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    After prepping all day, my Mavericks Sledgehammer rocket blasted off the pad on a Aerotech M1550 Redline motor, brightly illuminating the clouds with its red 8 ft. tall plume. (large size, More Sledgehammer Shots)

    This was the biggest launch of the day, with the largest motor class permissible in California. Pulled 8 g's on the way to 450 MPH.

    Ground Video: My son set the camera on some rocks for the launch so he could cover his ears. =) So we don't have tracking, but a good sense of the sounds that the crowd heard back at the flight line.

    It was a perfect flight, with on-board video capture the whole way, even through the landing.

    On-board Video: For those new to high-power rocketry, I should explain a few items:

    At the beginning, the beeping sound you hear is one of the flight computers signaling which of the pyro channels is connected. This is used to deploy the parachutes at apogee, based on barometric and accelerometer sensors.

    The camera is pointing outward from the rocket, looking back to the flight line. It is a Sony PC-1 with a wide angle lens.

    After launch, it goes into a bit of a spin. You can see how fast it gets up out of the clouds.

    The turbulence up top is the BP explosion deploying the parachutes. The nose cone has it’s own 60” chute and can be seen briefly.

    I would not recommend watching the whole video as it takes a while to get back to ground… unless you are interested in the spinning survey of Snow Ranch.

    At the end, an excited spectator helped me find and recover the rocket.

    Also, I entered this launch in a contest to see how close I could get to exactly one mile of altitude (5,280 ft.).

    Near the end, you can hear the audible signal of the peak altitude recorded by the flight computer: 5 beeps, 2 beeps, long beep, 4 beeps = 5,204 ft.

    Not bad at all.

    And so, I think this will be the first big rocket to earn a spot on the LUNAR mile high wall.

    Marcelo Savoini, Oneras, Jim Somsel, and 29 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 4 more comments

    1. Leino88 77 months ago | reply

      awesome video steve!

    2. heet_myser 77 months ago | reply

      Love that sunlight on the rocks back there.

    3. Rocketman8911 77 months ago | reply

      So how well did my parachute packing techniques work out for you? I'm am glad I could help you prep for the flight. Sorry I couldn't stick around and watch.

    4. Victor1 77 months ago | reply

      Go PC-1 !!! Talk about getting mileage out of a camera. Excellent Steve - making me think about rocketry differently. Nice Plume shot.

    5. jurvetson 77 months ago | reply

      Thanks y'all. It was a blast.

      Victor - go on. I like your thoughts.

      A Stanley: It worked like a charm. And it was a challenging near-horizontal deployment. Since I have two chutes for the two separate sections, there was less chance of a head banger up there... but who knows, your nested loops in the kevlar cord may have prevented a nasty zipper.

      heet_myser: me too. The setting sun near the end of the launch waiver made for some nice lighting as the rocket was in the shadows.

      schoshie: waiting for copyright approval over there was just too much friction

      Oh, and for a sense of scale...

      The Sledgehammer

    6. Rocketman8911 77 months ago | reply

      The daisy chaining the cord helps prevent zippers and causes the chute to deploy more softly so it's not a instant jerk which can lead to ripped out u-bolts, zippers or broke cords.

    7. Gone-Walkabout 77 months ago | reply

      cool, like the simple solution for stating the altitude, though I'm sure to some degree defining that would be more difficult

    8. Wencey 77 months ago | reply

      this is amazing!

    9. domen2008 77 months ago | reply

      May I have the honor of inviting you to join and post your photo in:

    10. (Gary) [deleted] 77 months ago | reply

      That is so Cool!

    11. ChrisRudge 77 months ago | reply

      This is a cool rocket launch shot.. Its so much bigger than the little versions we fly over here in the UK... Nice!

    12. antoninodattola 76 months ago | reply

      Wooowww interessing photo!!!!
      very spettecular photo!!
      ciao ciao


    13. Warren Parsons 76 months ago | reply

      This is beautiful. I've been wanting to get into advanced rocketry for a while now. This might be the inspiration I need.

    14. jurvetson 73 months ago | reply

      Go for it!

      I just noticed that Aerotech is using this photo and my Double-E to illustrate high-power and mid power rocketry in their Rocketry 101 page.

    15. Temari 09 73 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Creative Commons- Free Pictures, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    16. ***Yuna*** 60 months ago | reply

      Thank you for letting us use this awesome image = )
      The Escape

    17. jurvetson 59 months ago | reply

      very cool.

      For reference, this is the thrust curve for this motor:

    18. pareeerica 39 months ago | reply

      Thank you for choosing creative commons

      Happy New Year :)

      * The Rockettes!! *

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