The day an amateur rocket climbed 23 miles in one minute

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Awesome, show those North Koreans how it’s done.




That doesn’t look anything like my old Estes kits.


Lol - I was going to say - kicks the shit out of my old Estes kits.

I have some friends who do larger rocket builds like this - but not THIS big or high.

From what I understand Aluminum is trick to weld, so nice job there.




In the sense that Olympic athletes are “amateur” I suppose. :slight_smile:


So I guess the next step for this guy is actual orbit.

And then space doomfortress.


Well, 92 seconds to apogee, not less than a minute, but it was a damn impressive flight.

More awesomeness:

He and his team mixed and cast their own propellant for the motor.

There’s another version of the flight video which shows black streaks going past the lens of one of the cameras - it’s melted plastic from an aerodynamic shroud.

Check his site for detailed pics of the whole thing:


I don’t do it myself but it’s pretty standard nowadays and you can get the stuff you need in Home Depot - or support your local welding business.


Nice view of Lake Tahoe in the background at e.g., 4m 24s (the bigger, closer lake is Pyramid Lake)


so it went up 23 miles, and then landed right on a dirt road?

I am credibly informed that at a certain south west of England university in the 1970s the rocket society (which was not called that for obscurity reasons) cast their propellant in coca-cola tins and kept it symmetrical by rolling the tins down the halls of their student residence while it solidified.
Some of that stuff seen heading upwards over Dartmoor was not the military playing games (though in a small country it was a convenient cover.)
You have to be a lot braver than I am to cast monopropellant like that. I know what exothermic means.


Well, it’s the Blackrock desert in Nevada. There’s just not a lot except flat dirt out there.

I’ve cast propellant before, and probably will again. Nothing like that scale, and the hard part is getting the materials and recipes, but once that is done, the rockets fly real nice.

I do know some guys that cast serious motors that size and even larger (around impulse ranges S and T), but biggest I’ve cast was in the J-K range.

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It used to be really easy, so long as you had access to a half decent university library. Nowadays I suspect that just trying to find out will get you in trouble in some places.
I’ve actually disposed of a couple of my organic chemistry textbooks just in case some TLA/FLA takes an interest in me and decides to investigate my library. I’m not up to anything, but secret policemen think nobody reads anything without the intention of making use of it.


Well, well, well. Looks like B. o. B. was right after all.

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My ears popped just watching that. I know the word awesome gets thrown around a lot, but this was awesome.

Look for new and entertaining amendments to GoPro warranty disclaimers.

Something to think about though: that’s about one-tenth of one-percent of the way toward escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull. So yeah, these guys are amazing amateurs. But they are amateurs compared to space programs.

I was at this 2004 launch:

Claimed to be the first civilian rocket to reach space (>100km) but I don’t know if it counts as “amateur.” It was pretty amazing to witness from only about a quarter mile away.

23 miles = 37 km.

low earth orbit = 160 km.

hmm… 22% there. These kind of things could get serious.


In honor of an independent launch.

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