Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just arrived

Just got some motors and parts in the mail, ready for the next launch! Got rail guides for one rocket, a 38-29mm adapter for the thunderbolt kit, a 2 grain 38mm CTI case, and the following motors:

225 - H400 Vmax (!)
125 - G131 SS
138 - G106 SK
159 - G125 R

That H400 should kick some ass in the 38mm min. diameter rocket. Has anyone ever flown one? Burn time is around .6 seconds, so that will be my fastest large motor to date. (Previously it was the H238, or the F101.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mars animation by Damian Peach

Damian is one of the most talented Solar System amateur astrophotographers on the scene today. Some of his images (particularly Jupiter) rival the work done by professionals.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Operation Sailor Hat

"Operation Sailor Hat was an explosives effects test conducted by the US Navy at Kaho'olawe Island, Hawaii in 1965[1]. They were not nuclear tests, instead employing conventional explosives (i.e. TNT) to simulate the effects of a nuclear blast. The purpose of these three tests was to study the effects of shock and blast of a nuclear explosion on naval vessels. In addition, seismological data, underwater acoustics, radio communications, cratering, air blast effects, cloud growth, fire ball generation, and electromagnetic data were gathered. The former light cruisers USS Atlanta (CL-104) and USS England (DLG-22), the guided-missile destroyers USS Cochrane (DDG-21), USS Benjamin Stoddert (DDG-22), USS Dale (DLG-19), USS Towers (DDG-9), and the Canadian Navy's escort destroyer HMCS Fraser all participated in the trial.

Each "Sailor Hat" test consisted of a dome stacked 500-ton charge of TNT high explosive detonated on the shore of Kaho'olawe close to the ships under test and each test saw the USS Atlanta move closer to the explosion. The first test, called Bravo, occurred on February 6 and the second test, called Charlie, occurred on April 16, 1965. The last was codenamed Delta and occurred on June 19, 1965." - Wiki Source

Operation Sailor Hat

Some videos of test:

(Quick summary)

(Declassified coverage skip to 3:20)

This test reminds me of a previous large conventional explosion used to calibrate the Trinity test shot:

This was a 100 Ton blast. Keep in mind that for this one, it was still WWII. There is little doubt that the explosives used were valuable, but the Manhattan project had carte blanche.

Kosdon O-10,000 in a boosted dart

Altitude was not as expected because of a separation problem. Still, for an O, it did get some pretty decent altitude. Most importantly, the O booster did recover.

Here is a post about the motor.

And here a post about the project.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Crash landing at LDRS 29

"Seismic rocket launch at LDRS 29 at Lucerne dry lake, California June 13, 2010. 29 pound rocket on a L850. The main chute charge went off at 500 feet, but the charge was not strong enough to eject the main chute. It hit pretty hard, and broke two fins."

Very nice spiral smoke trail.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

38mm Thunderbolt

The Thunderbolt fiberglass kit has already flown once. However, it is not quite finished, not even in the build process. The coupler joint between two airframe sections was never quite square, and while it was fine recently on a big G motor, it is worth beefing up for H and above flights (and for hard recovery events.) To do this, I took a small sample section of 38mm airframe that giant leap sent a few years back. I used metal cutters to snip out a small section, and was happy to see that the ring did not shatter. It was a clean cut. This will be slipped over the airframe, with a nice tight fit, and epoxied in place right over the joint between airframes and around the upper rail guide. With this, the rocket should be pretty much bulletproof!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Daedalus Staging

See previous post about this project

Moscow Aviation Institute

"Photographs of missilery taken in the aerospace department of the Moscow Aviation Institute. Unfortunately most of the models are classified and couldn’t be shot."

Are these used spacecraft, working models, or just mock-ups and boilerplates? One looks a bit like the Soviet LK Lunar Lander.

From EnglishRussia

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Sony rocket project

Day 100 and X, weather hold. Possibly due to global warming.

Some updates would be nice, even if they are just internal for hobby people. Those rockets look outstanding, they appear to be in a 3x P to O config... Either way, near space is almost certain if both stages burn as planned. Check out the payload... finally some cameras on a high altitude project... and what looks like two nice cameras at that. I must say that the Mavericks rocketry team does some outstanding work.

Monday, June 21, 2010

V1 and V2 footage from WWII Germany

Chasing the N record

(Images from The Rocketry Planet show various high altitude rockets)

This brilliant article from the Rocketry Planet has been in my bookmarks for a few months now, just waiting to get posted while on the back burner. It is all about how M and N motors (with a thin layer of rocket sprayed over them) are inching closer and closer to that 10 mile mark. Now with some really incredible motors, such as the N1100, it seems as if 50,000 feet is going to become routine in time. If an N can do this, can P and Q motors be far from scraping 200,000 feet some day?

"Four years ago, James Dougherty didn't know the difference between a G80 and an M2500...

Today, Dougherty is among a handful of hard core, high-power rocketry enthusiasts — in the United States and abroad — who... believe they can clear 50,000 feet, or higher, on a single N. That's an altitude nearly two miles higher than commercial jetliners typically fly, and close to four miles higher than the peak of Mt. Everest. This is the realm of the stratosphere, where thunderstorms are born and the air density is nearly one-eighth that found at sea level."

Chasing the N record: Pursuing stratospheric dreams by Mark B. Canepa

(Video of a CTI N1100 flight)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

N3300R onboard footage to 17,000 ft.

"Superfluous Launch 6 at LDRS 29 on 6/13/2010

Motor Aerotech N3300R
Max Altitude 17764 ft G-Wiz, 17767 RRC2
Max Speed 1427 ft/sec (mach 1.3)
Max Acceleration 16G

Above Mach from 2.5 to 7.8 seconds after motion
Small motor anomaly at 3.9 seconds after motion
Flight Length 295 sec"

F-16 evades SAMs

"Audio and HUD cockpit view from Iraq of a F-16 pilot fully loaded with ordinance on his way to a mission pulling some serious G forces evading multiple SAM launches.

A very close call...You can see multiple SAM smoke trails from the cockpit."

Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Sweet Sixteen Dragrace"

This is one source for the J1999N story.

I am not sure this is the picture we need to show to the world, now that the BATF is (correctly) off our backs. There seem to be a ton of shreds at LDRS this year, not to mention a burn incident involving several people (some of whom were not involved in rocket setup at the time, but who were just watching.) One would think we as a hobby would start to move past this failure mode, particularly with the overbuilding trend that most subscribe to with composite airframes becoming the norm in high power. If doing a stunt like this (and yes a 16 rocket drag race is a stunt not a launch) there should be a voluntary extra distance used by spectators. A complex level 2 rocket would need to be twice as far as this crazy launch was, and it is far safer than this wound up being.

Obviously most flights at LDRS this year have been normal, and since I am not there it may seem unfair to judge based on the worst outcomes only. But these types of things should never happen. Accidents yes, people standing next to rockets during the accidents, no.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A universe of galaxies

"Thousands of galaxies crowd into this Herschel image of the distant Universe. Each dot is an entire galaxy containing billions of stars.

For more than a decade, astronomers have puzzled over strangely bright galaxies in the distant Universe. These ‘luminous infrared galaxies’ appear to be creating stars at such phenomenal rates that they defy conventional theories of galaxy formation.

Now ESA’s Herschel infrared space observatory, with its ability for very sensitive mapping over wide areas, has seen thousands of these galaxies and pinpointed their locations, showing for the first time that they are packing themselves closely together, forming large clusters of galaxies by the force of their mutual gravity.

The mottled effect in the image gives away this clustering. All the indications are that these galaxies are busy crashing into one another, and forming large quantities of stars as a result of these violent encounters.

This image is part of the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES) Key Project, which studies the evolution of galaxies in the distant, ancient Universe. The project uses the SPIRE (Spectral and Photometric Imaging REceiver) instrument on Herschel and has been surveying large areas of the sky, currently totalling 15 square degrees, or around 60 times the apparent size of the Full Moon.

This particular image was taken in a region of space called the Lockman hole, which allows a clear line of sight out into the distant Universe. This ‘hole’ is located in the familiar northern constellation of Ursa Major, The Great Bear.

The galaxies seen in this image are all in the distant Universe and appear as they did 10–12 billion years ago. They are colour coded in blue, green, and red to represent the three wavebands used for Herschel’s observation. Those appearing in white have equal intensity in all three bands and are the ones forming the most stars. The galaxies shown in red are likely to be the most distant, appearing as they did around 12 billion years ago.

HerMES will continue to collect more images, over larger areas of the sky in order to build up a more complete picture of how galaxies have evolved and interacted over the past 12 billion years.

ESA & SPIRE Consortium & HerMES consortia."


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vacuum Chamber test goes wrong

1.7 MB PDF - JSC Roundup article from 1967

I am flattered that someone from The Universe Today reads this humble little rocketry page. They should know that I check UT about 4 times per day, it is in the science news folder.

One reader there commented that it seems too dangerous to test suits with men in them. Why not just test the suit without? Well obviously this would have been done in the first place, but eventually there is the need to get mobility and comfort data from a human.

X-51A Waverider

Monday, June 7, 2010

Armadillo Aerospace flight with parachute and restart

"A four pane view of the boosted hop flight on June 5th, 2010 of the Mod vehicle with engine shutdown, drogue deployment, engine restart, safe landing."

These teams are really starting to get serious!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sony rocket project

About 2 months after the date, the much hyped (and product placed) Sony project has little information, and a progress bar that seems to be missing months. Get one of those super fancy laptops, ready to send a rocket to the Moon, and have it google "Friends of Blackrock."