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Unreasonable Rocket Update

Paul Breed is an entrant in the Lunar Landing Challenge. He didn't make to last year's attempt, but expects to do so this year.

They are literally doing everything in their garage. Last year, they built an engine and ran it and it was perfect. They built four more, and it didn't work so well. Showing a film, taken on one Saturday..On the first burn, they saw a green flash, which meant a meltdown of the copper combustion chamber. It turned out that they used a different kind of solder. Then he showed a stability and control test vehicle that was neither controllable or stable. Then their four-quadrant vehicle turned out to be too complex, with too many valves.

This year, they've switched to a monoprop vehicle using peroxide, with sodium permanganate decomposition. New vehicle is spherical tank, using McMaster car parts. Will be tested next week. Doing testing of stability and control unit with a large RC helicopter, which they don't have to go out to the rocket test site (four hours away) to test. Vehicle will be aluminum. Expect to static fire full vehicle in two to four weeks, with first flight test in eight weeks.


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This page contains a single entry by Rand Simberg published on March 28, 2008 11:03 AM.

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