Homemade Rocket to the Edge of Space

This was pretty inspiring.  I didn’t catch whether it had any guidance or whether it was just a dumb rocket.  Note the epoxy camera cover melting as it approaches Mach Three.  Things get pretty quiet after MECO at that altitude.  Retrieving it a few miles from the launch site was pretty amazing.  It must have had a pretty quick descent after climbing nearly 20 miles.

My junior high school rocket club never did anything nearly so cool, but I did once built a small, very sleek wood, plastic and paper rocket, powered by two “D” engines grafted together by turning them on the lathe to produce a tight socket & tenon joint, like a clarinet body– two “D” fuel charges stacked under a delay and ‘chute charge in the same case.  It went out of sight and stayed there for quite a while- well over 1,000 feet– 1% of what those guys did.  With the longest delay I could get in a locally available engine, it was still going so fast upon ‘chute deployment that it ripped most of the shroud lines.  That was before I found out you could get “E” engines.


4 thoughts on “Homemade Rocket to the Edge of Space

  1. Active guidance is illegal in the US. His GPS “failure” is also a mandated limitation of civilian GPS receivers – to prevent closing the loop, as it were, and turning this into a cruise missile.

  2. …”cruise missile.”

    Second amendment.

    Anyway; a RC airplane with a firecracker aboard is a “cruise missile” I suppose. The difference being the propulsion system.

    You appear to be saying that the prize is unattainable in that it requires GPS verification that can’t be legally used.

  3. I remember playing a bit with Model Rocketry in Grade School and even Jr High.

    I got a bit nostalgic and did a search for Estes Model Rockets on the web and found that while engines have gotten bigger over the years, so have prices! The first model every one made was the Astron Alpha (later just called the Alpha).

    I checked out the Estes Catalogs from 1968 to current

    Year Part Number Name Price
    1968 – 671-K-25 Astron Alpha – $ 1.50
    1978 – 1225 Alpha – $ 2.75
    1988 – 1225 Alpha – No Price in catalog
    1989 – 1225 Alpha – $ 5.79
    1998 – 1225 Alpha – $ 8.09
    2008 – 1225 Alpha – $12.98
    2011 – 1225 Alpha – $13.99

  4. That. Was. Cool.

    I made a model rocket in Junior High, but I never launched it. In high school, I decided I wanted to make a Mars probe, and launch it via model rocketry. I never did sit down to do any calculations to figure out what it would take, though.

    Seeing the video shows me it is more involved that I had imagined; even so, it inspires me to attempt to do that. If only I had the time and money!

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