Memorial Day Memorabilia

A pair of Army scale rockets line up in the desert...

Army Rivals Nike Team

Five sparky research motors clustered together (four M's and an O) in the Little John give quite a show:

Army Cluster Flight

and then a another Deep sub-woofer blastoff with a cluster of five AMW motors. Jack's Nike Smoke is 19 ft. tall, and 422 lbs.

Nike Smoke
(lots of detail in the original size; you can see the left motor was late to ignite.)

But, one of the five motors blew its forward closure, torching the flight electronics inside... and since the parachutes are deployed by computer... we get a ballistic return to the playa for this maiden flight.

Nike Ballistic Lawn Dart

In the foreground is one of the away pad launch rails from which it launched. And the wreckage of one twisted firestarter...

Splash Down Twisted Fire Starter

This DarbsWorld video happened to catch a rare event: a rocket launching up and over my head, but failing to deploy its chute, and returning as a ballistic missile:

The sound track is INSANE. It really captures the emotion of the moment, with some adult language by the launch team during all the excitement. That's my buddies and I standing in the playa at the end shooting photos of the arc overhead.

Of course, the Desert is no stranger to Nike rockets...

Prepping for Launch RocketMavericks 2009 Project?

Wedge is dreaming of a full scale Nike Hercules... Four Q motors would stage to an S motor in the upper stage, making this the most powerful hobby rocket ever attempted. At .9 million Newton-seconds of impulse, it's getting close to a shuttle booster. Here is Wedge's site with details...

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As the sun sets on a wonderful set of insect photos from the Wild... I thought I should start with a transition photo, on a photosynthetic bug bed, to a new photo theme - rockets: Many insects have served as brave cosmonauts - flying as a somewhat unwilling payload in Estes rockets. The National…
Drag races add a bit to all of the excitement, not only for their competitive elements, but also because the action fills the skies, sometimes with mishap. This Great Gizmo drag race was sponsored by Wildman Rocketry at LDRS27 in Argonia, Kansas, with each flying the same kit: It's a rare treat to…
For my last rocket-centric post, let me show the big project that I helped with, from a new prefecture for civilian space explorers, called Rocket Mavericks.... She lept off the pad with a glorious 30 ft. plume. Computer simulations estimated she would scream to 100,000 ft. at Mach 3 ⢠22 ft.…
Part 1 - Looking Down with a Strap-on Videocamera I fiberglassed half of a plastic Easter Egg as the nose cone for an Oregon Scientific action cam, so it can be a strap-on on various rockets: One of my goals has been to capture another rocket launching up after me as a chaser: And sometimes you…

With the end of the month fast approaching, I'm hoping to see some images from the rockets themselves. Given the spectacular failures you've shown so far, some spectacular successes which be nice.
Oh, if you know of a company that needs an art historian geographer nee computer network jockey (ancient stuff like X.25 to Wifi, SONET, and ATM too) I could use the tip. I don't want to go to NYC ;^)

By Onkel Bob (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

I am in Reno, and I wish I had heard of this...would have been a great reason to take off from work!

And your post includes the first mention of playa for 2009. Congrats.

By BobbyEarle (not verified) on 25 May 2009 #permalink

Bob - I hear you. The failures provide a certain NASCAR-like fascination and heightened sense of danger... and provide for more varied and thrilling photo ops, but you are right. We do it for the success. I will put a post together. In the meantime, here is an absolutely breathtaking shot from a perfect flight:
It was still going supersonic at that point... and recovered fully unharmed by parachute... Enjoy!

Thanks for posting these excellent rocket videos. I was very much involved in rocketry during my younger years with the Boy Scouts and in high school and these videos bring back fond memories. Excellent sir!

Oh, if you know of a company that needs an art historian geographer nee computer network jockey (ancient stuff like X.25 to Wifi, SONET, and ATM too) I could use the tip. I don't want to go to NYC ;^)