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Amateur Rockets

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Members Lounge' started by Ian, Jul 22, 2010.

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  1. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Aug 23, 2006
    Are there any rocketry enthusiasts here? Every so often I hear something on the news about various amateur rocket projects managing to take some very neat photos of the earth curvature.

    Here's an example of one of the projects in the UK:

    I'm tempted to try and build something similar in a few years time (once I no longer live in the middle of a city!), but I'd be interested if anyone has tackled anything like this before. :)
  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    Don't they normally do that with balloons?

    It is kinda cool what can be done with amazingly small budgets though.
  3. Ian

    Ian Administrator

    Aug 23, 2006
    Yeah most of the cool photography seems to be done with baloons, although that doesn't seem as fun as using rocket motors :D

    A small sounding rocket would involve some fun design and making a decent avionics payload would keep me busy for a while ;).

    If/when I do get a chance to go for something like this, I'll be sure to post a project log on here with plenty of pics.
  4. davenn

    davenn Moderator

    Sep 5, 2009
    Would love to see how you get on with that project, Ian, dunno what the laws are like here in OZ for model rocketry, not something I have investigated, but I suspect that like all other fun things in this country, its severely curtailed/legalised.

    I seems the americans have a broad freedom when it comes to such things and have seen some cool stuff posted online over the years. with guys mounting 2.4 gig video transmitters and cameras on the rockets.

    now if you wanna do something like the benjamin franklin trick .... I have seen weather researchers fire small rockets up into thunderstoms trailing a very fine wire. Using hi speed cameras they have filmed the lightning discharge back down that wire... pretty awesome (I'm a storm chaser it appeals to me hahaha)

    speaking of storms several of my american stormchaser mates are playing with model jet aircraft equipped with camera and transmitters and flying them around and into thunderstorms

  5. Militoy


    Aug 24, 2010
    I was involved in amateur rocketry many years ago, when I was in high school - but haven't picked it back up since then. I do launch model rockets occasionally with my son - but using a prefab engine to send a cardboard / balsa rocket up a few hundred feet doesn't quite match the thrill of a brass burst disc popping, and smelling the zinc-sulfur smoke cloud, as an 8-foot steel projectile shoots up to 10-20,000 feet (if it doesn't explode!). Back then, we actually launched very close to where I live now - though the area was at the time practically unpopulated. We used no telemetry other than 2 sight alidades, and CB radios for communication. I even wonder now in the USA, how the authorities would view amateur rocketry?
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