Friday, June 29, 2012

NERRF launch report

Well NERRF was great this year! It was like a normal METRA launch but with a few more people and a few more pads. Also, the rate of K, L, and M flights was pretty solid. The weather conditions were hot but the winds were near zero! I flew the thunderbolt 38 on an H400, Viper IV on two E12 motors, Drago on a smoky G, and finally the little Art Applewhite hourglass on an F39. All flights worked, though the Viper IV on two E12 motors was rather under powered, and adding two C11s or two more E12 (or 9) motors would be best for the future. The hourglass flew like a bat out hell as usual, on the rather strong F39 (the rocket weighs just a few grams) but was damaged on landing and may not fly again. Which is perfectly fine for an $8 rocket after a dozen launches. Not many images to show, but here are three:

Recovery, if not on sod or corn, was among these rows.  I am no expert but they look like eggplant.  Any horticulturalists out there?  Note the shockcord in the last image; the skyangle is an extremely strong and reliable 'chute, but it tends to spin rockets severely, even with the built in swivel.  Is this a common experience for others?

Astronomy tabloid

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The history of LDRS and modern HPR

"The LDRS story actually got started a number of years before the first LDRS was held in a northern Ohio farm field. Here's how it began..."

Click here to hear the rest of the story.  Fascinating to look back and see just how far the hobby has come over the years.  Since joining in 1998, I have seen significant changes, but it is nothing compared to the 14 years that came before, starting essentially around the time I was born!

What We Talk About When We Talk About Voyager 1

"The biggest news last week had nothing to do with presidential elections, overseas financial crises, or fiddly football coaches. The really big news, the only news that will be popularly remembered 500 years hence, was that a human artifact was, for the first time, on the verge of departing our solar system, en-route to who-knows-what in the interstellar infinitude. That was the Voyager 1 probe, launched from Cape Canaveral in 1977 to tour the outer planets and collect data on the “interstellar medium” — the thin soup of particles, trace gasses, and other teensy cosmic detritus in the appalling vastness between the stars. Voyager completed the former mission decades ago, and is now on the verge of assuming the latter, powered on its way by radiation emitted from our ever-more distant sun. The news of Voyager’s imminent departure from our system was carried everywhere. Unfortunately, almost none of the coverage addressed two central questions: What do we mean when we say “solar system”? And: How do we know we’re out of it?"

Salty Eggs

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Zapping Rocks with Lasers to Save the World

"The means for potential deflection techniques for asteroids range from nuclear weapons to gravity tugs. Each has advantages and disadvantages. Laser Bees are intriguing because studies indicate they may offer the ability to move asteroids comparatively quickly. Much work must be done to determine if this really pans out, and that is where the Laser Bees project comes in."

From the Planetary Society Blog

Monday, June 25, 2012

System Solaire SS67B-2 liquid fuel rocket

Remember this rocket?

Gamera II HPH World Record Flight: 50 seconds

"Gamera II is the second human powered helicopter from the University of Maryland's Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center. Video evidence suggests the helicopter, piloted by Kyle Gluesenkamp, flew for 50 seconds! The team is pursuing the American Helicopter Society International's (AHS) Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Prize which requires a 60-second flight and 3m (10 ft) altitude."

The AHS Prize

Team site

Friday, June 22, 2012

Antonov An-225 Mriya with MAKS spacecraft

Thanks readers for the prompt info!  I was not able to translate the page below with google, but it must have more info:


Challenges of Getting to Mars: Curiosity's Seven Minutes of Terror

"Team members at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory share the challenges of the Curiosity Mars rover's final minutes to landing on the surface of Mars."

Nerrf rocketry launch this weekend!

This year as last, NERRF is hosted by Metra.  I understand that the launch starts today, and runs through the weekend.  I plan on attending Sunday as long as weather conditions hold up (and they probably will.)  No great plans really, probably going to put the Thunderbolt 38 up on an H400.  On the far side of a level 2 certification, my building and buying has slowed down a bit.  Probably will fly a few H and G motors, and also a 2x E12 cluster in the Viper IV.  Perhaps a 4x C11 cluster as well if time allows.  I have been meaning to burn some of my cheaper 29mm 40 - 120 reloads as constantly using CTI 29mm loads is very expensive.

It will be a stretch, but I am also attempting to fix the zipper in my Formula 75 in time.  It would be fun on an H400 also.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bunsen burner flames

The latter three look a bit like rocket exhaust, but no they are not.  Hey and that last one looks familiar somehow...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Domino chain reaction

 "A domino can knock over another domino about 50% larger than itself. A chain of dominos of increasing size makes a kind of mechanical chain reaction that starts with a tiny push and knocks down an impressively large domino. 

Original idea by Lorne Whitehead, American Journal of Physics, Vol. 51, page 182 (1983). See  for a sophisticated discussion of the physics."

00 buckshot

For self-defense obviously...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Hmm nothing much going on...

I may have finished the Internet...

So check out these cool, semi-steam punk rockets that do not fly!

"May I present small missles that no rocket pack should be without. Not modelled after sidewinders, that may be next. Made from brass candle sticks, small calibration gas cylinders and sickle bar mower teeth. I used the base of the candle stick for the nose and the candle holding part for the rocket nozzle."

Brass Goggles

Thursday, June 14, 2012

"Amateur Rocketeers Reach For The Stars"

"When QUEST first started production on the television story, 'Amateur Rocketeers Reach for the Stars', I had no idea that the amateur or experimental rocketry was so popular today. Before the producer of the story, Chris Bauer, pitched the idea, if someone had mentioned rocket-building to me, I probably would have imagined a young boy putting together a cardboard rocket and propelling it into the sky with some baking soda and vinegar.  I certainly would not have conjured the images of high school students (boys AND girls) working in a lab together for weeks on end to design, build and program rockets that can reach the edges of space in order to do real scientific research. This is exactly what the some of the folks featured in Chris’s story are doing with the Rocket Mavericks program.

The official name of the organization is Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation and on the spectrum of civilian rocket building, they are all the way to the hard-core technical end. According to their website, the group strives 'to enable the common man to build vehicles and conduct space exploration missions independently, launching the personalization of access to space.'"


Monday, June 11, 2012

City built within an extinct volcano at sea

"Vertical cities are skyscrapers where thousands of residents can live. Among other vertical cities concepts, there is the volcanic vertical city. The city is built inside the crater of a dead volcano."

Shuttle arrives in New York Harbor

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Jet crash test footage

"In 1984, NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center and the Federal Aviation Administration teamed up in a unique flight experiment called the Controlled Impact Demonstration to test a promising fuel additive for retarding or suppressing fire in a real-world aircraft crash-landing scenario. When blended with standard Jet-A fuel, the FM-9 additive, a high molecular weight long-chain polymer, had demonstrated the capability to inhibit ignition and flame propagation of the released fuel in simulated impact tests. An obsolete Boeing 720 four-engine airliner was obtained from the FAA for the project, which would conclude with an intentional crash-landing of the remotely piloted aircraft into several steel structures set up on the bed of Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base to rip open the fuel tanks in the wings. This anti-misting kerosene with the FM-9 additive could not be introduced directly into a gas turbine engine due to several potential problems, such as clogging of filters. The modified fuel had to be restored to nearly Jet-A standard before being introduced into the engine for burning. This restoration was accomplished on the Boeing 720 using a device called a degrader that was installed on each of the aircraft's four Pratt & Whitney JT3C-7 engines."  NASA

 Youtube just upgraded me to a rapid upload, long file, monetized, fancy account. So slowly, I will be uploading some of the aerospace videos in the archive.

SMBC comic with rockets in it


Saturday, June 9, 2012

EOD explosion footage from Kuwait - danger close

Various unknown explosions

I know my readers all too well...

If you have a location or additional info about these images, post in the comments.

"An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases. An explosion creates a shock wave. If the shock wave is a supersonic detonation, then the source of the blast is called a "high explosive". Subsonic shock waves are created by low explosives through the slower burning process known as deflagration."  Wiki

Friday, June 8, 2012

Latest hobbylinc order

Included here is some epoxy, two packs of C11 motors, one pack of the new E12 estes motor, some E28s and some F39s.  Also I wanted to throw in some 13mm motors as I nearly ran out last year.  Some 1/4th A cuties are in there also.  The C11 motors will go into the Viper IV four at a time, for some kind of E44.  I will do two E12s at a time in the viper also for an F24.  (They would be great 4 at a time, but a bit expensive at $20 per flight.)

Formula 54 to Blackhawk 29 custom rocket


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Long exposure ISS images

Today must be image dump day...

This is from the NASA Flickr account.

Another great shot: HST and Venus cross the Sun

This gem is from Thierry Legault.

Hinode Views the 2012 Venus Transit

This is a great shot of the (now slightly over-hyped) transit of Venus. Did anyone out there see it? It was cloudy in the NYC area but it was possible to catch it for a few moments.

 "On June 5, 2012, Hinode captured these stunning views of the transit of Venus -- the last instance of this rare phenomenon until 2117. Hinode is a joint JAXA/NASA mission to study the connections of the sun's surface magnetism, primarily in and around sunspots. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages Hinode science operations and oversaw development of the scientific instrumentation provided for the mission by NASA, and industry. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., is the lead U.S. investigator for the X-ray Telescope." Image credit: JAXA/NASA/Lockheed Martin

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

X-15 Rocket Plane Onboard Time-Lapse Movies

"Edited footage from onboard time-lapse motion picture cameras looking aft and pointing toward the nose make a quick flight seem even faster as the X-15 launches from its B-52 mother ship, accelerates and climbs, and descends to a fast landing on Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards AFB, Calif."

Monday, June 4, 2012

Custom 4" High Power Rocket on Ebay

 "This is a custom built Rocket ,modeled after the Ultimate by Loc Precision.Its Dual deploy ,54mm Motor Mount,4" dia,67" tall,24" Sky Angle Drogue,60" Top Flite Main Chute.No Altimeter.Lower Airframe has Easyglass Sock Laminated on it.Slimline Motor Retainer."


Friday, June 1, 2012

Supercavitating ammunition

"With DSG Technology’s MEA Supercavitating Rifle Ammo, you can fire at an underwater enemy target from above the water, an above-the-water enemy target from below the surface, or at an underwater target while you are also underwater. For example, a U.S. Navy SEAL diver can perform an underwater approach on an enemy vessel and engage targets of opportunity while he’s still submerged several meters underwater. The only caveat is that he’ll have to compensate for optical refraction to hit the target. The same thing goes for engaging underwater targets from above the water."

Defense Review

This looks like a little model of a supercavitating torpedo: