Orbiter-Forum Building a Amatuer Rocket to goto the edge of space.
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# Building a Amatuer Rocket to goto the edge of space.

Posted 06-16-2012 at 12:39 AM by RacerX
Updated 06-16-2012 at 01:12 AM by RacerX

My goal is to build a amateur rocket equipped with a DV camera. Launch it, recover it, and post the video of the edge of space and zero gravity to Youtube. The rocket will be built using materials obtained from various vendors and local hardware stores such as home depot. The motor propellant will consist of Potassium Nitrate,powdered sugar and corn syrup. Also known as KN03 or "Sugar Motor". (Search Youtube for "Sugar Rocket") I am also looking into "hybrid" nitrous powered motors also http://www.rattworks.net/tribrid_tutorial/index.html
To start with I am going to build a tried and proven rocket based upon the book by Dan Pollino called "I still have all my fingers!" \$30 on amazondotcom You can find his site along with a history of accomplishments and failures during his various testing and building phases of the rocket located here: http://www.inverseengineering.com/index.html
This book is a step by step guide on how to build a 72" (6 Foot tall) 3" diameter 22 pound rocket that reaches 400 MPH in 3 seconds at an apogee of approx 6000 ft in altitude. I call this book 'My rocket bible'; it is a very detailed step by step on how to build the rocket leaving no guess work if you follow all the steps as outlined to the "T"
My Goal:
1: Build his rocket
2: Upon successful launch and recovery: learn from it, scale everything up, run it in some PC simulators such as openrocket ( http://openrocket.sourceforge.net/ ) Off the top of my head some things I need to consider:
A: Scaling rocket up requires more Mass that equals heavier materials which equals more propellent needed to power the rocket.
B: Higher speeds will be reached (or will they?) therefore requiring more heat resistant materials that weigh heavier, especially the nosecone which will require even more propellent
C: Temperature at higher altitudes effects on the rocket and its functions such as deploying nosecone/parachute and delay charge

I have just purchased this book and I am currently building up a list of materials needed and prices plus shipping and cross referencing these parts with my local hardware store to try to cut down on the cost of shipping if it is something I can run out and get myself locally.
This is where I am at in my researching phase of the project as of now. It is still very early as I have just received my "Rocket bible" .
There is this one thing that is sticking out in my mind though as I read through his book and watch his videos. I have noticed in his videos that his rocket once launched has a tendency to veer off towards a 90 degree arc on its trajectory. Kind of hard to tell from the videos but it appears that way. Obviously if I am aiming for the edge of space and height this will not be acceptable. So I am thinking of "Rollerons" for verticle flight stability such as they use for AIM-9 sidewinder missles.
I think of them as mini-gyroscopes mounted on the fins of the rocket.
There is alot more stuff that I have going on in my head on how to accomplish this mission...but right now I just want to get the parts ordered. get the rocket built. and lets see what comes of it. I plan on making a video of it as well as all the data I can possibly obtain from it. Share with the orbiter community and lets see if we cant get a functional scaled up version to space. Thats all for now
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1.  Have you considered balloons? I've seen some amazing footage done that way, and for really cheap too. A camera phone can serve as both camera, video camera and GPS unit for tracking, and if you want to get really fancy, you can make a controller app that displays only a single button that dials you so if anyone finds it, they can call you to let you know they have it. Posted 06-23-2012 at 11:47 PM by SpaceNut
2.  I did consider the balloon idea. The problem is recovering the phone later. What if the phone lands in somebody's windshield or roof or worse yet hurts somebody? The rocket in the book on the other hand lands around 100 ft away from the launch site,assuming it maintains mostly vertical flight, which hopefully the rollerons will help to accomplish. Posted 06-24-2012 at 03:32 PM by RacerX

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