Commence eye-roll sequence
June 18, 2020 1:41 AM   Subscribe

 
I'm glad that the video description acknowledges that the first tests were too close to a built up area, because i was stressing about that while i watched.

Also TIL about The Rocket Pendulum Fallacy, which I actually fell for halfway through reading that article. Good job me.
posted by Lorc at 3:30 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


That looks very fun, and expensive. And also alarmingly close to the general public...

I really appreciate "here are the first 973 videos of when my cool thing failed miserably" videos. It's a nice reminder that building things is hard, and stuff almost never works, so it's ok to keep trying.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:46 AM on June 18 [10 favorites]


I was a model rocketeer as a teenager; reminds me of a few rockets I built which failed spectacularly!
posted by coldhotel at 4:49 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Ah, a video of 2020 trying its hardest to course correct.
posted by Fizz at 5:02 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Seconding (thirding?) the alarm at the early testing too close to the public...
I watched without reading any of the descriptions or explanations, so I was at first thinking "Why no stabilizing fins? These problems have been solved..." then I realized more of what they were trying to accomplish, and am frankly surprised if there were not a heap more failures than these!
posted by coppertop at 5:09 AM on June 18


Oh boy, afternoon disappointment...
posted by Segundus at 5:10 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I'm very concerned about the proximity to....


...who the fuck am I kidding, I would have done the same thing. Amazing the techniques used for stabilization. Back when I was in a rocketry club in the 70s, such things were unthinkable, and despite the club being composed mostly of engineers and university students, few had the resources to really get beyond what are these days H class motors. Stabilization was done purely by aerodynamics. Vector thrusting was a dream. Remarkable times!
posted by 2N2222 at 5:41 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Nthing, no no, not nthing, most of the model rockets are so light that except for a direct hit in an eye there is really minimal chance of actual damage.

(from actual experience, the best went 20 feet and then a giant fluff of fins and other parts, really quit pretty :-)
posted by sammyo at 5:44 AM on June 18


I built rockets as a kid and would never have launched one anywhere other than a wide open area. Some of this guy's rockets are carrying two Gopros. They're also shooting flames out the back. I'm pretty sure they could cause some "actual damage". Plus, part of the reason you launch in an open area is so that when the rock comes down, it's not going to land in someone's fenced-in yard, on top of a building, or get run over in the street.
posted by jonathanhughes at 5:58 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


My favorite ones are the parachutes gently floating down while the rocket they were supposed to be attached to splats on the ground
posted by ckape at 6:00 AM on June 18 [10 favorites]


As a kid I set out to make rockets from scratch, and after several attempts, I discovered that my true calling was as a bomb-maker.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:09 AM on June 18 [8 favorites]


The music is perfect.
posted by Melismata at 6:28 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I most enjoyed the rockets that became rocket sleds. Those worked great!
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:32 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


As a kid of about 10, I made a hot-air balloon from a plastic plant pot lined with foil, with a black rubbish (trash) bag as a balloon. I used petrol (gasoline) as the fuel - just poured into the plant pot.

I launched it in a field full of dry grass, and it went wrong in just about all the ways you might guess. Went home with half-melted shoes, but fortunately nothing worse.
posted by pipeski at 6:35 AM on June 18 [6 favorites]


Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants funniest book on chemistry ever. He suggests the most important tool for a rocket experimenter is really good running shoes.
posted by sammyo at 7:09 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


My favourites were the rocket-powered snakes.
posted by fatbird at 8:00 AM on June 18


My favorite ones are the parachutes gently floating down while the rocket they were supposed to be attached to splats on the ground

Well, it is 2020.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:03 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


As for the proximity to people and cars, I thought the COVID era had taught us all about the effects of telephoto lenses on compression of field. Note that in roughly the 0:43 to 0:48 stretch there are bunch of geese seemingly nearby who take no alarm at what seems to be a fiery flying thing in their proximity. Geese are assholes, it is known, but they do occasionally give ground and/or take flight. I’d think a nearby fiery sputtering thing might cause them to stir.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:11 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Thrust vectoring owns the sky! This thing can turn on a dime, Macross Zero-style!
posted by genpfault at 8:17 AM on June 18


"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department!" say Wernher von Braun
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 8:19 AM on June 18 [9 favorites]


Good to see Joe Barnard still trying to beat the viewer figures of his carbonated milk video.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 8:23 AM on June 18


I enjoyed this immensely.

I was thinking that this part of the Koyaanisquatsi score would work quite well for a slow-motion version of this.

I launched it in a field full of dry grass, and it went wrong in just about all the ways you might guess. Went home with half-melted shoes, but fortunately nothing worse.

I have a childhood memory of watching some kids trying to launch a model rocket in the very parched grass of a local schoolyard one summer.

The engine was apparently defective, because when they made the electrical contact to launch it, it instantly detonated the plug out of the other end, deploying the parachute while it was still on the launch pad.

But the thing was that they had decided to use toilet paper as the wadding between the engine and the parachute.

While it protected the parachute from being burned, the toilet paper was itself on fire, and having been ejected skyward, it floated gently back to Earth, the Earth in question being covered in crispy-dry grass, which in turn caught fire. Panicked stomping of the burning grass ensued.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:28 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


"I thought the COVID era had taught us all about the effects of telephoto lenses on compression of field."

Yes, clearly, everyone who wasn't at least an intermediate level photographer before the pandemic can now spot this effect in action, and can also make assumptions about the length of lens used.

He says in the info about the video, "Here's another fun tip, don't launch in a small urban space like those first few flights...", so it sure seems like he learned some kind of lesson from launching his rockets near cars/people/buildings.
posted by jonathanhughes at 8:34 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


The coordination between the music and the video was excellent-- possibly the best I've seen. Other recommendations?
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 8:59 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


"Interpretive Unplanned Skywriting" is my new band name. Thanks for that.
posted by JoeZydeco at 9:01 AM on June 18 [3 favorites]




CHUTE FAILURE COME ON

Like, peak 2020 right there.
posted by hanov3r at 10:31 AM on June 18


Wow, that was fantastic.
Truly the best of the web.
posted by RedOrGreen at 11:32 AM on June 18 [1 favorite]


Sssoooo... reading the comments (I know, I know) it looks like this fellow (Joe Barnard) has a music degree, and that might explain why the music is so good.

https://www.youtube.com/c/BPSspace/videos

I especially enjoyed his Thoomp video - a silo-launched rocket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G_o5Idmqns

Which he shot, edited, and scored. Oh yeah and he designed and fabricated the rocket and all the control systems.

Thanks for sharing this, I'm totally subscribing to his channel.
posted by ZakDaddy at 12:03 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


I'm totally subscribing to his channel.

Same here.

Heh...

Thrusty McThrustface.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:11 PM on June 18


ZOMG "In Thrust We Trust" sooooooocksssss I'm dying.

White Socks: https://tinyurl.com/whitethrustysocks
Black Socks: https://tinyurl.com/blackthrustysocks
posted by ZakDaddy at 12:41 PM on June 18 [1 favorite]


The "rocket sleds" have a technical name .... we call them "land sharks"
posted by mbo at 2:01 PM on June 18 [2 favorites]


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