Rocket Propulsion Elements! Finally!

I've had my eye on this book for about a year now, and I FINALLY purchased it! This will be a resource that will be useful in educating myself about REAL rocket science, not model rocketry (which is great, and poses too many challenges anyone could master in a lifetime, but is just too small a scale to even leave the troposphere), nor even high-power rocketry. This is real spacecraft propulsion science, and it is the "definitive" text on the subject!

It reminds my of an old cartoon I drew a few years ago:

I now have 7 books in my library. Books are the best!

I have another new book called "Amateur Rocket Motor Construction". I'm not planning on building my own motors anytime soon, but in the future I hope to.


Aerospace Projects Exibited in County Fair

Our county fair is over now, and my projects did pretty good in 4H. My practice high-power rocket was awarded reserve champ (second best), and I'm going to state! I am now working hard on rebuilding it for the state fair. It has many of the same features, like similar weight, power, and configuration, but a different shape and paint job. This one will be longer with a narrower diameter, taller than my sister! And I'm going to use two reloadable G64W motors, so if it works the liftoff will be absolutely spectacular. The whole goal of this project is to successfully achieve simultaneous ignition of multiple motors with composite propellants. I'm hoping to go to the next Tripoli MN high-power rocket launch to ask a few questions about igniters.

My other project, "Going Supersonic" received an award of merit, which just means the judge thought it deserved something a little more than a blue ribbon. I still haven't launched them: I'm waiting for an absolutely perfect day. Wednesday looks pretty good... but we'll see.

I put up all my aerospace ribbons from 2006-2008 up on the wall above my workbench for inspiration. A purple ribbon would be a wonderful addition to my collection...


Supersonic Rocket

I've been working nonstop on my supersonic project, and it's starting to take shape! I've had some great breakthroughs in design and some great ideas on how I can achieve a better flight.

The goal for this project is as follows: To build a rocket that flies faster than the speed of sound and creates an audible sonic boom, built strong enough to withstand such high airspeeds, and be recovered safely after flight.

I've put all my technical ability into this project so that it might survive the high pressures of a supersonic flight.

I am building two of them, and one of them I'm adding a payload bay to so that I can include an altimeter. Then I will be able to determine altitude, velocity, and time to apogee.

Rocket Specs:

Length: 20"
Liftoff mass: 8 oz.
Total impulse: 105 N-sec type "G" motor
Projected altitude: 4,000 ft.
Maximum velocity: 1,300 ft/sec (mach 1.16)

Yesterday I thought of a way I can better my chances of hearing the sonic boom. The reason you don't usually here a boom from a rocket is because the shock wave travels out horizontally on a lateral plane above your head. So my idea is to stand farther back from the rocket and tilt the launch pad a few degrees toward the spectators. I want to aim that shock wave right at us. I'm not sure that would help at all, but I'll try it.

The first launch will be ready anywhere from two weeks to four weeks from now.

Let's pray it holds together!


XCOR LYNX Mk.1 Suborbital Launch Vehicle

This is precisely the sort of thing I want to be building when I get older and augment more resources! XCOR Aerospace is a private aerospace company (apart from government) which is building a suborbital launch vehicle for the growing market of space-tourism. Sort of like Virgin Galactic, but frankly I like this one better:

(Click the flight profile to enlarge it)


Catastrophic Flight

Oh well. Better luck next time!

It wasn't a complete failure. The altimeter worked, the video was salvageable, and the camera can be used in future rockets!

View from rocket:


Launch on the 4th of July

I have never had such a large body of spectators during a rocket launch! This 4th of July I had a model rocket demonstration for our family's gathering. Here's the video: