Thursday June 26, 2003

The new rocket design. The "engine" is a stock 1 liter bottle, with a bit of duct and electrical tape for that high tech look. Same fins as the last model. The camera module has undergone much retrofitting in the hope to keep everything firmly anchored in the event of an unchecked high speed descent into terra firma. Finally the rocket nose cone is a clever design by Kirk from last year that I've retrofitted in the hopes that it will help chute deployment. Not quite visible are the two large metal nuts in the nose cone to "shake" and "detach" it as the rocket changes direction at apogee. That's the theory.

New, modular rocket cam design!

Ted came over yesterday afternoon to help with the new rocket launch. The first launch went smoothly but the video came out badly. And, dang it, the parachute refused to deploy so the rocket plummeted into the trees, which completely dismantled the modules but in a nice way, nothing was damaged.

On to launch number two. On this one I had to launch by hand since our "remote" control (string) broke on the previous shot. The animated image here was snapped by Ted. He just missed the initial blast off, but it's a hard thing to capture. If you look real close at the top of the first image I think that's the bottom of the bottle.

It was a picture perfect shot. The rocket soared into the heavens, steady and purposeful as if this time it might not come back to Earth. Oh, but it did, and how! Once again the parachute and nose cone remained firmly wedded to the rocket and after a smooth arch at apogee it fell like a rock to the ground. Fell like a rock with 9 volt battery and two large nuts inside. It cratered a few inches into our lawn.

My new lawn aeration technique.

New, modular rocket destruction!

The next launch it will deploy the parachute even if I have to use remote controlled explosive charges to do so. For now, though, it's back to the laboratory to solder the wires back to the camera and make a new nose cone. The movie below is a 170k quicktime of the second launch. Short, but still pretty impressive. For extra points see if you can spot the dog. You can also get the movie here should my fancy embedding not work on your setup.

Tedhieron • 2003-06-26 10:06am

For even more extra points, see if you can spot Ted on the deck!
JJ • 2003-06-26 10:12am

I could not see Ted or the dog, but I did see your garden. What have you got going there? Or is all your time spent on the rockets.
jerry • 2003-06-26 10:15am

Going to need some photoshop enhancement to pick Ted out I think. I see a white blur that *ought* to be him.

The garden is growing a nice crop of soda bottle caps. Next year's rockets! In addition to that there's the boring old tomatoes, basil, hot peppers, beans, lettuce and many as of yet unknown volunteers from last year.

Pedraum Pardehpoosh • 2003-06-26 11:14pm

I can't get me enough of them thar rockets. I live less than fives miles from NASA's Moffet field and I don't see nearly as much cool stuff as y'all appear to be working on in Lebanon.