Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sony rocket project update

These are two nice videos that (probably) show the rocket mavericks launches that may or may not have been the same flights for the Sony Rocket Project. Am I the only one who is still confused about how many of these rockets were launched and what happened to them? The overall impression I get is that they both failed to burn two stage, and had a few recovery failures. The Sony Rocket Project web page says launch success, but it is about as reliable as Achmed Chalabi! (Too soon?)

A hint was recently dropped, and that may explain why information is so limited; there is a tv show coming out "in the fall" covering these launches. Obviously with these kinds of financial contracts, releasing information may be hard to do. If anyone wants to help me understand exactly what happened, please feel free to comment here. A basic launch report would be nice. The Rocketry Planet would probably host it. With projects like this, that always have web pages, it would be nice to simply see a regularly updated blog with images and information. On this day, at this hour, this rocket was launched. It failed in this way, this part was recovered in this condition. In other words, a simple launch report.

"The following documentary was produced to document the Google PhoneSAT project flown by Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation researchers as part of its STEM Education & Clotho Research Project Beagle IV test flight operations in Black Rock Nevada, July 22-25, 2010."

It is interesting that this 2nd party documentary, made on the fly (and cheap) actually has about as much information as all of the Sony Rocket Project videos to date. My initial reaction to the video released on the SRP web page (still the latest update now months in), was that the rocket seemed rather slow. I must retract that statement, these boosters are mean and the first stage burnout looked very fast indeed.

"This video sequence shows the first and second test flights of the booster stages of the Beagle IV flight worthiness evaluations, flown July 22-25 in Black Rock Nevada. Both rockets were 2 stage complex rockets, using a clustered booster configuration containing three mid-range P-impluse solid APCP aluminized propellant using no burn rate catalyst. Each motor produced 65,000 Ns of impulse over a 6 second burn interval. Target apogee for both rockets was 147,000 ft MSL at a top speed of just over Mach 4.6."


Dick said...

Thanks for the updates. I bet you are right about the secrecy being related to the tv spot.

R2K said...

Sure, please excuse my constant complaining about this. But I hate seeing such an impressive project (not one but two really great looking rockets, in a brilliant modular design that rivals, in my mind, rocket ideas from the government) go on with hardly any documentation. Just sporadic images and videos. As we know, tv shows don't always do justice to amateur rocketry either.