All Carbon

Like my bike and car body, it looks best unpainted…


I was very excited when the boxes arrived today. I was on the rebound after losing my big V-2 and decided to go for the other extreme, performance over spectacle… a minimum diameter, minimum weight 98mm rocket.


She should go supersonic, breaking 2,000 MPH on the way to 37K ft. and pulling 29 G’s. That is, if I can attach the fins to .1° accuracy and the 500° epoxy survives the engine heat. If not, the fins will shred right off, a safe distance overhead…


And can I build it in time for BALLS?…


[update: Yes we can! Here is the build-shot]

  • dave halliday PRO 5y

    you want a LONG burn engine I suppose ?
    Or at 10 (? 20) K feet maybe drag is less important...?
    its Vsquared as far as its effect...but maybe you can comment on air pressure /altitude impact on drag....
  • : Nils PRO 5y

    Ahhh, sweet, sweet carbon-y goodness. What kind of jig do you have for lining up the fins?
  • Steve Jurvetson PRO 5y

    Hope to borrow Erik's HPR-1

    Dave: I'll start with a Cesaroni N1100 with a 12.5 second burn. Good altitude, and should stay under Mach 2.
  • Mavericks Civilian Space Foundation 5y

    Yes we can!

    Does the cat get attached somewhere? Probably Leif's contribution, no doubt.

    We can help with fin attachment if you need it. Key will be fillets and tip to tip glass with cure in oven. You can borrow mine or we can make your own. Should be "Piece of cake".
  • obskura PRO 5y

    I was wondering, considering how high-tech these bigger rockets are, is anyone using gyro-controlled fins, or thrust vectoring for stability? Or is this thing just too fast to control mechanically?
    I started putting microcontrollers and inertial sensors on my airplanes to do attitude stabilisation, and it works really well. Turns a crappy plane into a super-accurate neutral acro machine...

    PS: that's some awesome looking carbon tubes...
  • Daniel D'Auria PRO 5y

    And it even comes with it's own furry astronaut =)
    Did you have to pay extra for that option or was it standard issue purrrchase?
  • Daniel D'Auria PRO 5y

    You are right, though, it does look great unpainted.
  • becklectic PRO 5y

    That is one awesome hobby you have. A couple of questions. What's the cost to buy, build and launch a rocket? Are the rockets reusable, or are they toast after one launch? Do you need special permits and approved launch sites?
  • vennettaj PRO 5y

    kitty: "i didn't ask fot this thing, but thanks a lot anyways"
  • Tim Dixon PRO 5y

    Is that a Mongoose 98? Looks like one, but I thought they had conical nosecones; while the picture looks like a Von Karman? BTW, do you think they gave you enough CF cloth--jeez!
  • PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE PRO 5y

    Naked is often best =)
    "La beauté d une femme se dessine parfois à la simplicité de ses courbes" O=)

    Steve have you seen this video !! must see !! Jump a 1'55. Best view 3'45 ; )

    A shuttle launch like you've never seen it before

    "The following video shows the perspective of a launch from a small camera attached to the booster which faces the middle part of the external tank. It was shot during STS-124 two summers ago. The first two minutes of the video are quite slow except for the sound of the tank draining. After that -- wow. Take note at about 4:37 into the video where you can see the shuttle still rising and the other booster falling back to Earth." source
  • Bryan Jones PRO 5y

    Oooooohhhh naked carbon fiber looks so sweet.
  • Steve Jurvetson PRO 5y

    I agree! Just finished:
    All-carbon Mongoose 98
    DixtonTJ: yes. I will want to switch to conical for the Mach 3 attempt.

    becklectic: Yes reusable, unless something goes wrong. =) Yes on permits... getting started

    Dr Dad - fur would fly

    obskura: active guidance is forbidden. Using feedback for stabilization is a tough design challenge... The attempts I have seen lost the fins. And we'd need liquid fuels for thrust control...
  • Todd Baker PRO 5y

    Raw carbon is sexy.
  • solerena 5y

    Sounds like fun, for you and for your kitty:)
  • RumpledElf 4y

    Did the cat fly it?
  • Steve Jurvetson PRO 4y

    Oh that's funny. You always wonder what dem felines are thinking. And she did not get a ride. The rocketry code actually has a rule against vertebrates as payload.

    So we figure a lobster is the biggest "cosmonaut" we could fly.

    The rocket had four great flights. Here are a couple:

    Attack of the 50 ft. Plume Our Mach 2 Roar

    But on a huge motor last Sunday, we lost the fins at about Mach 2.4 and she rapidly disassembled overhead into essentially the same subcomponents as above!

    Mongoose98XL remains

    I added the clear fiberglass tubing for an RF-transparent bay for streaming GPS data down from the rocket for real-time tracking. More to come on that flight later. She'll need a little work to fly again... =)

    Kitty would not have liked that flight.
  • dave halliday PRO 4y

    Kat a strophic...
  • anneirenej 3y

    hi just wanted to tell you that both your kitty and rocket ended up on cuteoverload.
    See the post here

    Both the kittyk and the rocket are cute!
  • Steve Jurvetson PRO 3y

    fantastique. Our little catmausnaut is very proud.
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Taken on August 18, 2010
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