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a TRUE "handmade" rocket to reach the Earth orbit Answered


while I'm trying to start up a TRUE new.space company (as explained in this Instructables thread) to develop TRUE "space hardware", I ask to myself (and to you) if it's possible to build and launch an hobby/handmade rocket to Earth orbit

for what I know, this goal was NEVER reached, so far, and, only the (well funded) new.space company SpaceX has launched a privately-developed rocket to LEO (at its 4th attempt) last september

well, I've a suggestion to have more chances to succeed in this effort: just develop and build a (true working) SCALE-MODEL of an EXISTING rocket, insted of trying to develop a new rocket from zero

the "existing rocket" to scale-down could be (e.g.) the SpaceX Falcon-1 whose specs you can find here: http://www.spacex.com/falcon1.php

so, a resized "hobby rocket" (but able to reach the Earth orbit) could be 1/20th to 1/50th the full-sized Falcon-1 to send its second stage and a small (Sputnik-like) 20-50 kg. payload to LEO



You should work through the engineering calculation in detail. It's not obvious that you can scale down the fuel capacity linearly with the other dimensions, since (obviously) the velocity you need (> 5 km/s) to reach is a constant. Guidance and control systems may not scale down linearly either (there's a minimum mass for the electronics, gyroscopes, etc.).

You should certainly be able to build an orbital rocket substantially smaller than anything built for manned flight, but that's not just linear scaling; it's eliminating some of the redundancies and reducing the expected payload mass.

it's not easy, of course, but not impossible, since, scale down an existing and working rocket, is a good starting point about its basic specs, like stages dry-mass, propellents, etc. clearly, there are some parts that can't be resized so much, but, generally are parts (like the electronics) that already are small, also in a big rocket this kind of rocket has no great commercial purposes (especially the 20 kg. payload version) but it's just a technological challenge (then, a good idea for a space-prize)

what r u going to use for fuel?im trying to make an orbital rocket to but i cant get any thing for fuel.im going to use liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. i ewant my rocket to go out of eartyhs orbitm so im going to build an ion thruster.i dont know were to get argon gas for that if u know were to get some fuel tell me

> if it's possible to build and launch an hobby/handmade rocket to Earth orbit . It won't be easy (or cheap), but it should be possible. I'm guessing that getting clearance for launch/reentry will be the biggest problem.

Apparently the US, at least, has been pretty lax about space travel. You'd have to get an FAA waiver to get up into Class A airspace, but that's about all. It seems that the general philosophy is that anyone smart enough to get a rocket to space is smart enough to do it safely.

Then let's quite talking and DO THIS THING!!!

I will kill you bumpus if you make a joke on above phrase...

Yeah, I'm in! Lets do it! BTW... ... ... That's what she said.

You are so dead... and you'll never know when it's coming either...

Hmm, if we're already building an orbital rocket, lets add some tungsten spears-kinetic missiles that could disintegrate a building with only inertia.

Or we could just hit you and vaporize you....

At least let me die with honor... Put me in the rocket then shoot it at a building with a cardboard cutout of me!

Bah! Die like coward, huddled in bunker!!

it's true, but, simply, it can be launched from the first country that allows it

Me too. This sounds interestingly awesome.

Maybe miniature camera and they can go virtually :-)

My first thought would not be to build a scale anything - just build a rocket, as large as you are capable of, with whatever technologies you are capable of using.

Have you thought about what fuels you can obtain, make, or handle?

Are you planning liquids, pressurised gases, solid fuel or a hybrid?

Are you planning to carry any significant payload?

What materials are you capable of working with to actually construct your rocket - glass fibre, aluminium, laminated cardboard?


(Oh, and you can replicate Sputnik with a kit of off-the-shelf parts only four inches on a side weighing less than a kilo)

it's not a commercial rocket and the payload could be only its electronics, telemetry, RX/TX (to "call the Earth" like the Sputink done) etc. the propellent could be the same of the Falcon-1 (Ke/Lox) and the same materials for the tanks of course, it can't be a garage-built machine since the project needs a team of peoples with engineering skills however, I believe that the main problem of a project like this is: FIND THE FUNDS...

hard to win, the max payload is too little, the only way is to launch the rocket without it