The existential pleasures of trying to drop an egg from space

Originally published at: The existential pleasures of trying to drop an egg from space | Boing Boing


I love the Kerbal shirt!!! Definitely bookmarking this to watch later.


The presence of a Kerbal shirt definitely indicates that at least one of these launches kicked off a Rapid Unplanned Disassembly Maneuver.


So, no omelet, then? :thinking:

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Eggs-istential, come on!!



I like Mark’s work and his honesty about failures, along with showing the challenges of the whole process, but the end result of this project wasn’t especially impressive to me, especially given the substantial resources that were expended. He gave up on the cool guided missile / free-falling egg onto a mattress concept early on, and the failure of the balloon on the final attempt meant that it didn’t go supersonic. So in the end it was just an egg being parachuted to the ground from a high altitude in a padded, free-falling and unguided container.

I won’t claim to be smarter or a better engineer than Mark but I’m still proud of the unique egg drop container that I won a competition with back in high school. The egg was suspended in “oobleck” (cornstarch & water mixture) inside of a plastic jar. Unlike the lightweight foam and cardboard contraptions that the other guys made this thing was dense and hit the ground hard after being dropped from an 8-story building. People were astonished that the egg didn’t break even after being dropped 3 times, but the unique viscoelastic properties of oobleck did the trick and distributed the force evenly around the eggshell, even though there was basically zero padding. (The inside of the egg still got scrambled though.)


My kids love oobleck, and we are stealing your egg drop idea.


Hm, that last bit kinda puts the kibosh on the notion of filling a capsule with oobleck instead of using parachutes for reentry, at least for the astronauts.


“Let the eggs… DROP!”

These folks make space food look easy; shorter video, and they eat the payload at the end:

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Garlic bread? Garlic Bread? It is the taste of the future!

They were also a bit more honest about it by calling it “the edge of space” in their video title rather than “launching it into space” or saying they got it up “all the way up to space” like Roeber repeatedly did in his video. The balloon only got to 100,000 ft, and (as Roeber surely knows) the Kármán line is more than triple that at 328,000 feet (100km). Clearly since a balloon requires atmosphere to provide lift no balloon could ever get all the way to what is commonly understood to be “space.”

I might be less pedantic on this if it weren’t for the fact that Roeber is ex-NASA and definitely knows better.


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