Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nuclear War

Not everything shooting through space is a good thing. Here are two MIRV tests. These all came from one rocket, as I understand it, and hit targets in the pacific at high mach speeds. The trails are marked by, I think, incandescent plasma as a result of heating from such fast objects. It is shocking that they can maintain such high speeds for so long - all the way to impact it seems. Granted they may be 1000 lbs each, and inside a very compact package that is aerodynamic, but still machs of 5, 10, or even more are hard to sustain without tons of rocket power. Much of nuclear war is still unknown, probably for the best.

This last image shows what the two tests would have done to New York.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

View from a Space Shuttle SRB

Life is hard when you travel back and forth to space all the time, then crash land in the ocean. I bet you would have wanted to be born a monolithic motor : )

Monday, July 23, 2007

LDRS 16 Video

Great video of some flights from LDRS - one of the biggest national high power events during the year. If you cant watch all 8:00 of this video, skip to the last 45 sec. to see a pretty great flight: a huge rocket going very high, but also doing something big rockets seldom survive.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Warp 9 - A discussion of rocket motors

A rocket gets off to a very fast start on a new type of propellant - Warp 9

Rocket motors come in many different forms. There are disposable motors and re-loadable motors in which you keep some parts and build it yourself each time you fly. These have various pros and cons, and and move from largely disposable in the lower power levels to mostly reusable in the upper levels.

Motors are named a letter first, this is the total impulse (total power, size) of the motor. This starts out at A, and doubles with each letter after so that a B = 2As and a C = 2Bs. This continues as far as you want to go. Sometimes we discuss Nasa rocket motors and call them Ws or X motors. The largest hobby rocketry motor is the O, anything larger is no longer hobby but amateur. Next you have a number, the average impulse (or thrust) in Newtons. Newtons are a measure of force that can be converted into Lbs. Finally you may have a number, such as 5, 7, or 10. In some motors there is an ejection delay that automatically ejects the recovery system. This is very common in smaller motors (and almost universal in motors smaller than G), and the number represents the delay time in Sec. And after this you may have a letter such as T, SS, W, R.... This represents the type of propellant in the motor. Here is a list of the Aerotech types:

T - Blue Thunder Propellant - producing a violet blue flame (fast burning).
W - White Lightning Propellant - Producing a white flame with dense smoke (moderate).
J - Black Jack Propellant - producing dense black smoke (slow).
R - Redline Propellant - producing a bright red flame (moderate - fast).
And the new warp 9 as seen above - A very fast, clean burning propellant.

The warp 9 motors are so strong that they are ideal for getting rockets to high speeds.

*Edit* There is now a new propellant on the way out called Majve Green. Obviously it makes a green flame, it is moderate - fast burning like Redline, and has a very high ISP (efficient) like Warp 9. Great times we live in!