Friday, November 2, 2012

Detailed report on Carmack prize winning flight

Needless to say, I was not bored for a moment while reading through these 100 pages of documentation.  This is exactly what one would hope to have for every significant high altitude flight.  A team that worked carefully, tested different configurations, and then documented their work with videos and this article.  The efficiency of this flight is most impressive; the rocket broke 100,000 feet (despite flying many miles down range, far from vertical) with only 21,000 newton seconds of impulse installed.  In the process, they beat the performance of many P, Q, and R flights from the past.  Clearly the slow-burning booster and sustainer, combined with the efficiency of a two-staged rocket, is capable of more still.  For example, it can be safely said that this rocket configuration is capable of 120,000 feet if nearly vertical during the flight of the sustainer. 

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