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Space Idle

Amateur Rocketeer Derek Deville's Qu8k Rocket Flies to 120,000+ Feet (Video) 165

Posted by Roblimo
from the up-up-and-away dept.
Derek Deville is a rocket hobbyist. A lot of us have messed with Estes Model Rockets, which start at about $13 for a pre-assembled rocket that can go 800 feet straight up. Derek's rockets are on a whole different level. His personal rocket altitude record is closer to 33 miles, which is about 150 times as high as the entry-level Estes rocket -- and takes more than 150 times as much effort to build and launch. Derek's employer, Syntheon LLC, helps him out a lot with tools and materials. Lots of other people help him, too. Derek has been mentioned on Slashdot before. This video is a chance to get to know him a bit better. And anyone who shoots rockets to the top of the Stratosphere for fun is worth knowing, right?

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Amateur Rocketeer Derek Deville's Qu8k Rocket Flies to 120,000+ Feet (Video)

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Car analogy not required!

  • by luvirini (753157) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @09:54AM (#39286931)

    and his toys are definitely not on the cheaper side.

    • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:24AM (#39287279)
      He should have put all his money into an unnecessarily large house, like a normal person.
      • by Rogerborg (306625)
        What's the return on investment on a used rocket?
        • by Anonymous Coward

          What's the return on investment on a used rocket?

          >What's the return on investment on a used rocket?

          Let's see. Two guys apply for a high paying engineering job. One has a degree. The other is a world class rocket builder. Who get the job?

          Two guys date the same hot girl. One has a nice house. The bother is a world class rocket builder with high paying engineering job. Who gets the girl?

          I'd say its a pretty good investment. Of course, he could play safe and invest in housing instead. Because we all know that house values never go down.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 08, 2012 @12:38PM (#39289333)

            Let's see. Two guys apply for a high paying engineering job. One has a degree. The other is a world class rocket builder. Who get the job?

            The guy with the degree of course. HR will throw the other resume out.

            Two guys date the same hot girl. One has a nice house. The bother is a world class rocket builder with high paying engineering job. Who gets the girl?

            The guy with the big house of course. "Hey want to come back to my place and relax in my hot tub?" Or "Hey want to see my rocket? --SLAP"

            You really need to re-adjust your perspective of what is attractive to women and employers.

          • by roc97007 (608802)

            What's the return on investment on a used rocket?

            >What's the return on investment on a used rocket?

            Let's see. Two guys apply for a high paying engineering job. One has a degree. The other is a world class rocket builder. Who get the job?

            Two guys date the same hot girl. One has a nice house. The other is a world class rocket builder with high paying engineering job. Who gets the girl?

            In a just world, the other would in both cases. But this isn't a just world.

            Perhaps if the hiring manager was an engineer himself and could see the value in practical experience instead of "playing it by the numbers", and perhaps if the girl was a geek herself, things would work out the way you describe. And if that's how it worked out for you, bravo!

          • by tehcyder (746570)

            Two guys date the same hot girl. One has a nice house. The bother is a world class rocket builder with high paying engineering job. Who gets the girl?

            The one who is more interested in girls than boys' toys, I should think.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          If living in an expensive home were a good investment, it would be cheaper in the long run to live in an expensive home than a cheaper one. If that were true, the only rational thing to do would be to buy the most expensive house possible. If people did that, housing prices would skyrocket and create an unsustainable bubble. Then prices would unavoidably collapse and people would owe more on their homes than they're worth, thus becoming a horrible investment.

          If living in a really nice home is what you

    • by AmigaMMC (1103025)
      Disappointing: when I read "Rocketeer" I thought this guy would strap a rocket on his shoulder and fly that high over Hollywood. Bummer! Now that would have been something else
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Seriously, I really cannot imagine why this is in a rocket shot next to the other PE resin stuff. My best guess is that he was ordering from a shop and they said, "hey do you want a couple of cast lady parts *with* nipples?" Seriously, why include nipples. I bet there was a reason the lower half was turned around away from the camera.

    Yes, mod this troll/offtopic, but this is a bio of his shop/life, so I thought it was relevant. Msg to fellow nerds, have a girl do a walk through inspection before camera's ro

    • by stjobe (78285)

      What's wrong with nipples? Most shop mannequins where I live have them.

    • by dlgeek (1065796)
      1.) He mentions "Beside that stack of manequins" earlier in the video.

      2.) He works for a MEDICAL SUPPLY COMPANY. I can't imagine they'd have any reason to prodouce various fascimilies of the human body. None at all come to mind...
  • by dtmos (447842) * on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:08AM (#39287083)

    Derek's rockets are on a whole different level.

    To be sure. Derek's rockets are classified by US Federal Aviation Administration regulations as "Advanced, High-Power Rockets", not Model Rockets. See CFR Part 14, 101.22 [gpo.gov].

  • Woah! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:11AM (#39287125)

    Slashdot has its own video player?

    • No, they're 'rethinking video with Ooyala'.

      Which is to say that they're using a video player even worse than JWPlayer in terms of performance and stability (seeking leads to the infinite spinning disc, the video catching up to the buffering leads to a complete halt, and the video plays back with drops and hangs (literally, I couldn't interact with the thing for 20 seconds just now).

      They don't have much choice if they choose Ooyala as the distribution platform of choice for some reason, but then I have to qu

      • No, they're 'rethinking video with Ooyala'.

        Which is to say that they're using a video player even worse than JWPlayer in terms of performance and stability (seeking leads to the infinite spinning disc, the video catching up to the buffering leads to a complete halt, and the video plays back with drops and hangs (literally, I couldn't interact with the thing for 20 seconds just now).

        You think that's bad; I can't even get to the video. The advertisement plays perfectly, though. I should know, I refreshed three times trying to get past the infinite spinning disc when it's trying to load the video.

      • The only Audacity I can find is an audio player. Can you elaborate?

        • Audacity is an audio recording/editing/playing app - I used it to record the audio so that I more easily seek through it for the transcript.
          ( I can additionally use it to slow down playback while keeping pitch so I can more easily keep up with what's being said - I'm not a stenographer - but usually it's not needed. )

          • Ah, ok. I was hoping for an app that would grab the video and play it reliably. Getting tired of all those sucky FLV players.

            • VLC plays back FLVs quite well - the problem is getting the FLV in the first place.. I couldn't be bothered trying to find out how ooyala tries to keep the file from users.

    • by AbRASiON (589899) *

      One of the worst video players I've ever used, it seemed almost as if mouse movement alone was enough to reset it back to reloading the video from scratch. I had to FF that at least 6 times just to watch about half of it because of the constant resets.

  • I have never understood using feet for measuring vertical distances.

    • by trongey (21550) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:18AM (#39287203) Homepage

      Are vertical distances somehow different from horizontal distances, or distances in any other orientation?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have never understood using feet for measuring vertical distances.

      Actually it's 39 624 meters

    • by repetty (260322)

      Actually, MacGyver2210 kinda answered a similar topic elsewhere on this web page:

      Sorry, unless you're within Apple's reality distortion field, Flash is the web standard for video players.

      So, you see, it's standard and that alone makes it right.

    • I have never understood using feet for measuring vertical distances.

      Hey baby, my house has 0.003048km high ceilings.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I have never understood using feet for measuring vertical distances.

      It sounds more impressive than using furlongs, rods or chains because you get a bigger number.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Which do you prefer, rods , cubits, or furlongs? Is it OK to use cubits for the height and feet for the drift?

  • Endoscopy.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Walterk (124748) <.gro.mca. .ta. .telbud.> on Thursday March 08, 2012 @10:12AM (#39287149) Homepage Journal

    He works for a company making flexible endoscopy devices. Yet he's building a rocket. Should we be worried?

    • by inicom (81356)

      BACKGROUND - The founders of Syntheon were formerly involved with a medical-device company named Symbiosis, of which I ran IT. Myself, Kevin Smith, and Ted Slack conducted a large number of rocket tests in the parking lot of Symbiois, which led to the formation of a company named Environmental Aeroscience Corporation (I came up with the name, because our rockets used a safer chemical reaction than solid fuel rockets). We were joined by a well-known amateur rocketeer, Korey Kline (who was well known for, amo

  • that thinks his name sounds oddly similar to "daredevil"?

    Maybe he should strap himself to one of his rockets for charity or something.

  • by ischorr (657205)

    How are you supposed to pronounce this? queightk? qwa-eight-kuh? Are you supposed to forget there's a "t" in 8?

    • by ischorr (657205)

      I guess it's sort of like Megadeth's latest album, TH1RT3EN. I imagine that's pronounced th-one-rt-three-en.

      Or the movie Se-seven-en.

    • yes, you're supposed to forget that there's a "t" in 8.

      The video does mention how this is pronounced.. specifically.. at 3 seconds in:

      Derek Deville and the Qu8ke (pronounced "Quake") Rocket

    • Re:qw8k? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Roblimo (357) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:02AM (#39287769) Homepage Journal

      "Quake." Seems a bit silly, but I am not going to argue with someone who makes rockets with more range than an early Scud.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Turn in your geek card, son. You're pathetic. Oh, to answer the question, QUAKE. As in the old FPS game. Oh, sorry, you're not a nerd, that's First Person Shooter. A game where you run around an old castle shooting other people who are also running around shooting you, on the internet. It used to be my favorite.

      Now go back to your NASCAR show.

      Sheesh, we never used to have dweebs like that at slashdot.

      • by ischorr (657205)

        Wow, what an unabashed jerk you are.

        Of course I know how to pronounce it. It's just a silly spelling, which was my tongue-in-cheek point =)

        Thinking of old first-person Id games, do you know what day the original Doom was released, off the top of your head, sonny? 'Cause I remember downloading a copy from the local BBS when it came out on 12/10/93. Did you ever purchase a copy of the original Hovertank 3d direct from Softdisk? Do you remember who was revealed to be the "real" villain of Doom II if you pl

        • by tehcyder (746570)
          Old geezer fight! Old geezer fight!!

          I wonder on whose lawn they'll fight?
        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          Wow, what an unabashed jerk you are.

          I? You savage the rocket man by acting like a twelve year old punk and call me a jerk? Congrats, you get the hypocrite of the week award.

  • The US govt's seemingly quixotic investment of hundreds of billions [cdi.org] in missile defense seems more justified in light of this. When "some guy" can do it, it can't be long until almost any nation can.

    Longer term I have the same concern about nuclear weapons. What if somebody found a simple, cheap way to make highly enriched uranium? It would be a disaster.

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

      The US govt's seemingly quixotic investment of hundreds of billions [cdi.org] in missile defense seems more justified in light of this. When "some guy" can do it, it can't be long until almost any nation can.

      Longer term I have the same concern about nuclear weapons. What if somebody found a simple, cheap way to make highly enriched uranium? It would be a disaster.

      You don't need highly enriched uranium, just enough smoke detectors.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We don't need an article every time this kid decides to launch one of his toys.

  • by Viol8 (599362) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:04AM (#39287787)

    ... to have videos that work through company firewalls - ie use port 80? youtube can manage it along with dozens of other sites. Why can't you??

  • by QuasiSteve (2042606) on Thursday March 08, 2012 @11:29AM (#39288213)

    Title: Derek's "Amateur" Rockets Fly to 120,000+ Feet
    Description: Derek Deville builds amazing rockets. For fun.

    [00:00] <TITLE>
    The Slashdot logo with "News for nerds. Stuff that matters." scrolls and zooms along the left side of the view, superimposed over a 'small' rocket's take-off event.

    [00:03] <TITLE>
    Derek Deville and the Qu8ke (pronounced "Quake") Rocket

    [00:03] Timothy>
    Derek Deville is a serious amateur rocket maker.
    Today, Derek was kind enough to allow me both into his home workshop, and here in the former Chess Hall of Fame, his current workplace, where many of the parts for Qu8ke were actually fabricated.

    [00:16] <TITLE>
    A picture of a workshop with a large cylindrical casing on struts with a man, Derek Deville, is in view.

    [00:16] Derek>
    This is a filament-wound composite casing, aluminum-wrapped with a phenolic carbon fibre-wrapped nozzle.
    This is a 5,000lbs thrust hybrid motor.
    We fired this one already.
    These have enough fuel to burn for 34 seconds.
    We've tested full duration burns.

    [00:33] <TITLE>
    A rocket motor test, with large high velocity exhaust plume, is shown.

    [00:54] <TITLE>.
    Back to the workshop, the view pans to a large cylindrical metallic object standing upright and a set of other cylindrical casings stacked up beside it.

    [00:54] Derek>
    This is the aluminum test version of that.
    I wouldn't even dare to lean this all the way over; it's too heavy, it's still got propellant in it.
    It's another 12 inch.
    There's another 12 inch casing over there, and a bunch of 6 inch stuff.
    The 12 inch ones are what we call the Hyperion Two, and the 6 inch is the Hyperion One.

    [01:14] <TITLE>
    The video pans upward along a set of racks, revealing a rocket with stabilization fins laying across the top struts of the racks.

    [01:14] Derek>
    You can see up there is a 16 inch full-scale nike smoke.
    It doesn't have a nosecone on it, it's got a different nosecone on it, temporarily.

    [01:23] <TITLE>
    The view changes to a zoomed in view of the rocket being discussed.

    [01:24] Derek>
    But that is one I made a P-motor for and flew at an LDRS [...]

    [01:28] <TITLE>
    The view changes back to the view of the racks, and follows Derek around the workshop.

    [01:28] Derek>
    [...] some years ago.
    If you swing around over here besides the funky mannequins ...
    Oh, here's a piece of finstock.
    This is the finstock that was used for Hyperion.

    [01:39] <TITLE>
    Derek is shown holding the piece of finstock.

    [01:39] Derek>
    This is an extrusion that we had made, so it had that profile matched to 6 inch diameter casing and then had the fin... so that when we trim this to be fin profile, and fin profile with leading and trailing edges, and drill it out.. and then this would be secured directly onto the motor casing.

    [02:01] Derek>
    So this is a compression-molded phenolic nozzle that forms the convergence, the throat, and the divergence.
    These are glued into a XX grade [ia] phenolic liner with another compression-molded phenolic forward closure.
    The injector would seal right in here and then eject, you can see the tapered cone, the way that the nitrous impinged the fuel grains.
    This is a fully-consumed fuel grain.
    This is about a Q motor.

    [02:40] Derek>
    And then 12 inch versions here.
    Similar to what was done with Qu8ke, we had kevlar molded nose cones made for Hyperions back in the day.
    That fits the 6 inch motor casing.

    [02:55] <TITLE>
    The same rocket launch from the opening title is shown.

    [03:00] <TITLE>
    Video following Derek around the machine shop is shown.

    [03:00] Derek>
    This is the Syntheon machine shop.
    This is where all the Qu8ke machining parts were made.
    We've got a standard lathe and a precision, smaller, lathe.
    Nose cone parts were fabricated here.
    Standar

  • At 2:37.

    No lie.

  • when he will get the visit from humorless dicks in dark suits wearing mirrored sunglasses, asking about his finances and political leanings - assuming he hasn't already.
    • by denobug (753200)

      Haha good point. But since he's got to get an FAA clearance to make a test flight I'm sure he's got the proper clearance already, making him less likely to be scrutinized under a microscope. That is, until he start messing with rockets that does have lateral movement (i.e. a missile).

      Perhaps US is one of the very few countries today that it is relatively easy for an individual to test or launch a rocket without getting government interference/harassment. Try to do this in a country like China, you and yo

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      when he will get the visit from humorless dicks in dark suits wearing mirrored sunglasses, asking about his finances and political leanings - assuming he hasn't already.

      You mean venture capitalists?

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