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Space, the Final Frontier

Success! This photo quickens my pulse.

 

Gene Nowaczyk’s rocket captured video during its record-setting launch at BALLS in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. This is a frame grab from apogee (posted with permission). The readings are in meters, so this sensor indicated an altitude of ~ 100K ft. The atmosphere ends at 55K ft at this latitude. On-board avionics indicate that the rocket broke Mach 3.5

 

This launch was a highlight of the weekend, as celebrated yesterday on the cover of the New York Times.

 

The nosecone is now cooling from a peak of 425° during the ascent. The thermal expansion and contraction of the electronic leads led to a loss of power soon after apogee. But the rocket was recovered in good shape, with just the paint burned off the nose cone.

 

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Taken on October 16, 2006