Black Brant 9 rocket carries the Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. The device released from its rocket and inflated to its full 10-foot diameter in less than 90 seconds. MORE HERE
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4" V2 painted but not quite perfect
So several entries below you saw below that the white paint applied perfectly, then I masked (and re-masked 3x), then painted the black. Again dust was my enemy outside and the black ended up severely pock-marked. I patched the diffuse color with a black paint pen and, while not perfect, it looks ...
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M750 flight APPROVED... Drag race style!
I completed my altitude prediction report for EM-SEM-FITY on an M750 and our president and range safety officer approved the flight for Plaster Blaster ! (click the thumbnail below for a legible JPEG): Yay. My best prediction is the unweighted average of all the simulations and historic data: ...
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How to: Cardboard Frisbee Flying Saucer
Make points to an Instructables article on making this paper Frisbee. I of course would want to add a motor mount.
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Goony F104 Starfighter
F104 Starfighter , originally uploaded by blackheartart . If you follow this photo back to the Flickr user's photo stream, you'll see a whole fleet of the cute, 'Goony" airplanes. Sweep those wings back a bit and it might fly. I've got to think about something like this for my next Estes SS1 ...
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L610 motor build in only 1 minute!
Clearly this must be a new record: Man I'm fast! :)
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The future of solid propellant oxidizers - ice (?)
That's right, plain old water ice. Via PRNewswire (my highlights, photo credit: Dr. Steven F. Son, Purdue University): WASHINGTON, Aug. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, have successfully launched a small rocket using an envir ...
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Is it a Mongoose?
Looks to me like the Perdue ALICE test rocket is a Performance Rocketry 98mm carbon Mongoose.
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Antsy
Scheduling conflict tomorrow. Hopefully will fly Sunday if the cold front gets outta Dodge and successfully deflects Bill. A couple of motors built and a couple of the rockets prepped...
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El Paso and Juarez from space
This NASA image really illustrates the difference in population density between El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juaréz, Mexico. Well, I thought it was interesting.
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Is There Life After Soyuz?
Russia unveiled an ambitious three-decade plan for a manned space program this week at the International Aviation and Space Salon, MAKS-2009, which opened Tuesday in the town of Zhukovsky, near Moscow. READ MORE HERE
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Spray booth as dust buster?
It's seriously frustrating to build something for weeks or months then only to fail on the last step, the paint job, due to dust. I bit the bullet and built a semi-permanent paint booth in a spare area of my house. Fisheye lenses make indoor photography a snap and here's a side view of the booth: ...
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More on the Purdue/Penn State/AFOSR/NASA ALICE propellant
With a hat tip to brianc:
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Launch Report 2009-7
Location: Location: Central Sod Farm, Centreville, MD ( MDRA ESL-135) Weather: mid-80's, calm to slightly breezy Total flights: Today - 9; YTD - 60 Total motors: Today - 14; YTD - 72 Paul was there first and had saved spaces for Don and I. As usual, I mooched their shade. I met another on line ...
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THE CONCEPTS WERE THERE; SO WERE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. SO WHAT HAPPENED? AND IS ARES NEXT?
By Shelby G. Spires Times Aerospace Writer The American space program has no set goals, faces changing priorities and has axed multi-billion dollar projects every few years. A few examples: NASA spent $4 billion on an advanced solid rocket motor, but killed the program in 1994. The X-33 space plane ...
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Particularly Interesting APOD Picture
I always love the pictures posted on Astronomy Picture Of the Day . And these clouds are particularly interesting. Apparently no one knows for sure how they are formed, but every year they appear over parts of Australia. You know, when it really boils down to it, the whole reason I'm ...
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Morning Glory clouds on APOD
Via APOD , here are some interesting clouds seen over Australia. Here's the Wikipedia entry describing Morning Glory clouds . Credit & Licence : Mick Petroff.
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Cold Power rocketry
The graybeards of model rocketry, and many younger fan-atics, will undoubtedly know more about Vashon and Estes Cold Power rockets than I, and I won't make this a tutorial. These rockets/motors still pop up on EBay and Wes "Dr. Zooch" Oleszewski has several. Wes is a regular at MDRA and flew them ...
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Instructables Frisbee Saucer - told ya' I'd add a motor mount
The wife was at bridge. I had finished watching two crappy movies - Evil Dead II and Quarantine . I wanted more excitement so I decided to print a flying saucer. I built a card stock saucer based on the Instructables paper Frisbee . Here's what I did: I downloaded the .pdf format patterns from ...
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STS-128 Coverage
Coolstreaming Channel 533 Shuttle Discovery will be making a trip to the International Space Station to deliver its "Leonardo" module. It is slated to launch at 1:10 am EDT. (If you find the embeded video is not working, you can watch it directly on NASA TV )
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Movie comment explanation
As an aside in my previous post, I described Evil Dead II and Quarantine as being crappy. I'll leave the synopses to IMDB, but wanted to make a couple of comments. I was a little surprised about Evil Dead II considering I really like Army of Darkness , a.k.a. Evil Dead III . I can only attribute ...
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2009 NGLLC: First Attempts (UPDATE)
Update: For the record, this is a cross post, via my Google Reader, from The Launch Pad . 2009 NGLLC: First Attempts : " Today, we are very excited to announce the first group of 2009 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge attempts! First off, a quick refresher about the prize, which is designed ...
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Of Warthogs and Binders (Extreme Rocketry 80)
I just got hold of some issues of Extreme Rocketry . Issue 80's (April 2009) cover story is a report on MDRA's Red Glare V. Author/photographer Mark Canepa really gets around as he is also a big contributor to Rockets Magazine. Mark did a good job on the RG-V article. It features interviews with ...
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New Horizons Poster
Check out this cool New Horizons poster. Why post about a probe still about 5 years away from it's visit to Pluto? Well because the probe just recently imaged Pluto (I suspect for the first time) in a short exposure. It is still very far indeed, but at this distance it seems Pluto has become a ...
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Underground rocket (?)
Verizon is in the process of installing FIOS in our neighborhood. Yay. Maybe. Anyway, they are digging ~5' L x 2' W x 3' D holes at maybe 20' intervals, and then are using this cool pneumatic boring tool to connect them. It appears to have a piston rammer and moves along on its own. The left photo ...
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ATK to Test First 5-Segment Ares Rocket Motor
Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) Space Systems and NASA will make history on August 27 as the new Ares I five-segment first stage is tested, marking the start of a new era of space exploration. What: Horizontal ground test firing of Ares I first stage When: Thursday, August 27, 2009 Time: 1 p.m. ...
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Thunder & Lightning mark II
Several years ago it took me 5 years to build and fly my first PML Thunder & Lightning. I was psyched on the paint job at the time and my amazing and beautiful ex took this photo for me: Unfortunately I set the upper stage timer for three seconds rather than 0-1 seconds and that beautiful ...
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MicroMaxx Tomahawk recovered
Last week, after launching from my driveway , I lost my Quest MicroMaxx Tomahawk Cruise Missile. Well, I was chatting with my neighbor and discovered that he had found it in his flower bed. Welcome home!
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My MicroMaxx fleet
This is my whole MicroMaxx fleet, other than the Nothin' But Tape (duct tape rocket) and RTF Alien UFO and Space Fighter . Reminds me I haven't built one in a long time...
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Dr. Zooch on the radio
I got this from the Apogee e-zine and don't know the original source. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (August 26, 2009) - Flying model rockets has inspired many youngsters to pursue careers in aerospace, including Patrick McCarthy and Wes Oleszewski, both of whom will be guests on the Aug. 29th edition of ...
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District 9 and more
We finally went to see District 9 today. Even though I wasn't keen on the fake documentary format used in much of the movie and can nit pick details that I think could have been handled differently, I liked it pretty well. It ended with great action but overall could have used a tad more. The ...
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ALICE details
I extracted some tidbits from: Tyler D. Wood, Mark A. Pfeil, Timothee L. Pourpoint, John Tsohas, and Steven F. Son of Purdue University and T.L. Connell, Jr, Grant A. Risha and Richard A. Yetter The Pennsylvania State University, "Feasibility Study and Demonstration of an Aluminum and Ice Solid ...
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Another Great Launch for Discovery
STS-128 is on its way, with no major anomalies to report! Did you know? NASA plans to retire the Shuttle program in 2010. More on that later.
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Now THAT'S an igniter
I received confirmation that the igniter assembly on the ALICE flight motor housed an AeroTech H180 reload. The H180 was head-end ignited. This project is just so cool! (this short post now resembles the English language)
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Burning Man - Setup of the Raygun Gothic Rocketship
Burning Man - Setup , originally uploaded by burningmanearth .
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Dark Shadows
The 'gothic' soap opera Dark Shadows , which ran on ABC between from June 27, 1966 and April 2, 1971 was in retrospect probably one of my favorite shows. Being a kid when it first aired, I watched it in the summer and occasionally when I was home sick. Featuring vampires, witches and other ...
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First we had H1N1 and now...Verna and Randy?
V1R1 Snake Flu Warning: The Dungeon just became aware of the unconstrained spread of a new a new flu strain. The major symptom is a fever for flying rockets. Luckily, there is a simple remedy: burn 75% APCP and 25% BP, feel the rush, smell the fumes, and smile :) The September issue of Verna and ...
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Anomaly spoils China's string of successful launches
SPACEFLIGHT NOW Posted: August 31, 2009 Breaking a 13-year streak of successful launches, a Chinese Long March rocket failed to deliver an Indonesian communications satellite to its planned orbit Monday. Carrying the Palapa D telecommunications satellite, a Long March 3B rocket blasted off from ...
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Extreme Rocketry has perished
It looks like the economy has again taken it's toll. This notice appears on its web site : Extreme Rocketry Closes Doors After 84 Issues The September-October #84 Issue has been mailed to subscribers and retail locations. It is the last issue of Extreme Rocketry to be produced by Ro ...
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Building slump continues
My building motivation has continued to dwindle. The MLAS is still stalled. I haven't found a local, cheap source of the clear square tubing and haven't decided on a 'plan b'. My BT-101 design has also not materialized. I like the cone I built but don't know what to build under it. Today my wife ...
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Quote for today
Anything is easy if you don't know what you're talking about. (author unknown) Now, tell me you can't think of an example of where this applies.
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"Building slump continues," continued
You'd think that, out of all these, I'd be able to find something to work on. Maybe I need to take a cue from Don and Ken and see if there is some existing rocket that I can rebuild/modify/bash/cannibalize). Kits sitting gathering dust: Model Minutes Leduc-22 (no motivation, yet) Fat Boy ...
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STS-114 Space Shuttle Discovery Performs Back Flip For Photography
STS-114 Space Shuttle Discovery Performs Back Flip For Photography , originally uploaded by Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee . I know 'up' doesn't mean much in orbit and any photo editor could recreate this view, but I found this perspective cool anyway.
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Astronaut Karen Nyberg
Astronaut Karen Nyberg , originally uploaded by Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee . Note that the Flickr stream that this and my previous post came from is packed with great photos (link below the photos). Her hair looks like it was out of the movie Max Max, Beyond T ...
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Good article on 'breakthrough' propulsion
Air and Space magazine features a really good article on advanced propulsion - Mars, and Step on It . Wormholes, warp drive, and space-time waves, oh my. And more realistically, VASIMR and the like.
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Ooooh, 2 new rocket mags on the same day
Woohoo, I got both the Sept/Oct Sport Rocketry (with NSL coverage) and the Aug ROCKETS Magazine (LDRS 28 issue) today. Reading and blog posting to ensue. But now I have to fiddle with my new Craftsman rechargable electric line trimmer. (I may end up regretting getting a rechargable, but I'm fed up ...
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ROCKETS Magazine, August 2009
Well, that was quick, eh? First, it turns out the rechargable trimmer was quick and easy to assemble, charge and use. Second, I haven't actually read the whole magazine. But, here goes anyway. I'll start by saying that I'm thankful for the photography in this magazine. 54 of the 63 pages are ...
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Free issue of Ad Astra magazine
FAIW, getting the free issue requires you provide name, address, email addy, etc. Obviously, they want to gather contacts who might eventually join the NSS. And I don't really blame them. However, I declined on all accounts. Franky, I get enough new-space news from Hobby Space and other on-line ...
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Sport Rocketry, September/October 2009
The three main features in this issue are the National Sport Launch, Team America Rocket Challenge and a tech article on building an electronics bay. I like the cover photo of the high power Jayhawk (a fuzzy version is shown here). NSL may not be as big as LDRS in terms of average size of the ...
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Berlin TV tower liftoff
Well, not really but still funny. I actually thought it was going to be a CATO...er I mean implosion. (via DRB ) Berlin TV tower - lift off from Fabian Tischer on Vimeo .
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Big a$$ rocket of the day - 1/3 scale X-15 dry fit
Via TRF . Will fly at Plaster Blaster .
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A quick-shift kit and the near end of Blue Origin
In the early 70's, my friends and I used to take our cars to a mechanic named 'Cheater' for his 'super tune ups'. He also installed a quick-shift kit in my transmission. Cheater was a drag racer so we were sure he knew how to tweak our rides. I hadn't remembered the name for quite a while. Today, ...
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Quest MLAS waiting for decals
Since I saw Quest's ad in Sport Rocketry, Quest employee Shrox reported they are waiting for the decals and it won't be long.
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Ban the shaky cam
I've complained about the 'shaky cam' before, most recently in regards to Quarantine . IO9 classifies its use in a 'the good, the bad, and the ugly' schema. I somewhat agree but would prefer to never see it again. I tend to think that, if the movie is good, I can tolerate it. If the movie is not ...
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Look Up: What's in the Sky This Week?
Washington D.C. Skywatchers are in for a treat his month. [Read More Here]
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Quest MicroMaxx Alien UFO on 'Roids on EMRR
The review is posted . However, I managed to hose the database entries when trying to link my flight logs :eek:
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The Corn Moon in alignment with the Capitol
DCist points out a unique astronomical alignment in The District. (hat tip to Whitney's Bayourat Rocketry )
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Don't Look Directly at the Light
Don't Look Directly at the Light , originally uploaded by Karon .
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rocket_laser
rocket_laser , originally uploaded by *christopher* .
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Another Ribbon to Put on My Wall
My project on multi-staging techniques took an Award of Excellence (purple award) at the 4-H State Fair encampment this year. This project has been an incredible learning experience, complete with failures and successes. Soon I would like to move on from 4-H and enter other kinds of co ...
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I built a few match head rockets when I was kid...but this is crazy
I love when the bomb-tech explains what you do if there is a problem when fooling with flammable stuff: you "de-ass" the area. By the way, fooling with match heads is both dangerous and less than impressive. Unless maybe you're the Mythbusters. Note Jamie's disclaimer at the end.
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Raygun Gothic Rocketgirl #1
IMG_7584 , originally uploaded by oaklandEarthGirl .
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Raygun Gothic Rocketgirl #2
IMG_7624 , originally uploaded by oaklandEarthGirl .
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The Raygun Gothic Rocketship's business end
IMG_7526 , originally uploaded by oaklandEarthGirl .
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My 10 favorite albums
After listening to XM Radio's Classic Vinyl and Deep Tracks , I began mulling over what I thought my favorite albums of all time were. It's so hard; there are so many. Here are a few that changed my life (roughly in temporal order). 1. The Doors - This was my first album, evah. My best friend at ...
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New launch guide design - Fly Apart Rail Guides
The latest issue of the Apogee Newsletter (#243) is dedicated to a new concept that Tim is calling Fly Apart Rail Guides. These are the pop lugs of the rail world. They guide the rocket on the rail like standard buttons/guides but release from the rocket after it leaves the rail. No guide --> ...
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Designing a New Rocket Motor (step by step)
I have decided to design, build, test, and fly a new rocket motor. Why not just fly one of my existing rockets with any one of the existing motors that I've already constructed? The reason is simple. I really enjoy going out to Mojave and flying rockets but the really fun part for me is the design ...
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Gothic Raygun Rocket Launch
Gothic Raygun Rocket Launch , originally uploaded by danoday . I like laser shows and rockets :)
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Launch of an Atlas 5 rocket with the classified PAN spacecraft for Lockheed Martin
The Atlas 5 rocket carrying a secretive communications satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. goverment blasted off at 5:35 p.m. EDT on a two-hour ascent from Cape Canaveral, Florida [More Photos Here]
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Designing a rocket motor, by the numbers
Step 1: Pop over to Randy's Rocketry . Step 2: Read the post. Step 3: Subscribe to his feed. (Yeah, you can always just check back on a daily basis.)
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Clues about mystery payload emerge soon after launch
A mysterious spacecraft whose mission is cloaked in secrecy left Cape Canaveral atop the hard-to-miss roar of it's Atlas 5 rocket and then revealed a major clue about itself while cruising above satellite-tracking hobbyist a short time later. [Full Article]
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Amateur satellite watchers are on the job
Spaceflight Now reports on the amateur detective work being performed to determine the nature of a highly secret satellite that was launched yesterday from the Cape. LockMart's PAN satellite was launched yesterday by an Atlas 5. Using the satellite's trajectory and signals, the amateur skywatchers ...
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New Motor Design, SRM
Using Mr Nakka's Solid Rocket Motor Design spreadsheet , I came up with the basic design of my new motor. The dimensions of the motor casing are determined by the casing material. For this motor I have chosen to use the same material that I used in the original motor. The material is steel fence ...
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An Unreasonable rocket vacation
Paul Breed reports that he's taken vacation from his day job to focus on rocketry. 51 days and 7 testing weekends to go.....
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Another Wallops launch with results visible throughout the region
Here's a recycled PRNewswire release about the launch of the Charged Aerosol Release Experiment (CARE). The joint Naval Research Laboratory and DoD project will launch on a NASA four-stage Black Brant XII and will study the artificial noctilucent cloud formed by the exhaust particles of the fourth ...
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Motor Design, Casing
The material that I've chosen for this design is the same as the original; steel. Specifically, fence post material available at the local home improvement store. It has an OD of 2.375" and a wall thickness of 0.049". I've had guys from the high powered rocketry community tell me that steel is ...
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Ares I Solid Rocket Motor Test
"NASA tested the new first-stage solid rocket motor for the Ares I rocket. The static firing of the five-segment solid motor, designated development motor -1 was conducted at the ATK test facility in Promontory, Utah." Once again, I am very happy with the use of large solid motors in NASA rockets. ...
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4D Tesseract
This isn't related to aerospace per se, but I've been into quantum physics off and on, and things like this fascinate me. This is supposed to be a "shadow" of a four dimensional object. If 3D objects casts 2D shadows, then it makes sense that 4D objects would cast 3D shadows. Now, it's important ...
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Static fire of the 5-segment Ares-I SRB
As cool as this is, a burn of 123 seconds is awfully long. Still, it's worth waiting to the bitter end of the video as the announcer provides several interesting factoids.
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Steel as a motor casing material
In his latest post, Randy's Rocketry describes the steel casing he is using in his current motor design. He also explores the use of steel in general. This discussion is driven by the fact the both TRA and NAR do not allow steel casings. Randy presents a good argument with examples but he does ...
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NASA ARES-1 DM-1 Rocket Motor Static Test at ATK
NASA ARES-1 DM-1 Rocket Motor Static Test at ATK , originally uploaded by S. Hurley .
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Bloodhound SSC's monopropellant rocket motor
Clark Lindsey passes along a link to the BloodhoudSSC's web page that describes the static test of a 44.5 kN (10,000 lb) thrust, H2O2 monopropellant rocket motor. Video included.
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Did it hit Mach, or not?
There's another thread on TRF discussing whether a model rocket can break Mach. The discussion covers the OOP FSI Mach-1 Dart and the OOP RocketVision Machbuster (mine disappeared on a G55). The discussion wouldn't be complete without mentioning rocketjunkie's 'EX' 13mm D40 that pushes small ...
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NASA ARES-1 DM-1 Rocket Motor Static Test
NASA ARES-1 DM-1 Rocket Motor Static Test at ATK , originally uploaded by S. Hurley . I saw this image on Dick Stafford's rocket dungeon blog . Sorry for using the same image Dick, but you picked a pretty good one :) Given my post on steel castings yesterday, I thought it might be worth ...
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"Excuse me while kiss the sky"
Hendrix, Sep 11, 2009 , originally uploaded by Russell Blink . Lyrics by Hendrix. Hendrix by Armadillo. Photo by Russell Blink.
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Big a$$ rocket of the day - Thunderbird 3
Cool, even if not a flying model. Uploaded on September 11, 2009 by hesterjenna
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Armadillo NGLLC attempt today - complete coverage
Armadillo will fly the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge today at the Caddo Mills Airport northeast of Dallas. Weather permitting. Clark Lindsey is all over this event, amassing a list of on-line resources. Post #1 Post #2 (I'm still tagging this as the X-Prize Cup, even though that term ...
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Did the NGLLC kill Twitter?
Service Temporarily Unavailable The server is temporarily unable to service your request due to maintenance downtime or capacity problems. Please try again later. Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
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X marks the spot - one down and one to go
Clark's latest update (#7) . First leg complete, weather looks good for a return leg.
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Return to sender - Armadillo successfully completes leg #2
Clark Lindsey reports via PeterDiamandis : "flight 2 takeoff! and perfect flight back to original pad. Success!" All they have to do is get their lander back to the staging area.
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Rocket Motor Design, Initial CAD
Here is the first pass in CAD. I like to get to this point and then live with the design for a while and see how I feel about it after a day or two. I like the overall look of this motor, so I'll probably try to finish the drawing tomorrow. After I finish it, I'll point out some of the features ...
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Armadillo flight videos
Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2 Flight 1 Lunar Lander Challenge Level 2 Flight 2
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Yes, someone has won the $1M
Armadillo's success does not guarantee them the purse. If another team, ie Unreasonable Rocket or Masten, has a better mean landing accuracy, then they will edge Armadillo out. It's a good day in any event.
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Before the rocketry forums, there was...
Sunsite , a link to the olden days of rocketry internet Jerry
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Lucerne launch report, 9/12/09
I arrived on the playa at about 8:45AM yesterday to extremely calm conditions. Jack Garabaldi had already opened is awesomely stocked What's Up Hobbies store and I dove right in buying components and new motors. The ROC folks were just beginning to set up the range but this seemed fine due to the ...
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Even better videos of Armadillo's successful X-prize flights
These are really good. Check out the flame, the stability, and the gimballing of the thrust at landing. Includes on-board footage of touchdown.
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Nippin' at Armadillo's heels
Paul Breed reports his Blue Ball had a 106 second stable hover . His qualification window is October 30-31. If you don't want to follow his blog, he is also on Twitter . If you don't want to follow either, there's always the Dungeon. Masten's Xombie also is having some success. Ben Brockert ...
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CARE launch, tomorrow, Sept. 15, between 7:30 and 7:57 p.m. EDT
Just a reminder to myself. WEBCAST - TWITTER
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New world land speed record for RC cars
And, of course, a rocket was involved. The Black Knight: Hybrid Rocket RC Car blog reports a run at 163.51 mph. This is a new world land speed RC record beating the previous 161.34 mph set by Nic Case in 2008. My congrats to ziaggy12345. If you go to the top page to can find photos of the car, ...
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Dr. Zooch's Ant Lifting Bodies, Parts #1 and #2
The good Dr. may have done what the Augustine Commission couldn't...
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Armadillo Aerospace Stick Two Landings and Take Home $1 Million
The level two lunar lander X-Prize has been claimed. Armadillo Aerospace out of Rockwall, TX successfully flew there rocket Scorpious Super Mod between two pads then back again. With a half an hour to spare. John Carmack is a founding member and Technical Director of id Software , the company ...
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Raygun Gothic Rocketgirl #3
IMG_0132 , originally uploaded by Spaceman Spiffy .
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A 'ldrs' even if not at LDRS
IMG_0038 , originally uploaded by Spaceman Spiffy . Even if it didn't actually launch, the Raygun Gothic Rocketship was also a large and dangerous rocket ship.
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Howard Kuhn: Master Scale Modeler
I got this from a mail list I'm on but the original source is the Scaleroc Yahoo Group. Taking a little time out for a break from the everyday discussions I just wish to inform you that a great US Scale master modeler, Howard Kuhn, is very ill, as reported by his son, Craig Kuhn, on the OldRockets ...
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D-Fusion and Stink Bombs on EMRR
D-Fusion Bomb Stink Bomb
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Xombie on deck!
Masten will go for the NG-LLC Level 1 challenge this morning. Here's a video of the Xombie's first untethered hover. (hat tip to Parabolic Arc )
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Steve Eves' 1:10 Scale Saturn V is too big for a single DVD
Liberty Launch Systems (aka Rockets Magazine) just announced the release of their 3-disk DVD set chronicling the project from conception through launch and on to its final home at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
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Stalled projects, Things, epoxy casting, and another birdhouse
This post will be a hodgepodge status update on the projects in the dungeon - stalled, active, and new. Yes, my 8" MLAS and BT-101 projects are still stalled. The MLAS will likely stay that way until I stumble upon the clear tubing I want. Buying the stuff is still an option, but it just doesn't ...
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Rocket Xombie girls!
As seen on The Launch Pad (credit to Nicky J Rocket Girl) and at the Masten NG-LLC attempt.
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Out-of-Context Shaffer Quotes
I recently started a new blog compiling some of the oddest, funniest, randomest, or goofiest quotes from my Honors Physics teacher Mr. Shaffer. He really means it when he says: "I get to be a dork all day, and I get paid to do it!" He really loves his job, as is evident in his teaching. I'm really ...
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Cooling glitch makes a zombie out of Xombie...2nd leg aborted
Rats, Clark Lindsey reports that a cooling glitch caused minor damage to the Xombie. As a result, they didn't attempt the return leg of this Level 1 attempt. They'll have another go in October.
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Testing NASA's future dune buggies
The Spaceports blog reports on the moon rovers and robots that are being tested in NASA's Desert Research and Technology Study (D-RATS) on the Black Point Lava Flow, Arizona. NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS) web page. The Arizona State University News School of Earth and Space ...
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Cadillac Launch
I don't think of myself as someone who is easily influenced, particularly by advertising, but the other day I saw a car commercial that totally convinced me that I wanted to have this car. I've been considering getting a new car, but a Cadillac . Never! But it seems as if GM geared this commercial ...
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Imagined uses for the rocket birdhouses
The Raygun Gothic Birdhouse and the Raygun Gothic HoJo :
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The $150 Edge-of-Space Camera: MIT Students Beat NASA On Beer-Money Budget
[See Story Here]
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2.375" Rocket Motor Design, Nozzle
I haven't done a lot of additional work on the design. I'm not sure that I'll remove the material indicated in red in the first image, back cuts like that can prove to be pretty time consuming. I should be able to shorten the shoulder a bit once I add the bolts into the design; that would make it ...
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Lasers and rockets... pretty obvious if you think about it.

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Xing outside of Ft Davis, Texas
Xing outside of Ft Davis, Texas , originally uploaded by Oneida Val .
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Laser powered flying saucers
R2K snagged the following video. I've seen these on TV and the net, but I can never get enough of this stuff.
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Rocket birdhouse building frenzy
Well, not exactly a frenzy but compared to the last month or so the Dungeon is buzzing. I surveyed the rocket birdhouses, began gathering parts I had lying around and listing what I need to acquire. Raygun Gothic Birdhouse I first cut, sawed, and pried the top off. I found that, with a little ...
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Odd'l Rockets - the new oddroc vendor
These are the Odd Models, the ones that'll make your Range Safety Officer call for a "Heads Up!"
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MAE students check out Ballistic Barbie rocket
MAE students check out Ballistic Barbie rocket , originally uploaded by Propulsion Research Center .
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Launch Report 2009-8
Location: Location: Central Sod Farm, Centreville, MD ( MDRA ESL-136) Weather: mid-70's, not too breezy, but the wind was in an unfavorable direction Total flights: Today - 5; YTD - 65 Total motors: Today - 5; YTD - 77 Find more photos like this on Our Planet My Flights: NCR Big Brute on a G64-6 ...
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Stomp rocket girl
DSC05019.JPG , originally uploaded by George's Gallery .
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Science is the new ballin'
Not pictured... half a dozen hot ladies losing it.
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2.375" Motor, Completed CAD (nearly)
I'll need a few more dimensions, but I'm pretty much ready to start. I'll start with the casing , then I'll be able to determine exactly what the OD of the nozzle and bulkhead needs to be.
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Black Brant XII/CARE launch
Wallops launched the CARE experiment yesterday evening. I wasn't able to watch, but here is a great video of the cloud dispersal taken from Eldersburg, MD. The artificial noctilucent cloud was formed by the exhaust particles of the rocket's fourth stage at an altitude of about 173 miles. Here is a ...
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Another MDRA ESL-136 report, with rocket girls
Rockets and Such reports a successful launch day. He had a successful J350 flight and even brought bunch of rocket girls. They might not have been rocket girls when they came, but they are now.
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And yet another MDRA ESL-136 report, with...ants
Dr. Zooch has a humorous report on a "horrific" event - a under-power lawn dart. Luckily, nobody was harmed, even the ant-stronauts, who were released back into the wild. Their Dr. even gave them a Tylenol.
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Riding a Slingshot into Space
I had tagged this story a couple of days ago but didn't get around to passing it along. Clark Lindsey reports : A NASA led team is looking at combining electromagnetic launch and a ramjet for the first stage of a system with a rocket powered second stage: Riding a Slingshot into Space: A ...
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2.375" Motor Casing Completed
I finished the casing for the motor. I realized that I made a mistake in the CAD drawing that I posted earlier today. There should be six retaining screws for both the nozzle and the bulkhead versus twelve. I also made a slight change to the length of the casing, opting to make it 3/4"shorter ...
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TRA streamlines the FAA's Level-3 waiver process and facilitates the Big A$$ Rocket of the Day
I'm sure you remember that last December the FAA issued a new set of rules concerning amateur rocketry. This was lauded by the low and mid-powered rocketry world since there would no longer be any notification requirements for rockets that weigh up to 53 oz (3.3 lb) and which use less than 4.4 oz ...
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Thermite: Good for igniters, hard on jack-o-lanterns
(via Make )
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A.R.C.A. rockoon project
Based on a post at The Rocketry Blog , I found out about a project (really a series of rockets based on the same fascinating, very novel design) for a many staged rockoon. This large rocket, to be launched from an even larger balloon (rock-oon), is supposed to eventually send a rover to the moon ...
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In the Field of Model Rocketry - Pratham Ambla
• My Name is Pratham Ambla, a student of third year B.sc (Electronics) but enthusiast of rocketry, astronomy and space science. A childhood passion for the same leads my association with the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad since my age of 10 years. • I have been working ...
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Raygun Gothic Birdhouse - status
I'm not near the Dungeon so I have to go without a photo. The rocket is almost there. I pretty much just need to even up the fins and then figure out how much nose weight is needed. Here is what I've done so far: Prepping the raw birdhouse: Removed the top (ie the nose cone); drilled a hole in the ...
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1st Vikram Sarabhai Model Rocket competition - 2003
• First time in India, Mr. Pratham Ambla was introduced and instrumental in organizing the 1st Vikram Sarabhai Model Rocket Competition in 2003, which was overwhelmed by 215 participants from various schools and organization of Ahmedabad by taking part in the competition. • That was ...
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2nd Vikram Sarabhai Model Rocket Competition - 2004
• In January 2004, 2nd Vikram Sarabhai Model Rocket Competition was organized at a State Level. • 178 Participants from various places of Gujarat like Visnagar, Vadodara, Anand, Gandhinagar, Dehgam, Ahmedabad, etc took part in the competition. • That was inaugurated by Ms. Mrinalini ...
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3rd Vikram Sarabhai Model Rocket Competition - 2005
3rd Vikram Sarabhai Model Rocket Competition - 2005 • As a continuous effort- In February 2005, 3rd Vikram Sarabhai Model Rocket Competition was organized a State Level, with introduction of Double Stage Model Rocket in this competition. • 190 Participants from various places of Gujarat like ...
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15th World Space Modelling Championship for Seniors & Juniors - 2004
Good Wishes from Shri Balkrishna Swami (Swaminarayan Gurukul - Ahmedabad) & Prof. D.V. Devani (Socrates Institute - Bodakdev-Ahmedabad) • For the First time in the History of Space Modelling, Mr. Prathamsinh Ambla was Participated in World Space Modeling Championship from the India. He ...
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1st Water Booster Rocket Competition - 2005
• First Time in India, Mr. Pratham Ambla was introduce Water Booster Rocket Competition in 2005. • There were 50 Participants from different school in this competition. They will make Water Booster Rocket from Plastic Bottle and launch them towards sky. • He was selected ...
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2nd Water Booster Rocket Competition - 2006
• Second time, Gujarat Council of Science City was Organized Water Booster Rocket Competition in 2006. • Mr. Pratham Ambla was conducted Water Booster Rocket Competition in Science City as Resource Person and Jury Member . • There were 100 Participants from different ...
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16th World Space Modelling Championship for Seniors & Juniors, 2006 - Baikonur, Kazakhstan
• In 2006, Mr. Pratham Ambla was participated the 16th World Space Modeling Championship for seniors and juniors in Baiknour, Russia. • He has been participated in S3A (Parachute Rocket ) in senior category. In S3A category stood on 15th rank in individual category. S3 A Catagory Rocket ...
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Get ready to Lock and Load this Friday
Erik Gates gave us a heads-up on The History Channel's Lock and Load a couple of months ago, and now it it upon us: Friday, September 25 10:00 PM Saturday, September 26 02:00 AM Gunny gets a first-hand look at the "rocket's red glare" as he demonstrates rockets dating back to ancient Chinese to ...
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Tripoli Louisiana Kicks Off The Fall Flying Season
NO Wind! I mean there was no wind! None! Everything that went up came straight back down. Unbelievable. What we did have was bugs. It started with the ants. I stood in a pile of them and then did the ant dance. After that the gnats took over. Then it was the mosquitoes. After I applied a ...
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Raygun Gothic rocket update
Here's the Raygun Gothic Birdhouse . I got antsy so I clamped my power drill into my vise and ground on the clear fins. All that's left is the nose weight. I updated my RockSim model and I don't think much will be required. Update: The 'pilot' image and clear window is not installed...it may fly ...
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Some interesting searches to this page
These are from the past few hours: saturn 5 pictures how high does first stage rocket send space shuttle long high powered rocket high power rocketry altitude record kosdon rocket And dozens of searches for "High power rocketry" or something like that.
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Demonstration Program on Model Rocketry - Allahabad
? Demonstration Program on Model Rocketry at Allahabad 1998. ? There were Public Demonstration Lecture on ? How To Make Single Stage Model Rocket? at St. Josephs College - Allahabad. ? There were more then 10,000 People in Lecture so organizer transfer the lecture from Hall ...
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Demonstration Program on Model Rocketry - Surat
• Mr. Pratham Ambla was organize One day Model Rocketry Workshop for V.D. Desai Vadiwala School’s students as part of Science Festival - 2006 Surat, this program was Sponsored by GGCL & BG India ltd. • There were more then 250 students from Surat. All ...
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Model Rocketry Program in Children Science Congress 2006 - Science City, Ahmedabad
• Gujarat Council of Science City & Nirma university Hosted Children Science Congress in Ahmedabd on 5-7 January 2006. • From all over India, there were more then 500 School Students and Teachers are participated in this Children Science Congress. • Mr. Pratham ...
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Special Program organize for Major Thalesimia Patient
With the Support of "Make a Wish Foundation" Mr. Pratham Ambla organized a special program for a young beta-thalassemia patient. The 9 year old boy suffering from beta-thalassemia wanted to make a rocket. He was helped to make and launch a single-stage model rocket.
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Astronomy Program
For Astronomical Events doing a program for All.
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4 oz
That's how much nose weight was required to get 1 caliber of stability margin on the Raygun Gothic Birdhouse . After a bad experience with the RockSim model for the D-Fusion Bomb (original version without added fins), I decided to go for the full caliber. My motors of choice are the F35 for the ...
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Water on the Moon and Mars
There are so many reports on these findings that I almost decided not to post about them. I won't repeat a bunch of links, but will point you to this post by Clark Lindsey . And this one from the Houston Chronicle , which includes an interview with University of Maryland astronomer Jessica ...
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2.375" Motor, Starting Nozzle
I managed to start the nozzle. I'm starting with 2.75" diameter stock which is less than ideal; I would prefer to start with some thing closer to the OD of the finished part, but it's what I have on hand. It shouldn't be too bad though since I added a new, larger motor to the lathe a while ...
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Nozzle? We don't need no steenkin' nozzle! (Update)
Although I can't quote any equations, I've read several overviews of how rocket nozzles work , specifically the standard de Laval variety, and generally understand concepts like expansion ratios. At least I thought so, so correct me if I'm wrong. Due to the physical constraints of the motor ...
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SoLaR Launch Report! There Was No Wind At The Luling Field Today!
I arrived at the field around 9:00AM. The sky was overcast and there was a lite drizzle. The field was soaked and muddy. I hung out for a while waiting for the rain to subside. When it broke I put the truck in 4 wheel drive and headed for a dry spot in the middle of the field. I setup a small ...
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Bear-4 mission
"The balloon and camera were launched at 7:44 AM, the balloon burst at 10:51 AM at 107,145 ft. and the camera landed via parachute at 11:40 AM, 89 miles from the launch site after a 3 hr. & 56 min. flight. The camera recorded a total of 4 hrs. & 22 min. of Hi-Def Video before it stopped ...
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Build session...good progress
Don Brown hosted another of his build sessions today. Before I get to my build, I'll say thanks to Don and Anita for hosting...again. Don grilled brats, provided salad and drinks, and we chipped in for pizza. We had a a garage-full with regulars Paul, Mike, and Jim as well as newbie Tom who make a ...
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Rocket sleds!
Click these last two for full size...
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2.375" Motor, Nozzle Progress
I'm making pretty good progress on the nozzle. The black line in the top few photos is about where it'll get parted off. I still need to cut the 0-ring and insulation grooves, do the back cut behind the shoulder, and index the retaining screw locations. Then I'll part it off, flip it ...
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Laos Rocket Festival Photo1
Following the rocketry safety code...in the Bizarro World! Laos Rocket Festival Photo1 , originally uploaded by Laos Essential Artistry .
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AeroTech Displays 38mm High Power RMS Reload Adapter System at XPRS 2009
AeroTech displayed a new reload adapter system for its 38mm high power RMS? motors during the XPRS launch in the Black Rock Desert near Gerlach, NV held September 17-21. The system allows the use of shorter (lower power) RMS reload kits within a specific motor casing, reducing the number of cases ...
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Cam pitch monocopter
Mechanical wizardry from ZZakk's Lab : Ken cp f0 , originally uploaded by jal3net .
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Howitzer Lessons
Pneumatic launcher. Rocket exits at 660 G's and 1000 mph. Cool. (There appears to be a problem with the photo linkage on Flickr. You can still click below to get to the image.) Howitzer Lessons , originally uploaded by jurvetson .
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2.375" Nozzle Update
I finished the back cut on the shoulder area. In an attempt to get really clean flow into the throat area, the convergent starts at a steep 45 degrees that leads into a shallower 22.5 degree section leading into the throat. This can be clearly seen on the back of the convergent side in the photo. ...
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Our Team Member - Mr. Pratham Ambla With Hon. Astronut Sunita William
In September 2007, as Subject Expert - Mr. Pratham Ambla was Conducted Model Rocketry Workshop and also organized Model Rocket Exhibition in LML School, Ahmedabad. In Presence of Hon. Astronaut Sunita William Students launch the Model Rockets.
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Standoffs and wood stain?
Since Saturday, I embedded a screw in the gap between the motor mounts on the HoJo, attached the mount and a 3/8" tubular nylon shock tether (overkill, but I used what I got), and have started attaching the fins. Next, I'll need standoffs for the rail buttons. My default will be to cut them from ...
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Lockheed Martin Samarai monocopter UAV and Ed Miller's monster
Here's a video reportedly from LockMart. This remote control mono is propeller driven vs. rocket powered, but is still cool. It has a 30" wing but their goal is to get down to 2"-4". Via Botjunkie . The article also notes Ed Millers huge three stage, J-J-K, monocopter. Now that is really cool :)
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Rocket sleds pt. 2 (well really pt. 3 or 4)
6416 MPH
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VeraTech Phantom Sentinel and the Scroton revisited (updated)
Not quite a monocopter but along the same line, VeraTech's Phantom Sentinel is a small spinning UAV. It appears to be a product vs. in R&D. Also cool. (hat to to Ken from ZZakk's Lab ) {In looking for the photo re-posted below, I found I had previously posted about this.} Update: I st ...
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Optimum Mass Research Project
In between AP calculus, AP English 12 and Honors Physics, I'm working on a research project. The official title is "Optimum Mass of a Small Rocket Propelled Vehicle." The basic premise of the research is to find the factors that determine the optimum mass of a model rocket. Does it ...
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New N-Prize Forums
I see the N-prize folks now have discussion forums . In case you don't feeling like looking through the N-Prize site, you can see the abbreviated rules below. The N-Prize offers two cash Prizes, each of £9,999.99 (nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine pounds and ninety-nine pence, sterling). ...
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HoJo progresso
Well, the Raygun Gothic HoJo is basically flight ready. Since the last update, the fins were completed, rail buttons were mounted on stand-offs and a couple of rings were added over the main tube. The Super-Fil fillets are drying. I haven't made much progress on the decoration. I grabbed some 1/2" ...
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Direct staging APCP to BP motors
TRF member rocket999 provided a link to the following interesting article: Direct Non-electronic Staging From Reloadable Composite Motors To Black Powder Motors , Jay Calvert, NAR # 71767 C Division, Naram-46, Great Meadow, The Plains, Virginia, August 2004. Jay studied several potential methods ...
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Pegasus XL
The next installment in my "just cut and paste rocket crap from Wikipedia" series is all about a fun little rocket, one of the smallest satellite launchers ever. "In a Pegasus launch, the carrier aircraft takes off from a runway with support and checkout facilities. Such locations have included ...
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Starring Verna and Randy as Scully and Mulder
It's almost October, and Verna and Randy are busy investigating X-files from 1987 to the present. Meanwhile, their Fire and Smoke features Spook-tacular Flying , the Power of the Internet , and one bird-brained modeler.
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Soyuz launch
Do you not like rocketry stuff? Get me out of here.
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Bayourat Rocketry Tests Realtime GPS Tracking Device
GPS tracking powered by InstaMapper.com I was researching GPS tracking when I found this inexpensive GPS tracking device. The software was free. I have been carrying it around with me testing out the coverage and accuracy. So far so good. I will be testing it in a rocket soon. I just have my ...
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Homebrew Rocket Howitzer
Homebrew Rocket Howitzer , originally uploaded by jurvetson . Here's the 'flight' report for the pneumatic rocket cannon that I blogged about a few days ago. Click the photo and learn how trigonometry allowed this shot to be captured. Unlike the Jujubee , which ignited a motor as the rocket ...
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HDR photo of the old Apollo launch pad, taken at sunset
HDR apollo center sunset , originally uploaded by maxcap60 . I thought this HDR (high dynamic range) photo of the old Apollo pad at KSC was pretty cool. It struck me as a modern day Stonehenge...an abandoned monument whose purpose is fading.
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EMRR review of the Instructables Frisbee Saucer
EMRR review on the flight conversion of the cardstock Instructables Frisbee Saucer .
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X marks the spot
X marks the spot , originally uploaded by jurvetson . This is what happens when a 10' tall rocket with a 48 lb nose cone lawn darts. That's the solid clay floor of the Black Rock Desert. Hard stuff.
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Hostile Projectiles
The title sounds like a description of some of my projects, but it is actually the name of a new kit vendor . Their one current offering is the V-23 Bomber Manned Rocket but a standard V2 is in the works. The discriminator with these kits is that they feature detailed, hollow, resin cast cones ...
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Delta 4H
"The particular setup for this was sound activated. The lens was destroyed (worth it of course) but the camera survived this one despite being severed from its ratchet straps and thrown to the ground, and the sound device used for this one disconnected from the camera and thrown about 200 feet ...
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Even more carbon fiber success
I was finally able to lay up two new 38 and 54mm minimum diameter designs with 2 wraps of 6 oz carbon fiber cloth and cure them in 1 hour with a nearly perfect finish. The key seems to be plugging in the curing oven right when you place the part and then unplugging at exactly 1 hr. I then let both ...
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College
College. The very word stirs two coexisting sentiments inside me. The prospect excites me: to go out into the world to accomplish great and adventurous feats, to know a new life away from everything I've ever known... And this leads directly into my other view, a seemingly con ...
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Non-pyro deployment set-up
The attached video shows a non-pyro ejection scheme that is being developed for sugar motors. It employs a bungee-powered plunger that is initiated by a burn string, in this case fishing line. The video provides a detailed explanation as well as some static tests. I realize that 'non-pyro' isn't ...
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Nothing normal about this rocket
Actually, it had four fins and a nose cone, motors and a 'chute, so I guess I should clarify. This is the latest creation from Inverse Engineering. It is staged and clustered - 4 Ks to one L. All PVC sugar motors. The rocket is mainly PVC also. All staging and deployment is done by relays and a ...
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Some Math Jokes
A geeky mathematics student at MIT was sitting in a coffee shop reading his textbook on implicit differentiation, when in walked an exothermic female. He had always felt awkward about talking to pretty girls, but he thought he could muster the courage today, since it was February 14, a ...
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2.375" Motor, Nozzle Update
I pretty much finished the nozzle. I used a parting tool to cut the o-ring groove and the groove where the insulation fits into. I then parted it off, flipped it, and cut the convergent side. I still need to drill and tap the retaining screw holes and I'm planning on adding some "gun blue" or ...
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Naval Rail Gun
"Office of Naval Research video of the 31 January test of the world's most powerful electromagnetic rail gun at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dalhgren. Firing at a 10.64MJ energy level, railgun achieved a muzzle velocity of 2,520 metres per second" The idea here is to have, in one or two ...
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New FTC rules on manufacturer sponsored evaluations
Angelo Castellano of Sunward Aerospace Group Limited notes on Rocketry Planet that the FTC has released new rules regarding testimonial advertising...and blogging . Here's an excerpt from the new rules that Angelo posted: Disclosure of material connections. When there exists a connection ...
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On the history of Air Turbo Rockets and Robert Hutchings Goddard
Plasma Wind is featuring a great post on the history of the Air Turbo Rocket (ATR). The pioneering work on ATRs was performed by Robert Hutchings Goddard during his time in Roswell, New Mexico. and the article should prove interesting to all amateur rocket historians and fans of Dr. Goddard. I ...
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NARHAMS launch captured on Google Maps!?!
A NARHAMS member noticed that it looks like one of our launches was captured on Google Maps . The launch site is located at the Old National Pike Park, Mt. Airy, Maryland. There is not enough resolution to 1000% confirm this, but the image shows a group of people with easy-ups on the hill where we ...
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I just love the LEM (LM)... What can I say?
Not just because I live on Long Island either...
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Raygun Gothic HoJo - completed, except...
Except for a plug for the gaping hole in the cone and possibly the name. I gave up on brass/copper tubing or fittings for trim. I didn't want to hold up the build as I get close to vacation and it would only add unnecessary weight. So with the help of Don and stantonjtroy on TRF, I fashioned the ...
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Nice new Sprint ABM video
This is probably the best collection of Spartan and Sprint footage on the internet today. If you can find anything new, please help me. What an incredible ABM system, it is really sad that we did not maintain it. Many make the weak argument that ABMs cause instability by breaking down what they ...
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Vintage range boxes
In the spirit of the coming Holiday, LA Weekly features a compendium of range boxes...for hunting VAMPIRES! If you can't afford the ones shown, they tell you how to stock your own. Ooops, I guess the source link would help!
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Masten is flying the NGLLC again today
Clark Lindsey reports that Xombie has flown the first leg of the Level I challenge with a total flight time over the required 90 seconds and great accuracy. Leg #2 is immanent. The following photo shows how close the landing was.
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Masten appears to have successfully completed Leg #2
Xombie's second leg was unofficially timed at 91 seconds. It has been moved back to the prep area to the cheers of the observers. Again unofficial, but the mean landing accuracy was around 6 inches. I forget what they get for completing Level-1, other than to go for Level-2. Update: I guess they ...
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Plugging the holes...without birds
Everyone I ask thinks I should put birds in my birdhouses. But I already have bats in my belfry and I have already put birds in my other birdhouse rockets. For the HoJo , I plugged it with a large emerald colored lens. The Raygun Gothic Birdhouse has a Creeple Peeple pilot behind a clear window. ...
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NASA Space Telescope Discovers Largest Ring Around Saturn
This artist’s conception shows a nearly invisible ring around Saturn — the largest of the giant planet’s many rings. It was discovered by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. The artist’s conception simulates an infrared view of the giant ring. Saturn appears as just a small dot from outside ...
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Another Ares Parachute Drop Test
Ares Parachute Drop Test (NASA, Ares Rockets, 10/7/09) , originally uploaded by nasa1fan/MSFC . This test unit designed only to go down would make an interesting scale model intended to go up :) Reminds me of the Aries "Fat Albert" . Hmm, even the name is similar.
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Xombie cookin' the X-Prize
Check out this downward looking camera on Masten's NGLLC run earlier today. Totally awesome.
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LCROSS to shoot the Moon this Friday
This Friday at 7:30 EDT, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) will fire its spent upper-stage Centaur rocket into the Cabeus crater near the lunar south pole. Scientists hope to find water in the tons of debris tossed into the lunar 'sky'. Here is an artist's depiction of the ...
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38mm madness!
There are two crazy 38mm projects being discussed right now in the Rocketry Planet Forums, both of them expected to be (to have been) flown at Balls 18: One is a 38mm rocket built by "Binder Design" (user name, also a well known rocketry company ) to fly on an L5000. Yes thats right... an L. A 68 ...
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Rocket weight inflation
Egads, the as-built weight of the Raygun Gothic HoJo is sitting at a whopping 35 oz without motors. I weighed all the 'major' parts before assembly but it appears that I left something out (like the epoxy, shock cord, etc.). So, I updated the over-rides and reran the RockSim model. It says the ...
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Space dreaming (LCROSS)
As expected, the LCROSS lunar impact occurred roughly an hour ago, spewing some 350 tons of moon dirt around 6.2 miles high. I must have had LCROSS on the brain because I dreamed about it last night. In my dream, the plume from the impact was clearly visible in the morning hours with the naked eye. ...
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What's next, environmental impact statements for the moon?
National Geographic - LCROSS Impact: Are NASA Moon Crashes Worth the Damage? With about a half million craters already there, I personally am not concerned with today's LCROSS experiment. I guess if you didn't pick your site at all you could damage the several dozen historic artifacts that are ...
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New Motor, 3D Model
I'm working on making some animation to show how this motor goes together. I did a couple of cross sectional views that pretty much show just that. In the close up view you can see the nozzle and the insulation (the reddish colored stuff). The original version of this motor didn't use any ...
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50 Things I Do When I'm Bored
Try to design a rocket on RockSim to break 100,000 ft using K motors Make up polynomials and then factor them Eat a bowl of cereal Try to find shortcuts to evaluate the nth derivative of a function Make popcorn Watch obscure movies Think about the Universe and wonder if it has ...
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Saturday WANT
Here's a shot of the forthcoming BT-60 V2 from Hostile Projectiles . If you click and expand the the image, you can see some of the detail on the cast cone and boat tail. I was thinking about a much larger V2 when this came along. I guess this will be cheaper and even cheaper to fly. And he's ...
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New Motor, Finished Bulkhead
I finished the bulkhead. I varied from the drawing a bit by adding a pressure port so that I can measure the chamber pressure during testing. I need to order some o-rings and then I'll be able to test fit everything.
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Rocket Team
An amazing new opportunity has come my way: My physics teacher, Mr. Shaffer, is the leader of a small club at my school called the "Rocket Team." The goal of the club every year is to build an egg-lofting rocket to enter in the Team America Rocketry Challenge contest. Every year the rules for the ...
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UFO at China Lake
ZZakk's Lab has unearthed and is analyzing a photo of what appears to be a monocopter...or is it? Read his post and decide for yourself.
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Shameless plug for EMRR Rocket Family contest - VOTE!
EMRR has opened the voting for his Rocket Family photo contest . Entry number 3 is my family of Fireball XL5 and Fireball XL5-like objects. 'Nuff said ;)
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Just a huge BB gun
Parabolic Arc posts on a New Scientist article on a Space Investment Summit presentation on an air boost launcher. (that's a lotta 'on's) John Hunter and two other ex-LLNL scientists have formed a company called Quicklaunch, to develop a more powerful version of a gun they built at LLNL. (Amateur ...
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Adrian Carbine three stage project
How cool is this project?! The info and some of the pictures below are from early attempts, such as in a 2006 article from Rocketry Planet. However, it appears that a flight took place at the most recent balls launch, and from the looks of the video (seen last at the bottom of this post) the ...
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What Happens When Galaxies Collide
A recent NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures what appears to be one very bright and bizarre galaxy, but is actually the result of a pair of spiral galaxies that resemble our own Milky Way smashing together at breakneck speeds. The product of this dramatic collision, called NGC 2623, or ...
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Paper Plane Making Program
Demonstration Program on Paper Plane making at Allahabad, U.P. Teachers Training Program on Paper Plane making at Allahabad, U.P. Demonstration Program on Paper Plane making at Mundra - Kutch, Gujarat • Mr. Pratham Ambla - Model Rocketry Club has been Conducted Demonstration ...
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Exhibition on Model Rocketry
Explain Model to Mr. M.P. Deomurari (Scientist - PRL, Ahmedabad) Founder of Model Rocketry Club • Mr. Pratham Ambla - Model Rocketry Club, has been developed Exhibition on Model Rocketry. • In this exhibition there were different types of models on rocketry. • Through ...
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Really nice footage from a lunar lander prize flight
"October 7, 2009 - Masten Space Systems flew our XA0.1B-750 rocket vehicle in the Northrop-Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, level one. Both Flights were successful meeting the required flight profiles and time conditions. We are now in a position to claim the second prize award of $150, 000. First ...
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Another UFO (YouFoe) from China Lake
Ken is at it again . Looks like a cross between the Bat Plane, a lifting body, the alien vehicle from Independence Day , and something 'Big Daddy' Ed Roth built. ZZakk's Lab - 2, Rocket Dungeon - 0 If you think know what this thing is, pop over to his Lab and let him know. I have to check out the ...
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Wednesday WANT
The Hostile Projectiles Delta X15.
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Iowa State, Here I Come!
Tomorrow I'll be going down to visit one of the colleges I'm considering. In all honesty, Iowa State University is one of my "fall-back" schools. I would rather go to Embry-Riddle or MIT. But it's still decent, and perhaps I'll feel different after visiting the campus. I'll let you know how the ...
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Tempest sounding rocket
During the CATS prize, I had been following all of the teams and just hoping one would eventually make it to space with the metal slug, required payload for the prize. No team made it (the CSXT was close), which has always been strange to me. Sure it is easy for me to sit here at a computer and ...
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Interesting Rocket Motor
I saw this motor on EBay, the other day. I bid on it, but unfortunately didn't win. The description said that it was 13 inches long by 4 3/8 inches in diameter. There was another (really blurry) photo looking down the nozzle that showed a graphite insert.
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2.375 inch Motor Update
I finished drilling and tapping the nozzle and bulkhead. I also got the o-rings, so I'll test fit everything soon. I need to start thinking about casting bases and mandrels for the propellant; I may have some from the previous motor that I can just modify slightly. If not, I'll make some new ...
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LockMart spaceplane flies again from Spaceport America
I saw a report on the third flight test of Lockheed Martin's small rocket glider a last week but didn't notice a photo...until now. The launch was from UP Aerospace's rail and the landing was in the designated zone. (reminder thanks to Clark Lindsey )
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Mars

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Thunder & Lightning mark II pix
Thanks to Jeremy Rich for these shots of the I357/I211 flight covered below! A reminder that... yes I did get all parts back intact. I don't buy into miracles yet I'll admit that this vessel should not be sitting in my garage ready to fly again immediately!
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Reaction Research Society, 1958
I just noticed that the RRS website has a pdf of a 1958 Popular Mechanics article reporting on the activities of the society. It's fun to think what it would be like to have been alive at some point in history, whether it be in the midst of the "space race" or some other time. It's nice to see ...
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Iowa State University
Our trip down to Iowa State University was very informative! They're known for their engineering, and once they finish the new biosystems engineering building, they will have the largest engineering complex in the world. Iowa State has a giant subsonic wind tunnel that seniors and graduate ...
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AeroTech on Facebook
AeroTech now has a page on Facebook! Follow the very latest AeroTech news, information, product developments and testing at http://www.facebook.com/pages/AeroTech-Consumer-Aerospace/159005948954
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Mercury capsule on a rocket sled at China Lake
(photo via China Lake Alumni, 1962 )
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M750 for EM-SEM-FITY
One 9,345 N•s, 14 second burn M-motor now in stock for Plaster Blaster :
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Ya' gotta know your motor plug color codes
I can keep the black and white ones straight, but never can remember the others. So, trial and error is required at every LPR launch. Via TRF : 1/4A3, 1/2A3, A3 - Orange A10 - Green 1/2A6, A8, B4 - Yellow B6, C6 - Magenta B8, C5 - Blue (these motors have been OOP for several years) D12 - White ...
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CF minimum diameter build progress
So I've made some progress on the Viciously Mean Machine and unnamed 38mm spike below. I've applied Cotronics 4525 high-temperature epoxy fillets to all fin/body interfaces and laid up tip-to-tip carbon fiber reinforcement on all fin pairs with Aeropoxy. I've also post-cured both tubes in the oven ...
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CD3 ejection ground test for M750 flight
It worked perfectly with only 12g of CO2!
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Ares I-X unveiled
Ares I-X rollout. Very artsy. And on the pad. Launch is scheduled for Oct. 27 at 8 a.m. EDT.
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Top 10 reasons the Dungeon isn't more popular
This post was prompted by the sharp drop off in my readership after a week-long lull in posting during my vacation. In terms of the blogosphere, sport/hobby/amateur rocketry is a niche market. Too much off topic stuff. Spaceflight and science is probably OK but few rocketeers people ...
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Introducing...The Beer Garden
In my previous post, I mused about what was wrong with the Dungeon (the blog, not the rocket lab). The first two respondents basically thought the problem was not enough beer . So, I thought I'd start blogging about the beers I've enjoyed. This will be a regular but probably infrequent feature as I ...
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1954 The Earth from space
"This is a photomosaic of the first natural color images of the Earth sucessfully taken from a high-altitude rocket. It image shows a large swathe of land to the south and east of the launch site and a tropical cyclone is visible over Del Rio, Texas. This image is also the first ever taken from a ...
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2.375" Motor Update
I've been talking with Magnus from AIR recently about this motor and he has convinced me to use erythitol based propellant. I first heard about erythitol on Scott Fintel's site and the biggest attraction seemed to be ease of casting as well as a decent Isp even at relatively low chamber pressures. ...
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House of Reps extends commercial space indemnification
I didn't know commercial launches were ever indemnified at the federal level. Clark Lindsey's post was short, so I lifted the whole thing: The House passes a bill to extend for another three years the indemnification against third party damages above the maximum probable loss for which launch ...
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Ares I-X: A New Dawn (NASA, 10/20/09)
Ares I-X: A New Dawn (NASA, 10/20/09) , originally uploaded by nasa1fan/MSFC . Couldn't resist this one.
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AeroTech Unveils New E20W Model Rocket Motor at 2009 iHobby Expo
AeroTech Consumer Aerospace is introducing a new 24mm `E`-class single-use model rocket motor in new retail packaging at the 2009 iHobby Expo trade show in Chicago, IL held during October 22 through 25. The new E20W is the same physical size as a black powder `D` motor at 24 X 70mm, but is only ...
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Mars Missions
Just look at that failure rate! Bryan Christie design
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Radio controlled monocopter
Here is a video of a $500 radio controlled monocpoter developed by University of Maryland grad students. While the prototype cost $500, productions models may be on toy store shelves by the time the team lead graduates in May of next year. Cool. I want one. BTW, here's a reference to another small ...
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3 Micro Sattelites
"Inside Orbital Sciences’ Building 1555 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, this closeup shows the Space Technology 5 (ST5) spacecraft's microsatellites mounted on the payload structure. The spacecraft will be enclosed for launch. The ST5 contains three microsatellites with ...
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X-37B to launch atop an Atlas booster
I want to see this one! This space.com article reports it is manifested for April 2010. (big hat tip to Clark Lindsey )
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October launch scrubbed (by me)
Mid 60's and 90% chance of rain. Bah. Also, it's 50/50 that I'll have at least some conflict with Red Glare in November. Bah^2 (Still, my fingers are crossed.)
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2.375" Motor Update
I've completed a couple of the wooden pyrogen canisters. I also ran a new SRM simulation with KNER propellant. The result of switching from KNSB to KNER is that the burn time basically doubles and the chamber pressure is cut to about half. The drop in chamber pressure results in a bit of a drop ...
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A blog post powered by a black hole
The Next Big Future discusses the possibility of using artificial black holes to power future spaceships. This idea is pretty far out there and the conclusion is that it is "at the edge of possibility." I think this concept is far enough over the event horizon that I'll never live to find out. The ...
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LAUNCH Magazine, the book
A Rocketry Planet reader got this pre-order announcement from Amazon: Launch Magazine's History of Rockets & Model Rockets Mark Mayfield List Price: $14.95 Price: $10.08 You Save: $4.87 (33%) Release Date: October 28, 2009 Product Description Launch Magazine presents the complete history of ...
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Do something, even if it's wrong
There is a lot of discussion about the viability and even sensibility of NASA's Ares rockets and its exploration plans in general. Most recently, the discussions and arguments have centered around the Augustine Commission and their 155 page report. (The latest post I saw is from Alan Boyle's ...
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Iridium-Cosmos, 8-months later
ArmsControlWonk provides an update on the debris field that resulted from February's collision of the Iridium and Cosmos satellites. After 8 months there are still some 1586 cataloged items. (Oops, almost forgot to credit Clark Lindsey for spotting this.)
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Ares I-X Press Kit
Download via spaceflightnow .
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Unreasonable stable hover
Via Paul Breed on twitter: Stable no faults silver hover! Now to do a perfrormance hover test with known propellant weights. That's great news!
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Thermite ignition tests
[Disclaimer: I assume no responsibility for use or misuse of this information. It's available elsewhere on the Internet and I'm simply sharing my engineering interpretation of that information. Use these materials with great caution. Do not mix reactants until just before use. Do not mix or ignite ...
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Rockets on Lock and Load
I just watched The History Channel's Lock and Load hosted by R. Lee "Gunny" Ermey. (on-demand) Took a few notes and took some real-time 'screen snaps'. This show is worth the price of admission! First a reminder from Erik Gates, who worked on the show: In the 3 days we launched 5 ancient ...
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Max Attack Takes To The Sky at High Cotton
The Max Attack flew today on Loki Sparky Power. The motor is a 75mm 6000 newton M1200. What a show it put on as the motor sent my 40lb. rocket to 8,600'. The weather is perfect here in Winnsboro, LA. The temperature is in the 70's and there is no wind. We are having an awesome weekend. There have ...
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Repairs, grid fin thoughts, and pending purchases
This afternoon, I ventured into the Dungeon for the first time since returning from sunny, warm Florida. I surveyed my growing list of partially completed projects and gravitated to the grid fin Crayon rocket. I had built a annular grid fin for a Crayon bank a while back. It consists of a circular ...
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Simulation of small rockoon launch to orbit
This is a simulation of a very small rockoon launching a tiny payload into orbit. This is interesting because it show how, under ideal conditions, it only takes about O impulse (according to the person posting this in the forum) to get a pico-sat. into orbit. Granted nothing like this may ever be ...
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Unreasonable problems
Via Paul Breed on Twitter: Silver ball catalyst pack died mid test. Puts 180 very much in doubt, still trying, but doubtful. He and his team are fighters!
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Big launch week ahead (update)
Ares I-X is scheduled to launch from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The typical Florida weather may be a problem, however. The window is open until noon. See it live on NASA TV . Three teams will try to unseat Armadillo in the Northrop Gruman Lunar Lander Challenge. The ...
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2.375" Motor Updated
I changed the design again. I decided to optimize the it for KNER propellant by adding two additional segments. The additional propellant brings the motor up to a solid L-class motor and the chamber pressure sims. at right about 1000psi. I'm hoping to have an opportunity to test fire it for the ...
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Tripoli Motor Testing Certifies 38mm RMS Reload Adapter System, Five New High-Power RMS Reload Kits
The Tripoli Motor Testing (TMT) committee of the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA) has tested and approved a number of new AeroTech products. 38mm RMS Reload Adapter System The previously-announced 38mm AeroTech RMS? reload adapter system (P/N 38RAS) is now TMT-approved and allows the use of ...
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Ares I-X/Space Shuttle twofer
In his post on tomorrow's Ares I-X launch (maybe...weather "may be a problem"), Wayne Hill posted the following cool, and historic, photo of both the Ares and Shuttle on their pads. Couldn't resist cross-posting this! The next is provided...just because.
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Misguided flying saucer
Misguided - both a proper noun and an adjective. Think it will be stable?
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Virtual rocket girl reports real time flight data
I guess Vern Knowles wanted to watch his rocket's flight and not the real time data displayed on a computer screen...so he developed the Kate Voice Narrator. This is so cool. Kate is a computer synthesized female voice that narrates the flight in real time by making call outs of altitude, speed, ...
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Another twofer
This one comes from NASA/Kim Shiflett via space.com.
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NK-33
This is a great little engine, from the N1 program that was cut short. This has the highest thrust to weight ratio of any rocket engine (that does NOT include solid rockets etc.) NK-33 Wiki NK-33 at at E.A.
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T-4:00, a close view of the pointy end, and triboelectrification
I'm watching NASA TV and Florida Today during the extended T-4:00 delay of the Ares I-X launch. Looks touch and go. They said something about the failure of a range radar, which is mandatory for launch. I missed the details since the wife turned on the TV. But they seem to be getting ready to ...
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Expecting It's a scrub (updated...twice)
Last opportunity to resume the Ares I-X count was 11:24EST...and the weather didn't cooperate. Rescheduled for Wednesday. It struck me that this may be NASA's most important unmanned launch ever.
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A snapshot of the U.S. Naval Observatory
DCist provides an interesting peek inside the USNO . Blogger Heather Goss documents a recent tour, from the 12" Alvin Clark refracting telescope that was built in 1892, to original works by Tycho Brahe , to the clock room where you see every piece of timing equipment used throughout history ...
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The engineer's desktop before computer desktops
When I started my professional career, I was given a desk in a bullpen and a ton of manuals to read. There were no PCs or web. We had drafting tools, parts catalogs, and a plethora of free print magazines.The IC Master was like a bible, except everyone didn't have a copy. Prior to starting work, I ...
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11A52

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Unreasonable bad news
Paul Breed reports that The ball is dropped in the end zone . A tank failure in the Silver Ball has knocked him out of the NGLLC level 2 challenge. He's still going to prep the Blue Ball and try for level 1. He laments that it is looking like, after investing 3 years and a ton of his own money, ...
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Ares I-X flew!
I only found they were going to try again today a few minutes before the countdown was resumed from the T-4 hold. It looked great and visual tracking was maintained until well after booster separation. Very cool. Congrats to the Ares I-X team! Can't wait for some photos. As I'm typing I hear the ...
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Watch the Masten NGLLC flights (updates)
Live They experienced problems and the contest window closed. They will try again between 4PM and 5PM EST. I'm unclear if this is an official contest window or if they are just testing. The webcast will restart during this window.
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Ares 1-X !
"Ares 1-X launch from Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday, October 28th, 2009 at approximately 11:30 a.m.. T minus 1:00 on." This is a great rocket because it is: simple, safe, fairly cheap, and never mixes humans with payload. This is a very small step, but a step in the right direction. Hopefully ...
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Ares x-1 Launch
There is some good video of this morning Ares launch. The second video as some cool camera angles. Everything apparently went as planned, I guess the payload seperation wasn't as dicey as it looked.
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Ares I-X Rocket Races Into the Sky (NASA, 10/28/09)
Ares I-X Rocket Races Into the Sky (NASA, 10/28/09) , originally uploaded by nasa1fan/MSFC . Follow the link below the photo to find more great shots.
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Ares I-X Video

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ROCKETS Magazine, October 2009
This month, Bob and Neil's editorial discusses the state of rocketry magazines. During the last 4 months or so, we have lost 50% of our rocket magazines - both LAUNCH and Extreme Rocketry succumbed to the economy. The good news is that ROCKETS is doing well. Such is the benefit of being affiliated ...
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LRO footage from the moon
Nice image of the Apollo 17 site.
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NAR Certifies New AeroTech E20W Motor
The National Association of Rocketry (NAR) Standards & Testing (S&T) Committee has certified AeroTech?s new E20W model rocket motor. The motor features an all-new molded phenolic casing with a built-in thrust ring, a molded delay/ejection bulkhead and ships with a FirstFire Jr.? 2-lead ...
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The Unreasonable fat lady did not sing
Paul Breed reports that when the goin' gets tough, the tough grind, bend, and weld their tanks back together. They may need a couple of more miracles, but their level-2 hopes are NOT DEAD.
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Detail: Bow Shock During Ares I-X Rocket Launch (NASA, 10/28/09)
Detail: Bow Shock During Ares I-X Rocket Launch (NASA, 10/28/09) , originally uploaded by nasa1fan/MSFC .
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Masten is loading LOX (update)
Live! Update 1:49PM EDT: It looks like they are having the same problems as they did yesterday, which was a communications problem between the on-board computer and the GSE. This morning, they had one soft start, they refueled, and then had another glitch. They won't make this window but can have ...
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Ares I-X successful, but not perfect (updated)
Space.com discusses the apparent staging problem with Ares I-X. They cite comments from Mission Manager Bob Ess. He said to CNET, "So far, we're on a path to learn a lot. The separation seemed a little different than we predicted as far as how the upper stage reacted after separation. So right ...
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Xoie at Mojave
IMG_6765 , originally uploaded by Dave Malkoff . Follow the link to see the photographer's entire set from today's attempt.
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Masten loading fuel and helium (updates)
Webcast is not running yet . Update 1: Launch was supposed to go at nominally 5:50 EDT. Webcast froze at '1' in the countdown :eek: Update 2: Text feed reports Xoie landed. Not sure of the duration. Then reports of fire. Video back showing blue sky only. Update 3: Unofficial report is that they ...
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Updated posts
I've been doing a bunch of updates rather than creating new posts: Masten NGLLC status Ares I-X status
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My Launch Report From High Cotton Oct. 24-25 2009
What a weekend! We had a great launch with lot's of memorable flights. Here is a list of my successes and failures. My first flight was my Apogee Aspire. I had loaded it up with a G79W single use motor. When the button was pushed the rocket exploded off the pad. Then about 10 feet off the rod the ...
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Both Masten and Unreasonable Rocket to fly the NGLLC today (updates)
Masten around noon EDT and Unreasonable in the afternoon. I'm all for giving masten another shot, as long as it didn't squeeze Paul and his team. If it did, they should give him a window Sunday, even if that is technically past the competition window. Update: It appears others agree about giving ...
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NGLLC Judging Protest
John Carmack isn't happy about the unanimous judge's decision to give Masten the extra window this morning. Read the text of his protest on ParabolicArc .
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New images from Project Farside
If you read this high power rocketry blog regularly, you know by now that this was my all time favorite rocket. Indeed as soon as I get back down to DC (have not been since taking rocketry on as a new hobby in the late 90s), I plan to get to this rocket and take detailed pictures. Here are two ...
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Rocket Team Update
Our rocket team at school has been making some great progress in preparation for Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) 2010! We "finalized" our RockSim design, and are now going to start collecting parts. I made a fiberglass transition piece this afternoon, and considering that I always have ...
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More Unreasonable bad news
I had to scoot so I didn't have the chance to follow Unreasonable Rocket's NGLLC efforts. I wish that I had missed a successful Level-1 flight, win or lose. Unfortunately, the Blue Ball had problems on both attempts. They plan to go down fighting with additional flights tomorrow. Pop over to the ...
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19 cm
Via Twitter: NGLLC09 final unofficial accuracy was 28cm on the first leg, 10cm on the 2nd. Average: 19cm (via @ mastenspace )
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My Unreasonable Level 1 Halloween post
This post will hold all my coverage of Unreasonable Rocket's Level-1 attempt. I'll try to watch the NGLLC Webcast . However, our plans may take me away from the festivities. I still need to carve my pumpkin :eek: I see the two Pauls are going to get an extension to the schedule, so they can do L-1 ...
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Bomarc videos

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Remembering the 8X300 Microcontroller
The Signetics 8X300 (originally made by Scientific Micro Systems) was fast when compared to the other microprocessors of the day. It was implemented in bipolar Schottky and could execute instructions in 250ns. The only other way to get those speeds was to roll your own semi-custom processor using ...
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My Halloween post
Boo! Very simple, before final clean-up: For the record, we only had 15 trick-or-treaters. It was mild but slightly drizzly. Wouldn't have stopped me!
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The flight and fall of the Blue Ball
Here's a capture of Unreasonable Rocket's Blue Ball NGLLC Level-1 flight this afternoon. It's wild, it's crazy, and, even though it ran out of fuel, it's awesome.
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Lander videos galore
No word on what's up with Unreasonable Rocket's level-2 attempt, but the web yielded several videos of past lander flights by UR and others. Here is a downward looking video from Unreasonable Rocket's NGLLC Level-1 run. Via Ben Brockert's YouTube channel . And Armadillo isn't sitting on their ...
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November Fire and Smoke
Verna and Randy have posted their November update to their Photo of the Month and Fire and Smoke features. I always like these and Verna is good enough to ding me when they are updated. This week's photo is of the bow shock on the Ares I-X. That one is cool indeed. Fire and Smoke features my ...
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The Silver Ball is dead
On a test run for NGLLC Level-2, Unreasonable Rocket's Silver Ball oscillated around, broke its tether, fell over, and its leg punctured the tank. My condolences to the two Paul's and their other occasional team members. I hope they remember how far they came and not how far they had yet to go. ...
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Ares I-X in The Big Picture
Boston.com's The Big Picture offers some of the best photo essays around. This week, they feature the Ares I-X from cradle to grave, so to speak.
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AeroTech Lowers Retail Prices on High-Power RMS Reload Kits
As a result of AeroTech locating several high-quality sources of lower-cost Ammonium Perchlorate (AP) oxidizer, AeroTech has reduced suggested retail prices on its entire line of high-power Reloadable Motor System? (RMS?) rocket motor reload kits. While there are a few exceptions (certain Warp-9? ...
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Level 1 Certification
(Stock photo of the Graduator, now over 10 years old.) Today I got my level 1 re-certification at a METRA launch. The cert flight was a LOC Graduator on a pro x H133-9, this is a 163 NS motor with a fast blue propellant. The flight was fast, high, and landed at the edge of the field, just dipping ...
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Unreasonable autopsy
This morning, Paul Breed gives his post-NGLLC analysis . He is happy that he had one "94%" successful flight but laments the lack of resources - time and money. I am amazed what a mostly-2-person team could come as far as they did. Bravo! In the end, it was software engineering that did them in ...
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Ares 1-X Test flight images
Big picture Ares 1-X Wow!
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Quest MLAS - on order (updated...again)
As promised, the Quest Aerospace MLAS became available today. This sport scale kit is 3.5" in diameter, 9" long, uses a foam cone, and recovers on three 'chutes. I ordered two, one to build stock and one to add a bigger mount. The stock kit has only one recommended motor, the B6-4. This should make ...
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Awesome aerial footage of the Ares I-X launch
An aerial video crew observed the October 28, 2009 Ares I-X test flight from a Cessna Skymaster aircraft positioned approx. 10 nautical miles away from the vehicle at an altitude of 12,000 feet. The videographer used a gyro-stabilized high-definition camera system mounted to the outside of the ...
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NASM to offer free teleconferences
You can read all the details on their site , but here's a summary of the first one: The National Air and Space Museum is holding its first ever virtual conference for educators on Tuesday, November 10 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST. Since we’re in the middle of the 40 th anniversary commemorations ...
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Great Ares 1-X footage from the air
This shows the full recovery process. This is just incredible footage, hard to believe that this is even possible. It would have been nice to watch the dummy upper stage crash land also! You have to watch this in HQ mode full screen! Do it! From the Rocket Dungeon
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In the Nozzle Exit
The Nozzle Exit is a new blog from sport rocketeer and NASA MLAS team member Tim Wilson. So far it features info on his original "µMLAS" model, and of course info on the real thing. I'm following it so updates should appear in my sidebar.
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Casting Tools
I haven't had much time lately, but the 2.375" motor project is moving along. The 2.375" motor project...hmmm. I have never a given a motor or rocket project a name. I usually refer to them by color, some key feature, or size like the orange and black rocket , or the camera rocket , or the 2.375" ...
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Cool VASIMR graphic from the NY Times
Sadly, they perpetuate the misconception that we have not yet sent men to Mars because it takes too long to get there. No, the trip is already fairly short with normal rockets. We have not gone to Mars because of a lack of interest and money. There are no deal breakers, even using 1960s space ...
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Bloodhound SSC motor update
Rocketeers.co.uk has an update on the development of the hybrid rocket motor for the Bloodhound SSC supersonic rocket car. The blogger expresses his/her " bitterly disappointed that we're spending money and effort on building a one-shot stunt car, instead of useful vehicles ...". I had never ...
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Unreasonable feature on the Discovery Channel (Canada)
Paul Breed notes that "We were on the daily planet show on the discovery channel in Canada last night. You can see the show here "
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Everything most of us want to know about VASIMR
A case of a picture being worth 1000 words via the New York Times and R2K
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Ares 1X Booster Hits Hard After Chute Does Not Inflate
No wonder the booster had a huge dent in it. That chute just shreds. I guess it's back to the drawing board for the chute department.
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New Vessels for Plaster Blaster
From left-to-right: 4" Em-Sem-Fit y (also known as " Frank's worst nightmare ") 54mm minimum diameter Viciously Mean Machine (106" long for a roughly 50:1 aspect ratio) 3" Vertical Assault mark II - fixed and freshly painted Me in a sport coat and Prada loafers (so as not to offend those who fear ...
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Ares I-Y schedule says a lot
No 5-segment SRB flight test until 2012. (via the Flame Trench ).
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The Sun

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New Pioneer 0 - 2 Images
Long time readers may remember a previous post about the Pioneer 0-2 program. Above are 5 new images from an image archive that show, in great detail, the design of one of these nearly identical pioneer spacecraft. These were all designed to fly to the moon, and burn a large solid rocket (the ...
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Armadillo wants to take you higher
Videos of Armadillos latest flight to 2959 ft (902 m) have made it to YouTube. I like the new pointy look! (spotted by Clark Lindsey , who has another one too)
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New NOTSnik images
These are two new (to this blog anyway) images from the NOTSnik project. I could spend the rest of my life just focusing on project farside, NOTSnik, vanguard, and the Thor-able moon shots.
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Concept art for Virgin's LauncherOne (updated)
ParobolicArc posts a couple of concept drawings for Virgin Galactic's recently announced foray into the world of small satellite launching. The first has a cruise missile look to it and the second is more SpaceShipOne-like. Given the differences and the quality of the drawings I am wondering if ...
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Quest MLAS - RECEIVED!
My two MLAS kits and a few other parts just arrived. Not bad for a Monday morning order. My one annoyance is that we are at the end of the UPS route so, even though my package was out for delivery at 6AM, it was 6PM before it arrived. The kit looks cool, I like its stubbyness and foam cone. It has ...
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Quest MLAS - status and initial opinions
I started the build during TV commercials this evening. I built and installed the motor mount, built the nose cone assembly less the recovery harness, filled the fins, and began installing them. So far this has all been fairly straightforward and I'm not sure I'd rate this skill level three. But no ...
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Quest MLAS - more status and opinions
Find more photos like this on Our Planet Here are a few photos. I am applying the fillets and later today will prep the cone. Paint will wait until tomorrow when my 50%-off coupons at Michael's kick in. I won't save much, but it might pat for the gas to get there. I added the ruler to the ...
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"Kari likes big guns"...'nuff said
Click through to see the clear original.
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38mm three stage flight!
Regular readers may remember the last post about a very impressive 38 MM three stage project. Well the final article has just been published about the flight, at Balls 2009. This is a fascinating project because of the great use of composites, complex arrangement of electronics, and overall ...
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Quest MLAS - stability
My MLAS, prior to paint, comes in at 3oz. I measured the actual CG and set the overrides. I haven't tried to apply a 'phantom' cone to account for base drag. With a B6, the margin drops to 0.32. With a C6, it drops to 0.26. It's almost hard to believe that CG shift of a mere 0.2 inches will result ...
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Run for the hills, The Saucer Fleet has landed!
I just received my copy of ARA Press' The Saucer Fleet , which I won for taking 3rd place in EMRR's Rocket family photo contest . I loved their Spaceship Handbook and I love saucers, so I was looking forward to this one. My deepest thanks to Jack Haggerty for sponsoring the contest, Nick Esselman ...
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New Video Of My Rocket The Max Attack Flying At High Cotton On October 24th, 2009
This video was shot from three different cameras. One was a pad cam setup by Nathan Mumphrey . The rocket is my Performance Rocketry Competitor 5 "The Max Attack" The motor was a Loki Research M1200 "Sparky". It was a awesome day and this was one awesome flight. This is probably the closest I have ...
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Moar N1

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Loudmouths are coming to a launch near you
And, I'm not talking about select members from the rocketry forums :) I see from their Facebook news feed that AeroTech successfully tested a K345LM 'Loudmouth' yesterday at Plaster Blaster. The Loudmouth reportedly sounds like a "sparky without the sparks." They also flew the J99N endburner, ...
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Big a$$ rocket of the day - 1/3 scale X-15 at Plaster Blaster - RIP
Find out more about this totally awesome but ill-fated project on TRF .
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Masten's 'Xoie-II' to study the "ignorosphere"
Aviation Week reports on Masten's plans for their NGLLC prize money. These plans include adding an aeroshell (for aerodynamic performance and to support reentry) and a new 2,500 lbF engine (vs Xoie's 750 lb). They are marketing this capability to lift 50 lb payload's to "what Masten calls the ...
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The Chickens are Laying!
Don't be alarmed, I'm not ready for the funny farm, but I really am excited. You see, I'd started some research on the strength of the shell of various egg options for the TARC contest, but I couldn't finish it until the chickens started laying eggs. So far I've discovered that a typical ...
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Quest MLAS - looking good from 10'
I added two photos of the final product to my OurPlanet album . Not unexpectedly, this is another RTLGF10F (rocket that looks good from 10 ft). The brush-on acrylic paint on the cone looks a tad funky and I proven once again that if there is a way to mess up decals, I can find it. Still, I'm happy ...
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Colonial Viper at Plaster Blaster
Now, this is a purty picture! (should be Verna and Randy's next photo of the month) Photo by kbaird ; Title may be incorrect as I thought this was last weekend's launch and the photo data says it was taken then. Cool no matter when it was taken!
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Io
How do you say it, Eye-oh or E-oh?
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Sport Rocketry Nov/Dec 2009
This is the NARAM 51 edition and my main feeling after thumbing through it is...I wish I had attended! The coverage is typical to past NARAMs and includes plenty of photos. It started well with the cover showing a nice closeup of Chas Russell showing off the Pod Bay Door's Sci-Fi-Future Scale ...
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Soviet Megaplane v. Nazi UFO (concept art)
As seen on IO9 . The megaplane is based on the Kalinin K-7, which I have previously posted about (note *). As for the Nazi UFO , I refer you to Google. * Yes, I still realize that this wasn't an ekranoplan, but I'm going to continue to mis-label it.
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Mythbustin' the first manned rocket flight
I hear the Mythbusters will be investigating Lagari Hasan Celebi who legend says made the first successful manned rocket flight. The Chinese Emperor who flew in a rocket chair was probably earlier...but wasn't successful. My prediction is that the Mythbuster's crash test dummy had a bad day. ...
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Airframe woes in The Nozzle Exit
The latest post on the Nozzle Exit talks about the airframe for both the model and the real thing: Balsa was used for the core instead of foam in locations where loading dictated (seemed strange to build real flight hardware out of traditional modeling materials - foam and balsa - but there we ...
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What to do with MLAS numero dos?
I've been away from the Dungeon and my rockets, but have been pondering what to do with my Quest MLAS #2. All options will include a lightly glassed cone to make it sturdier and easier to finish. Maybe a glassed body also. And a hollow shoulder for an inch more 'chute space. Option #1 - a 4 x18mm ...
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Plaster Blaster 2009 report forthcoming
I'm still editing video, cleaning photos, and reducing data. I hope to have my report done this week. Executive summary: GREAT SUCCESS!!
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Narrowing down the MLAS #2
Well, both the 24mm and 4x18mm options will require no more than 3 oz additional nose weight and would reach respectable altitudes. I'm inclined not to go crazier as I am liking hiking less and less.
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X-17

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PB2k9: Em-Sem-Fity on M750 - 20,212 feet!
Frank and I conducted the successful M750 drag race just after 10AM on Saturday. Here's a video covering prep and flight: Here's a liftoff photo verifying Frank Hermes' clear victory in this M750 drag race: The flights were quick, impressive, and invisible after the smoke charges burned out. I ...
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Assembly of Soyuz mobile gantry is now underway at the Spaceport
November 12, 2009 The assembly process has begun for Soyuz mobile gantry at the Spaceport, which will enable the integration of payloads with Soyuz in the vertical position. The new Soyuz operating base in French Guiana is entering final preparations for Arianespace's inauguration of commercial ...
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Interesting fantasy-scale PMC
The Apollo 27 Rocket. I don't know 100% if Pegasus is the manufacturer but you can also get it from Historic Aviation , which is my preferred plastic model source.
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Pb2k9: .38 Spatial in the Skidmark mass launch
I'd planned many flights over the weekend but prep and recovery took much longer than expected so I only had three flights total. The middle flight was on Saturday night and my new .38 Spatial was one of 21 rockets launched simultaneously on the new CTI H123 Skidmark motor. This propellant ...
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PB2k9: 7.5" Nike Smoke on M1939
For my 2008 birthday present my parents kicked in half of the cost of an Aerotech M1939 motor. They drove all the way out from Cochise, AZ for last year's Plaster Blaster which was almost completely blown out by wind. We made several other attempts to link up in the ensuing year to get that motor ...
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Red Glare 7 is off and running...I guess
Only got home late last night and had no time to stage my rockets and rocket-related accessories. With the remnants of Ida stalled overhead, the forecast today is 90% chance of rain and winds 15 - 25 mph, so I'm bagging it today. I'll lug stuff up from the Dungeon today and watch the weather. Worst ...
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Launch vehicle reliability resources
I lifted these links from a post on YORF by an actual NASA rocket scientist: Here are some links for those interested in this kind of thing. Pretty good summary of launch vehicle failure statistics here .... http://www.spacelaunchreport.com/reliability2009.txt This is an Aerospace article ...
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My House

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It looks like there IS significant water on the Moon
NASA just reported that LCROSS detected a large amount of water in the ejected plume. The 20m crater ejected yielded ~100kg of water along with other interesting stuff, including organics. Not surprisingly, this is causing a lot of excitement in the space community. So maybe the Moon is such a ...
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Launch Report 2009-8 (Red Glare 7)
Location: Higgs Farm, Price, MD ( Red Glare VII ) Weather: mid to high 60's, light breeze, clear Total flights: Today - 7; YTD - 72 Total motors: Today - 10; YTD - 87 The remnants of Hurricane Ike Ida had disrupted Red Glare 7. Friday was a wash-out, literally, and Saturday was soggy with a low ...
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Challenging Problems
You're good if you can get these two: Two planes are flying at 32,000 feet moving directly toward a point above a control tower. The first plane is 100 miles from being directly above the tower and the second is 220 miles from being directly over the tower. The angle between them is 120 ...
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Space Shuttle Atlantis
Today, Monday Nov 16th, at 1:28PM CST, Space Shuttle Atlantis will be launched into low earth orbit where it will rendezvous with the International Space Station to deliver a heavy payload of spare equipment. With the shuttle program being ended in a few years, only a few scheduled missions ...
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More on the UMD's samara monocopter
Here are a couple of cool video describing the small controllable monocopter developed by Evan Ulrich and a few others at the University of Maryland, Aerospace Engineering Autonomous Vehicle Laboratory and Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center (now, that's a mouthful). The first includes dizzying ...
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Cool rocketry video
Cool rocketry video
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Monday stuff
1. Watched Atlantis STS-129 launch on NASA TV. 2. As best I could, I recreated the MLAS nose weight that I used on-site and weighed it. It came up to 0.3 oz.. I found an unused washer from my second Semroc V-2 and a couple of thinner ones that added to the right amount. Ready for another flight ...
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Entries for EMRR's 2009 Spaceship Design Contest are posted
HERE
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Semi-Sonic on EMRR
Nick has been up to his ears in alligators but snuck in an update anyway. It includes my review of First Flight Hobbies' Semi-Sonic .
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Red Glare 7 rocket girl
Erin with her first rocket - Oh Frabcious Day , originally uploaded by dcrocketeer .
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Smoking Nike Smoke nose cone
Along with my MLAS kits, I picked up a couple of Nike Smoke cones and some T35 tubing. Rokitflite gave me some fin cans a while back and I finally decided to get some compatible parts. The purpose of the Nike Smoke system was to visually test upper atmospheric winds. Its nose cone was filled with ...
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Oh thats right, rocketry is great.

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Smoking Nike Smoke nose cone - cont'd
Here's how the Enerjet Nike Smoke cone worked. --^ I removed the tip of the Quest cone and reamed it so an Estes launch lug will fit. I will adapt the lug to a slightly larger tube to recreate the Enerjet design. Questions remain on how many vent holes, how big they should be and how the powder ...
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Long Q2G2 igniters are shipping
Quest just announced the new 8" Q2G2 igniters are now shipping. This past weekend, I received first hand confirmation that the original short lead Q2G2s will ignite smaller AeroTech Hobbyline composites. It will be interesting to see how these longer ones will do on the larger Hobbyline motors. ...
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Hints
In case you were curious about the previous two problems but didn't exactly know where to start, here are a few tips: Start with the law of cosines. You need it for the distance between the two planes. Take the derivative of the law of cosines with respect to time. You want to know da/dt (a ...
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N2000 min. dia. onboard to 27,000 feet
"Onboard video from my X-98 rocket: 4" dia., 8' tall, Carbon fiber airframe, custom 5:1 VonKarman fiberglass nosecone. 15 lbs dry weight 40 lbs. liftoff weight N2000W motor 388 lbs. avg. thrust 6 second burn 30 second coast 27,500 ft. 2,200 ft/sec (Mach 2) 20 Gs XPRS 2008 launch, sponsored by ...
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Odd-crocs
Nope, the title isn't a typo. This post is actually about crocs, not rocs - National Geographic animates four Strange Crocs of the Sahara .
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Eggsperiment Results
Egg Shell Durability Purpose: A good test of a model rocket’s ability is to fly a raw hen’s egg in its payload compartment and retrieve it unharmed. It is a scalable feature for people in spacecraft . But just like a space agency will pick and choose its astronauts to minimize the ...
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Model Rocketry Program - Balasinor
* Model Rocketry Demonstration program was conducted at Balasinor with the support of JCI - Balasinor. * About 1500 Students were participated in this Demonstration program.
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Model Rocketry Program - Girls Polytechnic
* Model Rocketry workshop conducted at Girls Polytechnic College. * There were 75 participants from polytechnic college. * All participants Made their own Single stage model rocket & Launch them.
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The 6th International Conference on Hands-on Science (HSCI 2009)
The 6th International Conference on Hands-on Science (HSCI 2009) Science for All : Quest for Excellence Science City, Ahmedabad – 380360 (Gujarat) India; October 27-31, 2009 * Model Rocketry Club put ...
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Multi-position launch controller (plans)
Make Magazine, Vol 20 includes plans for a 10-Rail Model Rocket Mega-Launcher . The link includes a slide show and the schematic. I'm glad someone else noticed this because my subscription expired with the prior issue. Go figure. In prior years they renewed my subscription without asking. This ...
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A compendium of rocket eye candy
Clark Lindsey provides links to two posts on the Daily Kos - Part 1 includes photos and videos of operational rockets and part 2 is dedicated to experimental vehicles. The split is not 100% consistent, but close enough.
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Team Prometheus Update
Team Prometheus , an N-Prize team , has fixed their blog so that everyone (including chrome users like me) can see it. Pictured above is a possible tiny pico-satellite (or actually a femto-sat. I think) for the N-prize mission. Here is the blog.
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Celebrating 100 Posts of Blogging Excellence
Happy 100th-post-reading! Our progress in rocket team has come to a stand still until we can obtain a few supplies. I'm not in the middle of any other projects right now, and all I am doing these days is learning calculus, physics, chemistry, and some topics in trigonometry that wasn't even ...
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More on Woody Hoburg's guided monocopter
In a comment to an earlier post, Woody notes that he now has a website on his guided monocopter project. I don't know if I previously credited James Houghton as his partner on the project (but I did now). From that, site you can access his research paper and videos of the monocopter in action.
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Water Booster Rocket Competition - 2009
Dr. Praful Bhavsar, (Ret. Director - ISRO), Mr. M.P. Deomurari & Mr. Pratham Ambla • APRSAF-16 Water Rocket Event organise by National Science Museum (NSM) of Thailand & Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on 21st to 24th January 2010 at Bangkok - Thailand. • As continuous ...
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Venus or bust
"The Mariner program was a program conducted by the American space agency NASA that launched a series of robotic interplanetary probes designed to investigate Mars, Venus and Mercury. The program included a number of firsts, including the first planetary flyby, the first pictures from another ...
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Model Rocketry - The Last Frontier
Some interesting rocketry promo video clips from the 1970s. Does the narrator sound familiar to anyone?
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Breaking news: the Dungeon is bombarded by Hostile Projectiles
While I was gone for the weekend, my order from Hostile Projectiles arrived! I got both the V-2 and the Delta X-15. Here are my initial impressions. I'll start with the reason I ordered them - the V-2's nose and tail cones and the cone for the X-15. These are not your daddy's resin cones. They are ...
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Pushing Reg Glare 7 off the queue
What I mean by that is that the first post today will push my Red Glare 7 flight report off my top page (it is obviously still there, but visitors will have to look for it). I was hoping to replace it with a post that pointed to the MDRA photo gallery. Unfortunately, the web site hasn't been ...
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Blue Origin quietly marches forward
Clark Lindsey reports that Blue Origin has selected four research payloads for their New Shepard suborbital vehicle.
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Rockets of the World
This book just arrived in the mail, and it is great!
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Bow to my power (Red Glare 7 update)
Earlier today, I lamented the lack of photographic evidence from Red Glare 7. It looks like I jumped the gun . I'm sure my post had no role in facilitating the update....or did it... I felt I could lament the issue but I can't complain since my photos and one video are here . Rocket magazine's ...
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New details on the X-37B
Spaceflight Now has some new details on the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle and its pending flight atop an Atlas5/501. It is scheduled to fly from the Cape Canaveral in April 2010. (via Clark Lindsey )
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The Saturn Instrument Unit
"The Saturn V Instrument Unit is a ring-shaped structure fitted to the top of the Saturn V rocket's third stage (S-IVB) and the Saturn IB's second stage (S-IVB). It was immediately below the SLA (Spacecraft/Lunar Module Adapter) panels that contain the Lunar Module. The Instrument Unit contains the ...
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Solar tsunami!
Maryland Weather has a couple of interesting animated gif's of a solar storm "of hot plasma that is 62,000 miles high, travels at half a million miles per hour and packs the power of 2,400 megatons of TNT." I'm impressed. These were generated from images from NASA's STEREO spacecraft.
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Hostile Projectiles update
Here is the V-2, flight ready and waiting for primer. I ended up laminating the fins with paper since I couldn't get the fin template off the balsa. The instructions have you attach the template with 3M Super 77 spray glue and methinks I went a tad heavy on it. I was worried that the method of ...
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Air Force space plane shooting for April launch
In a response to written questions, an Air Force spokesperson said the unmanned spaceship is scheduled for launch April 19 on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The winged X-37B, also named the Orbital Test Vehicle, is managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office under the direct ...
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Mach diamonds
Click, then zoom and check out the mach diamonds on the Long March:
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Dark matter propulsion
OK, if black hole propulsion wasn't enough, now we have dark matter propulsion - Dark power: Grand designs for interstellar travel, Marcus Chown, New Scientist, 25 November 2009 . (According to the article, this proposal predated the one on black hole propulsion.) Unfortunately, physicists don't ...
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Project Constellation Images
More images here
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Some cool Cube Sats
Cube Satellites are built around a 10 x 10 x 10 cm chassis, and a baseline mass of 1 kg. These are Nano-satellites, and are designed for amateurs and students to build. Near the bottom of this post are three examples of nearly professional builds from the past, many other projects and resources ...
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Black Friday
When Black Friday comes I'll stand down by the door And catch the gray men When they dive from the fourteenth floor When Black Friday comes I'll collect everything I'm owed And before my friends find out I'll be on the road When Black Friday falls you know it's got to be Don't let it fall on me ...
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Nike Smoke cone work (and other stuff)
After two days of eating and visiting with family, I ventured back down to the Dungeon. First up was priming my Hostile Projectiles V2. I chose Rustoleum red-brown primer since it would not only prime but serve as one of the colors in my planned cammo pattern. Well, one instruction I thought that ...
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V-2 status (and other stuff)
Well, a little sanding and a re-coat did the trick. Trying to sand the base of the cone actually lifted all the primer. I sanded the exposed areas good before the re-priming. My dilemma is how to proceed to apply the other colors. I did a good job (IMO) on the free-form camouflage for the ...
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Two big sets of rocketry images
Space Tech Photo Diary - Part 1 Space Tech Photo Diary - Part 2 How this wound up at a political blog I don't really know, but it is a great set of pictures of rockets and space gear. Do rockets look cool to non rocketry people?
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2.375" Motor
Well November went by and I didn't get much done on the new motor. I did do a little testing with Erythritol based propellant. My first attempt was a little surprising given the fact that others have expressed that the combination is really easy to work with and cast. I found that the Erythritol ...
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New Zealand Has Joined The Commercial Space Race
[Click Here For Video of the Launch] [Click Here For Video of the News Report on the Rocket] New Zealand has entered the space age, blasting a rocket into space just after 2pm on Monday from a launch pad on Great Mercury Island off the Coromandel Coast. The successful launch came after a day of ...
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Iridium's NEXT satellites to carry science payloads
Iridium's next generation of satellites will increase the available data rate on their system to over 1 Mbps and will utilize IP protocols vs. the current voice-based format. They will also allocate space and power to science payloads, which would most likely used by Earth resources applications. ...
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V-2 status (and nuttin' else)
It was raining so no additional painting happened. So, I took a photo.
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There are more things in heaven and earth...
Having never been, it is easy to forget how incredible space must be. This is truly the final frontier; the future of humanity. We will set sail on this new ocean, at times dangerously close to the wind, and navigate across the great void. Because we are humans, because we are explorers, and this ...
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MLAS aerodynamics appears in the Nozzle Exit
The Nozzle Exit blog describes how the Cp of the actual MLAS was determined, how the Cp of his micro-MLAS model was determined, and why model rocketeers buy sim programs instead of wind tunnels.
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EMRR reviews and a new contest
I have four reviews in today's update: The Saucer Fleet Quest MLAS Raygun Gothic Birdhouse Raygun Gothic HoJo Nick also announced a new contest entitled, Roam the Site. To be consistent with the theme, I'll make you roam his site to find the details. PS - I plan to play, but just for fun. It ...
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New Zealand sounding rocket to space?
Rocket Lab , a New Zealand rocketry group, has launched a two stage sounding rocket that was expected to reach space. They claim that it did reach space, or strongly imply this (which the media takes as a confirmation, on face value with zero data, I might add.) There has, to date (12/3) been no ...
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Great painting weather
However, it was also good yard and gutter cleaning weather. Unlike the forecast for Saturday's NOVAAR launch - 30% chance of precipitation and a high of 38 degrees. Now if the rain would only shift out one day...
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A huge Viper and Merry Christmas
...are this month's offering from Verna and Randy (in their photo of the month and Fire and Smoke ).
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The Dungeon's Top 10 of 2009
2009 was a good rocket year, but not nearly as busy as 2008 . I built less and flew less but still managed to quickly pick out 10 great items and events... 1. On April 25th at around 1 PM, Steve Eves commemorated the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 by making some rocket history of his own. His huge ...
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Delta X-15
I built a RockSim 9 model of the Hostile Projectiles Delta X-15. There are a couple of measurements that I need to confirm (such as how fat the upper and lower stabilizers hand over the rear of the body tube). I won't provide any numbers until I tweak the model, but it was marginally stable prior ...
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Team Prometheus Update
Team Prometheus , an N-Prize team , is now offering live footage of their shop via a webcam! Live Stream
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Unique, OOP, HPR 'kit' (updated)
In the early 2000's, Carde Systems produced a unique rocket that intrigued me. I'm pretty sure that it was a complete kit. What it did provide is a two part molded fiberglass airframe that integrated the nose cone, body, tail cone and fins. It was set up for rear ejection and reportedly flew ...
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DCist prepares you for the Snowpocalypse
The DCist blog has a list of tips for dealing with tomorrow's blizzard. Well, blizzard is probably/hopefully over stating the situation. Here's what the National Weather Service sez about Montgomery County: WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY for MC until Sat PM. 2-4" exp and may be hvy at times. The forecast ...
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Eyeglass - a 100 Meter space telescope
For the longest time, I have been wondering if a refracting telescope could be used in space, or perhaps even built there. On earth, refractors have not been built past 40 inches (or about 1 meter), because the weight of the glass causes sagging and lens deformation. In space, not only would this ...
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Nice paper models
The Lower Hudson Valley Paper Model Giftshop
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Making a list and checking it twice...
Warthog just announced the date for build session 2010-1 so I've started my list of what to bring and what to build. The theme is intitiator dipping and a swap meet. So, wires are on the list and I've got to see what I'd like to trade. My main build project will be my Hostile Projectiles Delta ...
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V-2 camo paint job
Despite all my rumbing about using masks to create the camo pattern for the Hostile Projectiles V-2, I went a little stir crazy and just started sprayin'....
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Things that make me say, hmmmm...
This weekend's returning visitor count is the lowest this year, even less than Thanksgiving weekend. Since my regulars are rocketeers, I'd have thought a good weather and a national or large regional launch would have produced the loweset. Maybe they are flying in the snow? Holiday shopping? ...
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Really cool video of meteor burning up
I know this is a few days old, but this video is new to me, nice combo.
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Plaster City Launch, 12/5/09
I had three goals for this month's launch: Test my Beeline GPS on a lower altitude flight to visually verify the position data. I also wanted to test a G10 fiberglass support I'd cut to stabilize the otherwise fragile electronics board/antenna. Test thermite ignition on an older Redline motor like ...
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Another cool rocket car project: Aussie Invader 5R
click here for the full size image The Aussie Invader 5R rocket car, in competition with the Bloodhound SSC , is on a quest to beat the current land speed record of 763 mph. In fact, both projects want to break 1000 mph. The rocket motors are being developed by New Zealand's Rocket Lab who is also ...
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Patent by R.H. Goddard
I have been reading Retro Rockets recently, it is one of the new books in the recent buying frenzy over at Amazon, and one of the best chapters covers the work of Goddard. Goddard is now very famous in and outside of the rocketry world, but in his time (largely due to his desire to remain private ...
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Retro rocket science resources
R2K features the book Retro Rockets - Experimental Rockets 1926-1941 , a Dr. Robert Goddard patent, and a " quick history of the early rocketeers ."
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Great video from Greg Smith
"Finally I quickly prepped my horribly battered and thrice repaired LOC Bullet with a CTI 660J381 Skidmark. I really can't get enough of these loud and impressive motors. The flight was cool and uneventful except the ~1.5 mile walk east since I'd used a 45" parachute. I was able to track it ...
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The Frankenstein MLAS
It was resurrected from the dead and is made out of leftover parts, so I think the name is appropriate. Lets see, what is there to say? 38mm + 4 x 24mm (the 38mm does the work, the 24mm motors would mostly add smoke), separated directly by a piston (piston is hard mounted to lower body), nose and ...
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First iteration of the Frankenstein sims
There is good news on the Frankenstein's sims. I put an early guess of CG and mass into RockSim and added a couple of pounds of nose weight. This moved the CG to approximately the point where Tim Wilson set his (I believe his sims as he worked on the real McCoy). I said approximate because his is ...
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Confusing or simple? Vote in the comments.
Or vote any difficulty level in the spectrum from counting the sand grains on all the World's oceans, to blinking. I ask because of this thread in the Rocketry Planet Forums. It is no new thing that I am involved in a debate against a few other people about a topic. Again, it was turned into a ...
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"Chinese rocket from the air"
Chinese Rocket Fly-by - Watch more Funny Videos Rocket from Jet Does anyone know what this is? Is it even Chinese?
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Unreasonable experiment opportunity
Old rockets, ya' can't trash 'em and ya' can't give 'em away. Or at least that seems to hold for Paul Breed's Blue Ball . In his latest blog post , he announced that he can get it flight ready with about 8 hours of work and will apply for a waiver for a flight to between 10K and 30K ft. He is ...
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Remembering the Pratt Hobbies D-Region Tomahawk
Memories of this kit popped into my mind for no obvious reason. This small 25"L x 1.8"D scale kit was unique in that it flew on motors from A through G. This rocket on a G? This isn't Sparta, this is madness! It included all the necessary motor adapters and recovered on a 'caution' tape streamer. I ...
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Spring 2010 Battle of the Rockets scheduled for March 27
CULPEPER, Virginia USA ? The 2010 Battle of the Rockets Competition is scheduled for March 27, 2010, in Culpeper, Virginia, where Tripoli Central Virginia will be hosting eleven participating teams. The participating teams are from University of Texas Arlington, Oklahoma State University, ...
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Propellantless quantum vacuum propulsion
I recently posted about the possibility of black hole propulsion and dark matter propulsion and today I read about another theoretical, highly exotic concept - quantum propulsion. The short version is you can derive a propulsive force by manipulating the momentum of the electromagnetic field ...
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You call that a rocket? This is a rocket!
This shows the assembly and parts of the Saturn V. Click to embiggen most cromulently. (I split the image in half so that Google would accept it and keep it readable. However, the first one is still not so great. Click here for the full size image.) I love this one, does anyone know the source? ...
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Rockets are cool, even when they fail... Crazy spiral contrails in the night sky over Norway
Update: The Russians have now taken credit for this rocket. Confirmed Bulava. "A mysterious light display appearing over Norway last night has left thousands of residents in the north of the country baffled. Witnesses from Trøndelag to Finnmark compared the amazing sight to anything from a ...
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Cool launch photo of a RBS 15 Mk 3 missile
This photo came from Flickr user larryzou@ . More on this missile can be found on Wikipedia . I only looked at a couple of the links in that article and didn't find many details on this bird. It appears to be a turbojet powered cruise missile with two side mounted liquid boosters. The photo ...
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Mysterious corkscrew (rocket plume) over Norway (updated)
This photo is too cool and odd to pass up. I first saw this photo on the Bad Astronomy blog . At first glance, it looked photoshopped to me too but he pointed to several sources that reported on the event. I bought in to Phil's explanation of a rocket on a corkscrew trajectory. He later updated ...
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I sputtered and dribbled but still got hard
OK, no crude comments on this crude title. You KNOW it is about rockets! I have had my West Systems epoxy for around 8 years. Last Monday, I dispensed 3 pumps of epoxy and hardener to mix with the lead shot in the nose of my Frankenstein MLAS . I noticed a few minor sputters mid stroke on the epoxy ...
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Second iteration of the Frankenstein MLAS sims
The following was posted as a response to the previous post on this subject, but I decided to make a new post too. Both KenKzak and Tim Wilson recommended a bigger motor than I was planning. I mulled over the recommendations and conceded that a bigger motor should be used. I'm still worried about ...
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Multi-spectrum view of space
Chromoscope lets the user see space data in different kinds of light; X-Ray, Visible, H-Alpha, IR, Microwave, and Radio. It is a potentially glitchy beta, but is still very cool.
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Aerobee technical report
The year was 1997. I was in the 10th grade, or so. Walking into a book store, I make a quick move to the magazine section. (I like the pictures.) After checking the kayak mags, and rock climbing and ice climbing and all the usual, then SOF and gun mags, surf and scuba, I moved to find a radio or ...
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No new posts for a a day or two...
...don't mess with the place while I am gone!
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X-51A WaveRider Gets Airborne
The US Air Force Research Laboratory's X-51A WaveRider scramjet engine demonstrator completed its first captive-carry flight under the wing of its B-52H mothership from Edwards AFB on Dec. 9. The first free flight is planned for mid-February. The B-52 climbed to the planned launch altitude of ...
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A good day surfing for the WaveRider
Aviation Week reports on the captive flight of the US Air Force Research Laboratory's X-51A WaveRider. The first of four free flights is schedule for March 2010. The X-51A will be accelerated to Mach 4.5 by a solid rocket booster when the scramjet will take over. It will then run for ~ 5 minutes ...
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Frankenstein MLAS inching forward
I bought some new West System epoxy today and, after transplanting the pumps, weighed out just enough leftovers to add another 8 oz of noseweight to the MLAS. What's left: Test pack the chutes so I don't have to figure it out in the cold on site. Decide on how much powder I need. There is basically ...
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Another Russian rocket spiral
Phil Plait posts about a second spiral missile track that was spotted over Russia. Reportedly, this one was made by a Topol missile, the land-based version of the Bulava that caused a stir earlier this week . It was widely thought that the earlier spiral track was due to a failure in the missile, ...
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Test Date
Looks like I'll finally get a chance to test this motor this Saturday the 19th at the FAR site. Thanks for the suggestion Ben. Here's the starter grain. Easily ignitable, fast burning KN/SU/RIO. For this test a standard BP igniter strung through the nozzle will be used to initiate ignition since ...
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Proton/GLONASS-M launch photos
Someone sent me this link with launch photos, so I thought I'd pass it along: http://www.federalspace.ru/main.php?id=2&nid=8580
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Stuff that keeps me from rocketry
a head cold (sniffle, cough, sneeze)...a hole in your thumb that won't quit oozing blood...a rescheduled dentist appointment...cold weather...rain...sleet...snow Any launch plans I had for Saturday are scrubbed. Sunday is up in the air (no pun intended). Crap.
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Mach 1
These are two fairly old, but quite interesting articles about supersonic flight in mid power rockets. One discusses the work of a team to go supersonic with small rockets, and the possible results (with potentially overstated confidence I might add), and the other talks about how hard supersonic ...
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LMC from the Hubble

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Stuff that keeps me from rocketry - update
The head cold is better and the bleeding has stopped but I'm still busy on Saturday and the weather of Sunday will suck. The current forecast for Price, MD is mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of snow and highs in the upper 30s. Too cold for me. Maybe things will change and the precipitation ...
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Rockets - a catalyst for the personal computer revolution
In an article written for the San Antonio-Express News , electronics guru Forrest Mims III recounts how work on small rockets led to optical flashers and then to the formation of MITS (Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems). Although MITS was initially formed to produce flashers and ...
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Operation Credible Sport
"Top secret Iran hostage rescue mission aircraft YMC-130H were three modified Lockheed Hercules Aircraft for Top Secret "Operation Credible Sport", for second Iran hostage crisis rescue attempt. One of the measures considered for a second hostage rescue attempt in Iran was a project to develop a ...
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Steampunk rocket lamp
Steampunk rocket lamp , originally uploaded by RiverOtterWidgetStudios . Inspiration for my third Michael's rocket birdhouse (?) I added 'studs' to the window on my Raygun Gothic Birdhouse and think more would be better. Michael's has got to have some suitable studs. Sounds crafty to me.
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Extreme JATO - Operation Credible Sport
I couldn't resist cross posting (from High Power Rocketry ) these YouTube videos of C-130 cargo planes equipped with rocket motors pointed in most every direction that could possibly make sense (and apparently some that don't). I had previously posted one, but these are much better. I'll leave the ...
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Doing the Orion attitude control dance (updated)
Update: there is interesting related discussion on Rocketry Planet . Via SpaceFellowhip: NASA, Alliant Techsystems (ATK) and Lockheed Martin performed a ground test of a full-scale attitude control motor for the launch abort system of the Orion crew exploration vehicle. The test was conducted ...
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Stuff that keeps me from rocketry - the latest
Freezing temperatures and up to 24" accumulation :eek: On the plus side, I've started finishing the Frankenstein MLAS, so hopefully when a warmer, dry launch opportunity presents itself, it will fly in style. That is a good thing since it may only fly once :eek:^2
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The Sun

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Stuff that keeps me everyone from rocketry - the latest
A note from the club that, like the weather, is always there: Note: We are watching the weather forecasts and will have (a) decision on the status of ESL #139 by 8:00am Saturday morning.
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A new edition of Experimental Composite Propellant is on the way
Dr. Terry 'Pr'fesser' McCreary has just announced his plans to publish the 2nd edition of his acclaimed book, Experimental Composite Propellant . The 1st edition is regarded as one of the best sources for amateurs, providing a good mix of theory and practice. The book is, however, fairly informal ...
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To 100k pt. 2
Regular readers may remember a previous post about a project called To 100K. This was an attempt to launch a two stage rocket to about 100,000 feet using what appears to be a Pro 150 O motor staged to an M motor. Information about the construction project is detailed indeed, and a rather ...
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A cold-power rocket made Gizmodo's top 26 of 2009
{First, I decided that I'm not going to compile a list of interesting 'top lists' this year like I did last year . Instead, I post separately on those that strike me as interesting.} Gizmodo has compiled a list of their most popular DIY projects of 2009 (26 at first glance) and rocket project is ...
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Gallery from the GSFC visitor center + launch schedule
It's been a long time since I've been to the GSFC visitor center . Here's a Flickr set of recent photos (not mine). For any sport rocketry people in the area, NARHAMS hosts a monthly launch at 1 pm on the first Sunday of every month, weather permitting. The area is loaded with trees so only single ...
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Canada's Space Program
I just got this book off of Amazon for about 50 cents plus shipping. It seems most of these warehouses don't know the value of rocketry or science books so they sell them for next to nothing. Or is it a matter of supply and demand? 50 Years in Space
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Notes from the snowpocalypse
Snowpocalypse..I love that term (I already credited the DCist blog ). The Outlaws of the East bagged the December launch. And they don't do that often. I bet someone showed up for the launch this morning...LOL. There was 12" of snow on our lawn at 10:30 AM and more on the driveway near the street. ...
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Rocketry in the snow
TRF's MarkH is hardcore.
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Check out SS2S again
SS2S
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Convair Atlas, Unknown USAF variant
BrianC posted these photos to aid in identification of this rocket. Find more photos like this on Our Planet
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tin space toy, i adore you
tin space toy, i adore you , originally uploaded by dj bridget .
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"Test Complete"
One of the very first large solid rocket motor static tests that I witnessed was out at the RRS nearly ten years ago. That motor was huge, 12 inch diameter if I remember correctly. A couple of seconds into an 8 or so second planned burn the casing failed... spectacularly! The first thing I heard ...
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Canadian rocket archaeology
radar domes , originally uploaded by bubbabrador . Here is a tracking facility at Canada's decommissioned Churchill Rocket Research Range . If you track the photo link back to the source, you'll find a photo of an old Black Brant that's on display and some cool icebergs too.
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Lift Off! of the SpaceLoft XL
Lift Off! , originally uploaded by Ken's Aviation . If you follow the link back to the source, you'll find more photos from Spaceport America and the April 28, 2007 launch of UP Aerospace's SpaceLoft XL.
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Kick-off: 7.5" Der Red Mix
This will be my first scratch-built, upscale design. As a kid I built the 1.6" diameter Estes kit " Der Red Max " and found the design appealing and the decals amusing. I'm not a fan of huge fins so on my design I've taken the liberty of scaling them down to just enable a static margin of 1.16 with ...
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After the snowpocalypse of 2009
The front-end loader came through our neighborhood yesterday mid morning. I already had the driveway mostly cleared thanks to 3 passes with the snow blower the day before. The nice operator also cleared almost everything from the end of our driveway, pushing it into our side yard. Many times in ...
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White Light, White Heat (WARNING: No Rocket Content)
This weekend, I caught parts of HBO's 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert where I saw Metallica and Lou Reed doing Reed's classic Sweet Jane . Lou Reed's Rock N Roll Animal , now that's an album that should be #11 of my all time favorite albums . Oddly, enough, I never got a copy of Rock N ...
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Computer Issues and an Update
I'm posting today from a school computer. I regret to announce that my computer is almost permanently disabled. It has a problem where it begins to boot up and immediately shuts off. Some computer geeks at school (that is, geekier than me) are going to see what they can do, but there isn't much ...
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Static Test Video
Here is video of the test that my friend James took. Nice quality footage. Apparently I laugh like Santa Clause when rocket motors fail.
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Sci-Fi likes blue women
See the gallery at IO9 . I guess this must be off-topic Monday. {reposted due to potential operator error in blog maintenance}
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Saturn's polar hexagon
Has anyone seen the 80s film 2010? :)
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10 "future" space propulsion technologies
10 ways to leave your lov... er I mean 10 ways to get going really fast.
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Spaceport news
Clark Lindsey points to two video tours of SpaceportAmerica's construction, Jack Kennedy reports of economic spaceport stimulus via the FAA Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Grants ( STIM-Grants ) and, Jack reports Virginia is upping their spaceport budget.
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More MLAS aerodynamics
Tim Wilson has posted more info on the MLAS aerodynamic testing, including photos (link in his sidebar) and an embedded video. He also links to newly posted flight videos . These are huge and their server isn't being very responsive...others must have seen his post (?)
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Getting an early start

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Aerospace Modeling Links
{The length of my sidebar has started to bug me. To rectify said bugging, I'm moving this list from a Blogger links-list gadget in the sidebar to this post. I'll add a link to the post in my manually maintained links list, which conveniently includes a slider bar. This note will be removed at some ...
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On vacation
Off sneaking into houses, be back in a few.
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Model Rocketry Program - Lucknow
? Sheth MR Jaipuria School organised a two-day workshop on ?Rocket launching and stargazing? at Lucknow on 9th & 10th November 2009. ? A large number of children, their parents and teachers participated in the workshop. ? With the Support of Mr. Sandeep Nigam and Mr. Anurag Mishra ...
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Steve Eves' 1:10 Scale Saturn V BeFunky

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A Call to Arms for NARHAMS
Over Christmas weekend, I popped over the the NARHAMS site to update my personal 2010 launch calendar and noticed a theme has been set for the February launch - Russian "Cold War models (green with red star)". Since the painting of the Frankenstein MLAS has been stalled by the cold weather, I ...
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Anchor Retaining Ring for AeroTech 38mm RMS Reload Adapter System Now Available
The anchor retaining ring (P/N 38FCRRA) for the AeroTech 38mm RMS reload adapter system is now available, and is priced at $19.99 MSRP. The anchor retaining ring is an accessory to the previously released 4-piece adapter system (P/N 38RAS), which retails for $29.99. The new retaining ring has a ...
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Stupid rocket trick #9
Try to harden a cardstock shroud with CA debonder. Turns out it doesn't work as well as actual CA. Luckily, cardstock is plentiful.
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X3 in 1953
X3 in 1953 , originally uploaded by Nevada Tumbleweed .
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Steve Eves is out to beat his record
The CantonRep.com reports on Steve Eves' latest project, a 2-stage Saturn 1B. No details on the scale or motors, but it does say that he hopes to fly the new beast to 2 miles in the Spring of 2011. That is twice the altitude reached by his record breaking Saturn V . I think I may have caught sight ...
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"The Complete Future"
Here is a page dedicated to Future acrylic floor finish, now branded as Pledge with Future Shine. As a clarification for non-rocketeers, Future is used to seal/reinforce decals and to give a glass-like shine to rockets that already have a good finish. As a clarification for rocketeers it is ...
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Impact Debate at Astrobio.net
There is a cool debate over at the Astrobiology Magazine about the risks and media coverage of potential impacts from space.
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January Fire 'n' Smoke
In their January update, blogging buddies Verna and Randy pay homage to Eric Gates, who passed away before his time on the 21st. I'll refer you to their Fire and Smoke and Photo of the Day features for the details of this tragedy, but will point out that Eric was one of the big dawgs in the hobby. ...
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2010 as a tipping point
1954 ... rotting rockets , originally uploaded by x-ray delta one . At the start of this decade, I choose to be optimistic. So does SpaceVidcast . I thought the cover of this vintage magazine from 1954 was appropriate to the theme (except maybe for the poster's title). Happy New Year!!!
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Operation Teapot
Hmm where do I post about nuclear weapons? This is as good a spot as any. Most of the tests in this video are smaller, tactical (or primary) scale explosives. The power of even these small blasts, in addition to very high radiation levels, is still impressive. The amount of effort put into each ...
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More on the rockets that launched the microcomputer revolution
In this month's edition of the Citizen Scientist , Forrest Mims III provides more details about his early rocket experiments in Vietnam in 1967 . His experiments sound impressive and the stories about his encounters with MPs and helicopter gun ships are fascinating. Here's an excerpt: ...
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Warthog's Starfighter launch at sunset BeFunky

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Unreasonable Rocket 2.0 may look like, well, a rocket
Paul's latest post describes his Notional Next Rocket . It be pointy and finned and would be headed for 100K+. He wants to use valves an actuators from his Silver vehicle but the rest would be new. Go Team Unreasonable!
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Nuclear test footage
These videos are so great, I just had to post more. Here are a few embedded videos, then links for the others. I can't thank this Youtuber enough for uploading these... in the past I had to order them on VHS for $15 each. Operation Argus (mostly rocketry and space info for these high altitude ...
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Steve Eves sounds off about his new project
Steve has provided some info and clarifications about his latest project (via Rocketry Planet): There are some inaccurate info in the article I will attempt to set it straight. The project is a 1:9 scale Saturn 1b total height is 24' 7" tall, the rocket should weigh in at around 600 lbs em ...
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Amateur Experimental vs High Powered Rocketry
The other day someone that knew I was "into" rocketry said, "I saw this show on TV where these guys put rocket motors onto a ten foot mock up of Dorothy's house from the Wizard of Oz and shot it into the air". OK...so I saw this show, it was entertaining, but that's not the type of rocketry that ...
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Dr. Robert Goddard
Dr. Robert Goddard , originally uploaded by Goddard Photo and Video Blog . Follow the photo link back to find more photos pertaining to the good doctor. Back further to see more about GSFC.
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ROCKETS Magazine, December 2009
Among other things, the holidays (along with the cold weather) have pushed my rocketry reset button. My two ongoing project need paint and that isn't happening any time soon. To the rescue...the December issue of ROCKETS ! The launch coverage ranges from Queensland, Australia to Colorado with ...
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4 to 1
This image is from a post over at Randy's Rocketry about Hobby vs Amateur rocketry. I love this rocket, it reminds me of some rumors from the past where Dr. Kosdon had planned to fly three or four O-10,000 motors staged to a single O-10,000. That never flew, but if it had (and designed something ...
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New Sugar
I ordered a new batch of Erythritol. The previous brand that I used was Zsweet and the new stuff that I ordered is NowFoods. I have used Sorbitol from NowFoods before with very good results. It'll be interesting to see if there are any differences in the casting of the two different brands. I'll ...
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The Delta X-15 siren song
I couldn't control myself. The call to build was just too strong. I thought about chaining myself to the couch but was too weak. So, the motor mount, complete with aftermarket Kevlar is built, the strakes are attached to the main wings, and the built-up stabilizers are assembled. Next up is some ...
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N_a_z_i UFO mania
Suddenly, they are every where... They are on the Discovery Channel ... They are in Sheri's CJS Aviation shop ---> And, they may soon invade the Dungeon --->
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Backfin Pale Ale
It's high time I make an entry in the Beer Garden, so I grabbed a Backfin Pale Ale. This ale is brewed locally in Frederick by the Clay Pipe brewing Company . It is malty and hoppy and is good enough that I'd have to drink others side by side to see which one I like better. This one goes down ...
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"Honey did you remember to baste the nose cone?"
A missile nose cone being tested with intense heat, as part of reasearch on re-entry into the [Earth's] atmosphere from space. Photo: Don Cravens/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images Mar 01, 1958
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Rocket blog snapshot
As seen on my feed reader: "Honey did you remember to baste the nose cone?" from High Power Rocketry The 32 D-12 Christmas Tree Launch from The Rocketry Blog
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Eclipses Yield First Images of Elusive Iron Line in Solar Corona
Eclipses Yield First Images of Elusive Iron Line in Solar Corona , originally uploaded by Goddard Photo and Video Blog . This shot blew my mind.
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MISSILES: Up on Solid Fuel
MISSILES: Up on Solid Fuel I came across this short article from 1958 about Thiokols entry into the field of rocketry. I like this sentence "By 1953 Thiokol had produced solid-fuel engines, ie ., basically cylinders packed with the fuel, for the first full-scale Army test missiles."
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Project HyShot - Ramjet research
"The Mission begins with the rockets pointing to the sky in a near vertical position. The payload is shrouded beneath a nose cone to protect it during the ascent through the atmosphere. If suitable atmospheric conditions prevail, the launch sequence begins. A final check is made of all the ...
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A small but boring TGIF post (quick update)
The new Sport Rocketry is out, but mine isn't here and mine arrived today ! Another ~2+ inches of snow and cold weather and wind...bad painting weather unless you have a vented booth. As much emphasis as I put on painting, I will never have one. Other than said non-painting, the Delta X-15 is ...
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Rice researchers find the secret to nanodragsters
The first nanocars, build way back in 2005, were a real drag - their buckeyball (Carbon-60) wheels would only turn on gold plated race tracks heated to ~200 degrees Celcius. However, researchers at Rice University, led by Professor James Tour, have found that what works on larger track also ...
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The Big Picture rocks the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)
Check it out!
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The BATFE's new explosives list is out...
And, as expected, it doesn't include APCP (which is now differentiated from explosive mixtures)! Rocketry Planet Article Commerce in Explosives; List of Explosive Materials (52KB Adobe PDF) The RP article notes that, although equally benign, potassium nitrate propellants do not enjoy the same ...
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Constellation Year in Review
While I haven't been a big fan of the Constellation program. There still have been many accomplishments made over the last year that deserve recognition. So I am posting the following video in recognition of those that sacrificed over the last year to get the program off the drawing board. Enjoy. ...
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Sport Rocketry January/February 2010
Just to tease those who haven't seen their copy yet, I decided to tell ya' what's in this issue even before I've read any of the articles. But I did look at the pictures, starting with rocket girl Carrie Steele and her awesome X-Wing Fighter :) In the first article, some rocketeers from frigid ...
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New Materials Designed To Deal With Hypersonic And Supersonic Hot Stuff
ROCKET SCIENCE New Materials Designed To Deal With Hypersonic And Supersonic Hot Stuff Hypersonic vehicle in the upper atmosphere travelling at Mach 8, indicating heating in the leading edges and inside the vehicle. Source: Professor Michael Smart, Professor John Drennan, David Yu of The ...
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Gravity wells of the solar system
http://xkcd.com/681_large/
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Q: What's a build session without building?
A: Good fun chewing the fat (occasionally even about rockets) and chewing good food. The rocket discussions were fueled by the fact that the other attendees were actually building. Paul gave me a bunch of old and oldish motors, which he'll hopefully enjoy as they blow my saucers up. An old-style ...
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The Unwanted Blog
I found some really cool posts over at The Unwanted Blog. Granted, the political and gun posts may not always mesh with what I think, but I am more than willing to ignore that because of all the other cool things. I am also interested in guns, but I don't believe that giving each person a gun will ...
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Around the blogs, yesterday
I just got in from an evening with friends and found several blog posts worth commenting on, reposting, or repackaging. But it's late so I'll touch on them briefly... The Sprint ABM is cool and R2K found a great post on The Unwanted Blog about it. It's packed with info, including details about how ...
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Hobby rocket motor archaeology (updated)
I wanted to document more about the unidentified motor that I mentioned in my build session report . While I was at it, I thought I might as well photograph a sampling of my current vintage motor "collection". Top to bottom: E6-4 (also have an -8) F10-4 G125-20 G10-2 (not shown) ...
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Q Motor !!!
Q Motor !!! , originally uploaded by jurvetson . Follow the photo link to learn about the eventual target rocket, the Beagle-2 , which will fly on four of these puppies. Three in the booster and one in the sustainer. They expect to hit 250k ft!
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Log scale of the Universe aka aythang is aythang
Log Universe
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Jacksonville, Florida's Cecil field gets its spaceport license
Have landing strip, need rockets. (paraphrased from Parabolic Arc's post title)
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Q motors!
Thanks to a post over at The Rocket Dungeon , we have a great new picture of a Q motor. This appears to be part of Beagle II, simulated below, which is designed to fly to as high as 250,000 feet. ___________________________________________________ This is the upper stage of a two stage rocket, ...
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Valor Rocket
Valor Rocket , originally uploaded by Sascha Grant . Sascha Grant has posted several photos of his new Valor Rocket , which was inspired by the rocket depicted in this post . I like the retro styling, which has a hint of Jayhawk in it. Actually, the magazine predated the Jayhawk so maybe the ...
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... WASPs and B-17
... WASPs and B-17 , originally uploaded by x-ray delta one . I haven't been finding any rocket girls lately, but at least this has girls and something that flew.
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I wanted one until...
I saw the $150 price tag of the Fantastic Plastic Project Orion Battleship .
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Project Cannikin - a multi - megaton underground test in Alaska
"The largest underground nuclear test conducted by the United States, Project Cannikin was one of three underground nuclear tests performed at different places on this 43-mile long island in the Aleutian Chain. This $200 million 1971 test was performed to test an Anti-Ballistic Missile warhead, ...
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Does your rocketry project have security problems?
Are other rocketeers stealing your ideas? Are other teams sabotaging you in competition? Has your reload hardware walked away? If so, click below...
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Preps Continue Toward a Targeted Feb. 7 Launch
Preps Continue Toward a Targeted Feb. 7 Launch Thu, 14 Jan 2010 08:28:37 AM CST At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, workers at Launch Pad 39A began loading fuel into space shuttle Endeavour's orbital maneuvering system and auxiliary power units. The process is expected to be completed ...
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The X-37B and Beyond. The Future of the Space Plane
I have been wondering why the USAF created the X-37B? Why has the USAF and NASA gone in separate directions when it comes to accessing space. Basically it boils down to the mission and the money. The USAF is looking for faster turnaround of unmanned missions to LEO and futuristic semi-suborbital ...
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Plesetsk Cosmodrome
"The spaceport itself is located much more faraway from any signs of civilizations than its counterpart, Baikonur cosmodrome, and nowadays is believed to be the northernmost spaceport in the world. Decision about construction of the spaceport was put forward in 1957. An aim of top secret project ...
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Space camp rocket girl
DSC00504 , originally uploaded by BarrettDiscovery .
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Ya' call that a space cannon? Now, this is a space cannon
Photo credit: John MacNeill/PopSci PopSci has an article on the Quicklauncher , a conceptual 3,600' long, sea-based cannon capable of launching half-ton payloads to orbit. Ex-Lawrence Livermore physicist John Hunter had built a sub-scale version and has 'done the math' on big one. At 5k G's, ...
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The physics of space battles
Gizmodo published an article that explores how actual space battles might be conducted. The author, Joseph Shoer, is a Ph.D. candidate in aerospace engineering. He explains why such battles would likely be governed by orbital dynamics, kinetics and other such troublesome concepts. Methinks I like ...
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USS Curtis Wilbur launched a Standard Missile-2 (SM2).
USS Curtis Wilbur launched a Standard Missile-2 (SM2). , originally uploaded by Official U.S. Navy Gallery . You know the drill...follow the link back to the source to find other related photos.
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SM-2 launch at sea
"PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 23, 2009) The guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) launches a Standard Missile-2 while conducting torpedo evasion maneuvers during Multi-Sail 2009. Multi-Sail 2009 is designed to improve warfare mission readiness. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication ...
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Quicklaunch space cannon presentation (long)

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From the Archives
One of the best features from The Rocketry Planet is a large set of PDF documents from professional and hobby rocketry. The latest document is all about fins used on the Nike sounding rocket. (They are very strong.) The Archives
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Launch Report 2010-1
Location: Higgs Farm, Price, MD ( MDRA - ESL-140) Weather: temps in the 40's, light breeze Total flights: Today - 4; YTD - 4 Total motors: Today - 4; YTD - 4 I can not believe I actually got out to fly. In all my days as a 're-BAR', I have never attended an organized launch in January. The weather ...
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The case for microlaunchers
How do we define a microlauncher? What are the possible benefits from going with such small systems? This is an interesting talk contrasting rocketry to date, mostly very large and expensive rockets launching only a few times a year, with a possible alternative. I have not seen the whole video ...
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Stupid rocket tricks #'s 10 and 11
Inspired by ESL-140: #10 - Don't check that you monocopter's motor is pointed a little upward. This is the 2nd time I've done this. Grrrr. #11 - Don't heed KenKzak's advice. After viewing the video of the Frankenstein MLAS's demise, I'm pretty sure it was stable. The flight profile during the ...
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Your fembot may be sexy on the outside, but she/it is still creepy on the inside
At CES2010, a company called True Companion introduced Roxxy . I found that more than a little creepy. However, I do like Hajime Sorayama's Gynoids. Go figure. I guess looking is OK but touching isn't :eek: Dark Roasted Blend's latest post, Female Androids' Shape and Anatomy , features (mostly) ...
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Paavo John Rahkonen dies at age 79
Saturday, January 16, 2010 > Paavo John Rahkonen 1930-2009 OGDEN, Utah USA — After three years of battling a rare incurable blood disease, American solid rocket propulsion pioneer Paavo John Rahkonen died December 16th, 2009. Rahkonen was born in ...
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Eureka - A space and rocketry blog in spanish
http://danielmarin.blogspot.com/ Even without being able to understand most of the posts, there is clearly a wealth of information. If you speak Spanish, give this page a visit.
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Scale scratch builders may want some Unwanted rocket drawing sets
The Unwanted Blog , among other things, is the front for a commercial enterprise that offers drawings of various aerospace subjects. The latest is Space Drawing set 22: V-2 rocket engine diagrams . For $5.50 you can download the two detailed drawings of of the V-2's nozzle and injector ...
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When (Xmas) Trees Attack: ESL-140 from the air (updated, and now minty fresh)
The Vimeo video was accidentally deleted...but who cares as long as there is YouTube? (You can view the other videos via my launch report post or the MDRA gallery .) Check out this awesome video footage from MDRA's ESL-140 . Most of the video was taken from an R/C plane, but there are some ground ...
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Scale BSG Viper MK II Rocket
Scale BSG Viper MK II Rocket , originally uploaded by Rene Dalerta .
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Around the world on solar power - Solar Impulse
http://www.solarimpulse.com/ Stats on the prototype aircraft (for RnD of the full scale aircraft.) * Wingspan 63m * Weight 1,600 kg, * Take-off speed 35 km/h * Average flying speed: 70 km/h * Motor power 4 x 10 HP electric engines * Battery specific capacity: 220Wh/kg * Solar cells: 11,628 (total ...
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Sieze the Sky
Master modeler Mario Perdue has announced that his new rocketry book, Seize the Sky - A Builder's Guide to Model Rocketry , is out. The book presents building techniques, a FAQ, and 25 sample builds.
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Calling all Starfighter fans
Or, at least anyone who wants to scratch build one. The Unwanted Blog features a diagram that would be a great guide.
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Update on UFO over Norway
This article confirms a previous post here about this sky spiral.
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Inert training missile
"A collectors dream, these are brand new European training missiles from the Cold War era that have been sitting in storage for over twenty years and are in pristine Grade I condition. They have not been used and the original markings are still the same as when they rolled out of the arsenal. Each ...
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Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Musk refutes report slamming safety standards
Musk refutes report slamming safety standards BY STEPHEN CLARK SPACEFLIGHT NOW Posted: January 19, 2010 A commercial space pioneer and a former astronaut are answering claims by an independent advisory panel that private companies do not meet NASA human-rating standards and last year's pr ...
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Blogger now supports pages
Blogger in Draft just implemented a 'pages' feature to allow us to post stand-alone (persistent? static?) information. While I long have long been jealous of my Wordpress compadres' ability to create pages, I now am not sure what I want to do with it. The information on my favorite subjects is ...
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Hobbico buys Estes
It appears what people have suspected for some time has occurred... Estes has been sold . It will be interesting to see how they evolve. As long as they make motors...lots of motors, I'll be happy. There are so many kits out there that I hardly care what they do or don't bring back, whether they ...
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VTOL one man aircraft
"Conceptual design focusing on the ability of a redundant electric propulsion system to provide new capabilities for Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft. Specifically utilizing electric motor variable rpm to accomplish a low tipspeed prop-rotor (400 ft/sec tip speed at hover and 200 ft/sec at ...
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Paper on rocket motors without nozzles
This article was posted at The Rocketry Planet. It is fascinating to see that rocket engines can work so well without a nozzle. Before learning about this about 2 years back, I had assumed that most of the ISP from a rocket motor came out of the converging, diverging nature of the nozzle. How can ...
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Concept Ship Friday (update)
First up is some neat retro stuff from Scott Lowther and his Unwanted Blog. In his post, About the Landing Boats , he expounds on how he 'derived' the design for the lifting body style landing boats for Fantastic Plastic's Orion Battleship . I applied the term 'derived' because, although the ...
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Oh that's right; rocketry is great.
I almost forgot but then I didn't.
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Cool stuff at NEFAR's Feb. 7th launch
NEFAR Launch, February 7. 2009 (yeah, a year ago) How about an N1900 Sorbitol/Epoxy motor and a steam rocket? Videos included. I previously discussed David O'Neil's steam rockets here. Yeah, cool stuff!
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Pictures!
Our TARC entry is now complete! Hopefully it will perform as good as it looks. I've never worked with phenolic before, so it was kind of interesting trying to cut the slots: I also have never attached the fins before gluing the whole assembly into the airframe, but I think it works better this way. ...
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. . .or just HAPPY to see you?
. . .or just HAPPY to see you? , originally uploaded by That Ray Guy (Ray Monigold) . Definitely WTF, but WTH?
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Warmish, dry, calm weather means:
Primer is going on the Delta X-15 and the SS-7.5 ICBM .
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Video of YAL-1 airborne laser test
Via Closing Velocity comes a video of the YAL-1 Airborne Laser (ABL) engaging the Missile Alternative Range Target Instrument (MARTI). The system successfully demonstrated the ability to acquire, track and engage the target. It was not intended to destroy the target instrument. It appears the ...
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Parasite gliders for MicroMaxx?
If I only have a rocket ship to fly , originally uploaded by peskynoodle .
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Chupacabras - goat eating bald raccoons, maybe
I thought I'd posted about chupacabras before but can find it. So, I'll have to provided some background. Skip down for news on the latest supposed sighting. El chupacabra is a legendary animal that reportedly sucks the blood from livestock, especially goats. The name itself translates to 'goat ...
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Computer Virus
For the record, I got this virus while researching rockets without nozzles. One search result from Google appeared to be an early patent for this technology. "How great!" I exclaimed, only to quickly change my mind and say : "How craptastic." I recently got hit by the worst virus I have seen to ...
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Fun in southeastern New Mexico
Clark Lindsey reports on the Southwest Regional Technology Symposium , which will be held on Thursday, 15 April 2010 at New Mexico Farm & Ranch, Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Here's a short description. More details and contact info are in Clark's Post. Are you an EXPERT in ...
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AeroTech Lowers Prices on Five Single-Grain 54mm RMS Reload Kits
AeroTech Consumer Aerospace has redesigned its five single-grain 54mm soda can motor reload kits to use less expensive components and has significantly reduced prices on the entire range of reloads for the Reloadable Motor System? (RMS?) 54/426 hardware. The modifications, which include the ...
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T-shirt WANT
Via Jerry Irvine on Rocketry Planet:
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Interesting discussion: Sparkies to come under fire at NFPA: Who Made The G?
A few days ago, Rocketry Planet published a great article regarding the coming meeting of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)'s Technical Committee on Pyrotechnics in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, the committee members will review previously submitted proposals for the 2011 revision of NFPA ...
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M power the hard way
Looking back at Chris Pearson's History of LDRS , I see a photo of a rocket that flew on 80 F40's. Assuming the existing AT F40 data , that's equivalent to a 6248M3032.
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Engineer-speak
Via the FlightBlogger (original source unknown): 2010 Top 25 Engineer's Terms and Expressions (What we say versus what it means) 1. A number of different approaches are being tried. We are still guessing at this point. 2. Close project coordination. We sat down and had coffee together. 3. ...
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Slightly late... Plaster Blaster 1/1/10 launch report
Yeah this has taken awhile but I sorta got hung up editing vid. I marvel that Apple's Final Cut Pro 7 supports neither AVCHD nor Flip MinoHD formats natively. Guess what though -- Adobe Premier CS4 does!! WTF, Apple? Git yo shite togetha. Rant mode off. I didn't think I'd be able to fly this month ...
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1938 ... great engineering skill!
1938 ... great engineering skill! , originally uploaded by x-ray delta one . Click-through to access a larger version.
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Why ask why...and other build status
Q: Why is it I never seem to take the time necessary to get a (near) perfect finish? A: Even when I start out with good intentions, I just can't bring myself to stock up on all the proper grades of sandpaper and other materials. So, I'm pretty much doomed to a C+ or B- finish from the get go. ...
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Spirit to be left in place
It seems all future attempts to free the MER Spirit have been called off. The robot will be placed in a favorable angle to the Sun, and may go into low power mode (hibernation) for the local winter season. Even if the rovers "drop dead" right now, with no further contributions to science, they ...
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Big-a$$ rocket of the day
On January 24th, the Indian Space Research Organization successfully static tested the world's 3rd biggest solid rocket motor. Falling behind just the Shuttle and ARIANE-5 boosters, the S200 delivers a peak thrust of 5,151 kN (1.158M lbF). I found no suitable photo of the smoke and fire. For more ...
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Antimater helped propel Avatar to become the highest grossing movie of all time
The Next Big Future points out that the starship in Avatar was based to a large extent on the theoretical, antimatter-powered Valkyrie spaceship designed by by Charles Pellegrino and Brookhaven physicist Jim Powell. Reportedly, Dr. Pellegrino was a consultant on the film. I wish I could have ...
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SLBM

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Delta X-15 - ready for flight!
Just don't look at the finish too closely. I will try adding a couple of layers of Future after the Rustoleum has dried. After a day, it still smells so I guess it is still out gassing.
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TMT Certifies Three New AeroTech High-Power RMS K-Class Motors
The Tripoli Motor Testing (TMT) Committee of the Tripoli Rocketry Association (TRA) has certified two new AeroTech 54mm and one new 75mm Reloadable Motor System? (RMS?) K-class rocket motor reload kits. The new reloads include the K375NW-P and the K480W-P which are both designed for AeroTech, Dr. ...
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Rustoleum Professional Primer + Rustoleum Camouflage Paint =
Stupid Rocket Trick #12 - Crazy crazing, man. I'll guess I'll wait a couple of days, sand, and re-coat.
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Did MJ land on the Moon?
Moon in the Mirror
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Missiles Over Newfoundland? Mystery Continues!
Click Here For Video News Reports CTV.ca News Staff Date: Thu. Jan. 28 2010 6:01 PM ET No one seems to know what two neighbors saw off the coast of Newfoundland earlier this week, but the two are convinced three large bullet-like objects were missiles. And they have photos they say ...
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Mystery missiles over Newfoundland
The Bayourat reports on what appears to have been three missiles seen flying over Newfoundland. This time it was no mystery corkscrew and local residents appear to have had time grab binoculars and a camera. Pointy - ? Fire - ? Smoke - ? If the reports aren't a hoax, it sounds like a rocket to me. ...
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Why is the blame for UFRs always directed towards hobby rocketry?
Post on TRD about missiles seen over Newfoundland Video where they hint about hobby rocketry, which the local government was happy to throw under the bus to deflect legitimate questions. And here is the RocketryPlanet Newsdesk article... oh wait never mind. My prediction? Just one more Sovie... I ...
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Apollo 1 ... Challenger ... Columbia
NASA - Day of Remembrance
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Bring the rovers back home
This one made me sniffle. http://www.xkcd.com/695/
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Stay Spirit! Good rover!
When it got stuck, the Spirit rover had been on Mars for some 2200 days, more than 20 times its original mission lifespan. I didn't note that fact in any of the main stream news reports following NASA JPL's announcement that they will shift their emphasis from getting it unstuck to positioning it ...
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Team Name?
I'm going to bring it up next meeting, but I think we need a creative name for our team. If anyone comes up with any good ideas until then, don't hesitate to leave a comment. The same goes with our beautiful nameless feat of engineering. Looking forward to a new semester! Thank heavens I have NO ...
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Graphic: Who has what in orbit
Big Brothers , originally uploaded by Michæl Paukner . As usual, click through to see a larger version.
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Project Daedalus
Just a sample of some of the cool images of this hypothetical interstellar spacecraft. "Project Daedalus was a study conducted between 1973 and 1978 by the British Interplanetary Society to design a plausible interstellar unmanned spacecraft.[1] A dozen scientists and engineers led by Alan Bond ...
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NASA's 1st e-book is out, can you read it? (updated already!)
You can now download the book "X-15: Extending the Frontiers of Flight" by Dennis R. Jenkins from NASA's Aeronautics Research Directorate in either Kindle or Sony Reader formats. A big hat tip to brianc who points out that the 'Sony format' is a .pdf. I just downloaded it!
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Project Daedalus
R2K has a compendium of photos, data, and links on Project Daedalus, the unmanned, nuclear-powered starship that was proposed by the British Interplanetary Society in the mid 70's. Follow the tag to see my other posts on this project.
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6 months in the life of Armadillo
A reader (thanks George!) pointed me to Armadillos latest status report . This is big one, covering over 6 months of activity from the first Class III waiver issued by FAA AST, through the X-prize Cup, and on to high altitude hops, their S tudents P erforming E xperiments on A rmadillo R ockets ...
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1992 proposal to terraform Mars
From Beyond Shuttle
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Space sailing (light sails and solar sails)
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