Tuesday, August 15, 2006


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 chose to fly at night. Never a great idea, you cant see anything! Here are links for the Florida Tech project.
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Make it Funny said...


I had some of your blogs to my favourite links.

You can see them in Make it Funny.

And... thanks for the visit!

Chief Scientist said...

Chuck Yeager went higher and faster in a jet.

Of course, he was nuts ... in a cool way.

R2K said...

x15 pilots went very high, and very fast. Over Mach4 and over 200,000 ft I think.

Andy Sokol said...

Actually, launching at night wasn't our choice. Long story short, there was much red tape involved, personnel changes in pertinent organizations (FAA), and so on. We had to launch from a remote location with minimal air traffic, and even at that, the FAA gave us a only two-hour window on Easter morning (1-3 am, if I remember correctly, which would have even LESS air traffic).

As it turned out, though, the night launch worked out for the best! Since we knew it had to be night, we had attached small rescue strobe lights (made by ACR Electronics) to the booster and payload. Since the skies were clear and dark, we were able to see the strobe lights in the sky! They appeared at the times corresponding to simulated nominal flight -- booster strobe appeared shortly after motor burnout & separation (approx T+8sec), and payload strobes after dart apogee & payload deployment (approx T+74sec). Had there been any problems with the flight, these times would have been off (particularly payload strobes, which would have appeared sooner) -- hence confirming a flight to the simulated altitude, ~81,000 feet!

It's a good thing, too, because the real-time data transmission failed (antenna snapped), and the payload's data was compromised despite our successful recovery of all of the rocket's hardware.

I'm THRILLED to see people are still talking about us!

Rock(et) on!

Andy Sokol
B.S., Aerospace Engineering
Florida Tech Class of 2003
JAMSTAR Project Manager / Webmaster