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Space Science Technology

Qu8k Rockets Above the Balloons 153

darkjohnson writes "Lately we've been inundated with 100k' balloon flights and amazing video footage from space — the flights usually taking better than an hour to achieve apogee. Derek Deville took a shortcut to 121k' using a 'home made' Q rocket motor and a ton of engineering genius. On September 30, 2011 at 11:08am, Qu8k (pronounced 'Quake') launched from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada to an altitude of 121,000' in 92 seconds before returning safely to earth.This small documentary on the flight is probably one of the most brilliant Amateur Rocket videos out there right now." The launch was an attempt to claim the Carmack Prize. (And Deville evidently likes to launch another kind of rocket, too.)
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Qu8k Rockets Above the Balloons

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  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @01:31PM (#37654998) Homepage

    While pretty impressive from a home hobbyist point of view (I'm showing this to my wife, I'm nowhere near this bad) - it doesn't break any ground in terms of rocketry. He isn't a state secret, needn't walk around icognito. If you watch the videos of the Libyan war, you see similar devices shot more or less horizontally. As you allude to, staging is much harder. Payloads are harder.

    The bungie cord though, is fantastic. So are the little GoPro cameras. One other interesting pointlet is that most of the PCBs seem to be COTS prototyping boards. He's managed to leverage a large amount of over the counter tech for this thing.

    Even if he's not doing anything horridly complex (by world standards, at least) it's pretty damned cool.

  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @01:52PM (#37655104) Homepage Journal
    Thanks d3deville for the kick-ass rocket video. Double thanks for leaving the audio track blissfully free of crappy pop/rock/punk/rave background music that infests so many Youtube airplane/rocket videos.

    Although personally I think if you had added the soundtrack from The Right Stuff movie (orchestral piece from end of the movie during Gordo Cooper's launch), it would've made your excellent video even more awesome, I suspect that people who do not share my tastes in music might have been put off.
  • Guidence (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dharma21 ( 537631 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:07PM (#37655562)
    The most amazing part for me is that there seems to be no steering mechanism for this rocket. The fact that this was machined so well to withstand those speeds, maintain proper telemetry and not spin out of control/crash to earth, etc. is a testament to the builders. With that type of airflow, any slight imperfection in the fins would have made this a very short or nausea inducing video. Instead we get to view beautiful images of the planet we live in.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford