How NOT to Build a Rocket Motor!

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Introduction: How NOT to Build a Rocket Motor!

About: 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, 1977 Lotus Esprit, 1979 Fiat X1/9 & Strada, 1970 Ford Bronco, …

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.

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    18 Discussions

    Amazing photos! It must have been an amazing experience to stand there and witness that unfold!

    1
    Big Baneser
    Big Baneser

    7 years ago

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

    1
    bsilva
    bsilva

    9 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    ilpug
    ilpug

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Research lab budget makes it possible, I would assume.

    0
    randofo
    randofo

    11 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    sansoy
    sansoy

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    manny6574
    manny6574

    9 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    Aerospaceman
    Aerospaceman

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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!

    0
    Orion74
    Orion74

    11 years ago on Introduction

    "Whose name escapes me at the moment".

    =)

    0
    sansoy
    sansoy

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    Orion74
    Orion74

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

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