November 07, 2005

Chicken Soup for the Rocket Geek's Soul

Ok, I did some math and have details about this weekend's high-excitement rocket launch.

The motor was a Contrail Systems L1222 "sparky" (none of us know if it really was, by the way, we were kinda too busy to notice). The motor itself is about 3" in diameter, it's 54" long, of which the bottom 12" is the combustion chamber where all the flamey zoomy stuff happens. The oxidizer tank holds 3200cc's of nitrous oxide, which comes out to .85 of a gallon. Doug estimated that about half of that had been vented when the ignition happened.

The burn time for that motor is listed at 3.1 seconds, but I would guess that it ran out of nitrous (oxidizer), and hence the oxygen need to burn, long before that, so the thrust would've fallen way off from the specs.

But at ignition, well, there was plenty of oxidizer for that, and that sucker lit up with a peak thrust of 2892 newtons/second, which works out to 650 pounds of thrust right off the pad.

I've heard it said more than once at a rocket launch: even our failures are entertaining to watch.

Posted by Ted at November 7, 2005 12:29 PM | TrackBack
Category: Rocketry

Aah, but which is more entertaining? Your spectacular successes or someone else's spectacular failures?

(And I don't mean that in a shodden fraude [sp?] kinda way -- just that a spectacular failure is prolly more entertaining if it's not one's own effort.)

Posted by: Tuning Spork at November 7, 2005 08:42 PM

Even when watching one of your own disassemble itself on the way up, it's still kinda cool. :)

Posted by: Ted at November 7, 2005 08:45 PM
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