A Level 3 Casing. Can Anyone Guess What This Means?

I am in possession of a level 3 casing. Can anyone guess what this means for 2013? This means that I am going to go for my level 3 certification! Finally! This is going to be my main project for 2013, and it will enable me to fly rockets on M-O impulse. Now, I know what you're thinking... You're a poor college student. How are you going to afford to be a level 3 flier? The answer to that is quite simple. First of all, this is a borrowed casing from the Iowa State Space Society (Thanks guys, even though you didn't even know you had this casing in the first place!). So all I need to buy are the rocket parts and the reloads. Still kind of pricey. But future projects are going to be primarily funded by my university, including Rockoon. The goals for next year are to build a two-stage rocket using this casing for the first stage and a baby-N load, and the 75mm Cesaroni casing in the second stage with a baby-M load. Initial Rocksim predictions say that if we launch from a balloon at 80,000 feet we would hit the very edge of space.


But I'm not going to do it without help. I'll need a team. Just a few members with strong and diverse skills. Nimble and adaptable to any situation. We'll need resolve, because space is hard. That is why we do space. WE EAT SPACE FOR BREAKFAST!


I'm an Astronomer! (Oops!)

See the pretty picture of the Iris Nebula that I took? This is the result of endless hours of work. It goes with a 15-page report about the photometry of the surrounding stars, the flux ratios in different bands of the nebula, and other random science stuff. I enjoyed this class, but I know now that astronomy is not my cup of tea. It's a rather passive form of space exploration, and I'd much rather work on the vehicle to get there.

Special thanks to my lab partners, Mikaela and Mia.


Spin Stabilization

Not sure if this has been  done before, but I've just recently had a new idea:

Spin stabilization has been a concept that's been around in rocketry for a long time. But just how fast can you spin a rocket, and just how far can you benefit from it? Do you even need fins at all if you get it spinning fast enough? Take a look at a bullet, for example. It has no fins. It is, however, exiting it's "launch tube" at supersonic speeds, but perhaps this can be related to rocketry.

I imagined a launch pad that uses an electric motor to spin the rocket extremely fast, say... 1000 rpm. One point of concern is the electrical leads for the igniter. You would need to use some sort of conducting bearings, or even an onboard ignition system triggered wirelessly.

Just a thought.

The main question I would like to look into is: Can spin-stabilization be effective enough to have a rocket with no fins? At what angular velocity? With what kind of rocket geometry?


Lawn Dart

Sometimes you just have to take a break from studying and launch a rocket. This can lead to misadventures. For example, a few friends and I went out to launch some rockets out in the cross-country fields. Thought they were big enough to launch a G motor. Turns out there was a neighborhood not too far from there. My rocket came in ballistic in a neighborhood.

I got pretty lucky. Usually rockets aim for the ONE tree or the ONE creek or whatever ONE thing in the middle of a wide-open field you don't want to land in. This time, however, I hit the ONE patch of grass in a sea of pavement, cars and houses.


The upper portion separated and drifted somewhere, so I didn't even bother looking for it. But when I got home, I had an email from one of my classmates whose roommate had found the rocket, and he's bringing it to class on Monday.

Huh. Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket.