Introduction: How NOT to Build a Rocket Motor!

Picture of How NOT to Build a Rocket Motor!

Back in the good old days I was one of the few lucky scientists who got to work at was then known as the AF Rocket Propulsion Lab (AFRPL) . It was a great place to experiment with different types of rocket systems, including liquid, solid, plasma, solar and some other exotic designs. At RPL most rocket tests were static, meaning they were held in place as they fire.

The following sequence of images was taken by a colleague ( who's name escapes me at the moment ) of a test firing of a new solid rocket motor design.

As you will see things didn't go as planned. Fortunately, no one was injured.


flamekiller (author)2014-03-16

Excellent photo documentation of a learning opportunity!

Big Baneser (author)2013-09-12

No one was injured instead they all died! Just kidding.

ilpug (author)2012-03-03

Big Bada Boom!

bsilva (author)2011-05-10

I'm impressed by the camera used to take the images. That it was able to adjust the exposure fast enough to darken the sky in the time that it took for the explosion to occur is very impressive.

ilpug (author)bsilva2012-03-03

Research lab budget makes it possible, I would assume.

randofo (author)2009-02-13

That joke is horrible... "it got fired!".... har har har... :-)

sansoy (author)randofo2009-02-13

wish i could take credit for that impressive guy yourself 73 instructables and counting?!!!

pufferfish9108 (author)sansoy2011-09-27

168 now! Look at them too. There is some cool stuff.

kylekosan23 (author)2011-07-03


manny6574 (author)2011-04-18

That must have been so bright if the camera changed the sky to dark!

Aerospaceman (author)2010-04-12

Totally Awesome! You are my new best friend! my education is in aerospace engineering and the test phase is the coolest portion of the R&D. Awesome Shots! Why did the rocket lose it's job? Because it got fired! HAHAHAHAHLOL! Just like why did the chicken cross the road? Becasue it was carbon bonded to the robot! HAHAHAHAHALOL!

Orion74 (author)2009-07-28

"Whose name escapes me at the moment".


sansoy (author)Orion742009-07-28

by any chance is this you that took the awesome shots?

Orion74 (author)sansoy2009-07-28

If it were I would be sure to tell you. ;)

lukeydukey625 (author)2009-03-17

nice toyota landcruiser! i got a 73' with a 327 v-8 in it

thematthatter (author)2009-02-13

Sir, what rank were you?

sansoy (author)thematthatter2009-02-13

1st Lieutenant

About This Instructable



Bio: I'm a total gearhead. I love working on cars, airplanes, rockets, sailboats, whatever. Cars i've owned and/or rebuilt: 1966 Pontiac Grand Prix ... More »
More by sansoy:Deconstructed ScrewdriverEntomophagyRice Crispy Critter Treats
Add instructable to: