Tuesday, October 4, 2011
After many years of struggling, this team has once again launched a giant R hybrid. It may not seem like much, but this is a HUGE rocket and it is 'bound to break at least 10 miles altitude.
"Jakob’s Hybrid R10000 Rocket Launch
An amazing launch for Jeff Jakob and team. This nitrous and rubber burning hybrid rocket is a 28 ft. tall, 450 lb behemoth full of complex plumbing and electronics.
I scouted a good vantage point up on top of Jeff’s truck so I could capture both him and his rocket launching. More photos below and video to come.
He is sitting in the foreground at the solar-powered launch control deck, where he can fill the rocket’s tanks with nitrous and initiate launch.
She’s an amazing work of craftsmanship, held together by 420 bolts. It takes 200 lbs of nitrous oxide + 28 lbs of HTPB. Just loading the nitrous takes 40 minutes.
For a sense of the emotion in the air, it's important to know how much persistence it took to get here. And that's not just the drive out from Santa Barbara and a team prepping for days. It's the decade of effort and prior attempts. Here's a recap:
It blew up into tiny bits at BALLS13, so the hydraulic lift and liquid-fuel-pumping pad had to be rebuilt, as well as a shiny new 23 foot tall rocket.
At BALLS16, it screamed up to Mach 3 and exploded (Jeff’s photos).
He made his fourth attempt at BALLS 17. Soon after liftoff, the motor flamed out to the side.
Last year, at BALLS 18, everything was set up in the cold, but the weather worsened, and the team had to pack it all up for that year. The heartbreak of Blue BALLS.
So they were back for the sixth attempt at BALLS 19... It took off just wonderfully, but they lost the airframe over the hills and far away.
Back at BALLS 20, the seventh try was blessed with lady luck. I am asking about the recovery, but the launch itself was picture perfect."
Here is the video:
From the Jurvetson Flickr via TORD.