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CSXT Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Amateur Space Launch By Doing It Again

In May of 2004, the Civilian Space Exploration Team (CSXT) launched a 21-foot long rocket to an altitude of 72 miles. The “Go Fast” rocket became the “first American civilian sounding rocket to reach outer space” and the first verified launch into space by an amateur group.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the achievement, the CSXT did it again.

The rocket carried a military grade Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) which had previously flown on four commercial space missions launched from the White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Analysis of the data from the recovered IMU shows that the GoFast rocket reached 385,800 feet (73.1 miles) with a top speed of 3,580 miles per hour.

 

Model Rockets Take to the Sky

On Juky 22, KTVN Channel 2 aired a new story about Reno Rocketry, the Northern Nevada chapter of Tripoli.

 

The station’s videographer placed GoPro cameras under and near the launch pads to obtain dramatic video of the launches. The “drag race” shot was accidental. “User error” resulted in several rockets launching at once.

 

The Coolest Hobby Rocket of All Time

I just posted a blog entry at PayloadBay.com about the University High School Space Shuttle. The space shuttle model stood about five-foot tall and flew on an I motor. Unlike every other flying space shuttle model, it did not have any added fins for stability. At apogee, the Solid Rocket Boosters separated and the orbiter began gliding back to earth under radio control. The rocket flew several times including a flight at Epcot.

Could it be the coolest hobby rocket that ever flew? Maybe.

Another contender would have to be Steve Eve’s Saturn V. Steve’s 1/10 scale Saturn V stood about 40 feet tall. It flew on a cluster of motors producing more than 40,000 pounds of thrust. It’s one, and only, flight attracted a crowd numbering about 5000. Based on the number of videos posted online, it was probably to most photographed hobby rocket launch of all time.

Then there’s the CSXT

Continue reading The Coolest Hobby Rocket of All Time …

Featured Rocketry Blog Posts

RocketReviews.com’s Featured Rocketry Blog Posts page list posts selected from rocketry blogs that are especially interesting. The page displays summaries of featured posts with links to read the entire post or to view a list of related posts. The Featured Rocketry Blog Posts page gathers the best of the rocketry blogs in one place.

Testing the Estes Pro Series II Igniters

There have been many online reports of people having problems using Estes’s new Pro Series II igniters to light composite motors such as the new motors from Estes. Some people have even reported a 100% failure rate using the new igniters.

Others, however, have found that the new igniters work well in Estes and Aerotech composite motors. Michael Fritz, Marketing Director at Estes-Cox, responded to the reports of failure by posting:

…as I’ve stated elsewhere, we tested a huge number (thousands – all off of our E Launcher) of these before releasing them to the public…and considering our production history with our standard igniters, we have a pretty good handle on how to make them and make them work. I know this will sound very CYA, but we have been using them with the PSII composite motors here at the rocket ranch, launched off our E Pad (and new PSII pad) with the

Continue reading Testing the Estes Pro Series II Igniters …

A Look Inside a Composite Rocket Motor

I don’t normally re-post things found in other rocketry blogs, but the video posted recently in R2K’s High Power Rocketry Blog is just too cool not to share. The video is an animation which illustrates the assembly and function of a typical APCP composite propellant rocket motor as used in many hobby rockets.

TTRA’s March Launch

I had nothing to fly, but decided to attend the March TTRA launch as a spectator. And it turned out to be a great day for watching rockets fly.

Can you ask for more than a bright, blue sky and almost no wind? We’ll, I guess it could have been a little cooler. 🙂

You can see the entire collection of photos I took in the TTRA Photo Album. But, I’ll point out a few of the most interesting shots here.

Chris Michielssen (hcmbanjo) flew his new Dr. Zooch SLS. He modified the kit a little, shifting the location of the SRBs a little and adding some decals, to match the last NASA renderings of the proposed rocket.

I managed to catch a couple of neat shots of a two-stage Red Max variant in the process of staging.

In the photo above, the second stage has just ignited, but the first stage

Continue reading TTRA’s March Launch …

ROCK’s March Launch

I’ve posted photos from ROCK’s March, 2012, launch in the RocketReviews.com Photo Album.

I arrived early to show off the new Mobile-edition of JonRocket.com.

For a day in early March, it was quite hot. But, “in like a lion” held true as high winds plagued us all day.

We had to watch the anemometer and stop the launch when the wind speed exceeded 20 miles per hour. In spite of the wind, we launched many rockets.

Chris flew his Centurion as a two-stager using an ST-16 Booster Nozzle.

The rocket reached only about 30-feet in altitude when the second stage ignited. But, it seemed to take a moment for the second-stage motor to come up to fill-powered. The rocket seemed to hang in the air for a while, before rushing away then taking a turn and heasding for the

Continue reading ROCK’s March Launch …

“How to Build Model Rockets” at NAR.org

Chris Michielssen’s “How to Build Model Rockets” tutorial is now featured on the home page of the National Association of Rocketry’s web site. The series of articles is the first reference listed in the sites’s “More Rocket and Rocketry Information” section.

Chris recently donated the tutorial to NAR which quickly moved it to its new home at nar.org. The series contains a detailed description of how to build and finish a model rocket. Although appropriate for beginners, “How to Build Model Rockets” offers a number of tips and techniques of interest to all model rocket builders.

Chris first built and flew model rockets in 1969. He currently runs Odd’l Rockets, a manufacturer of model rocket kits, and maintains the Model Rocket Building Blog.

ROCK’s February 2012 Launch Video

We had a record turnout at the February launch!