I came across this great little video on Vimeo & figured I would share! Enjoy :)

Another video for class, a little how to on rocketry... "this is rocketry". from Collection Of Elements on Vimeo.

For the last few months I've been working on a secret project. Just a handful of people have had any idea what I've been up to. After the weekend, the cat's out of the bag and time to make an announcement!

I'd like to present to you Australia's first rocket kit - the Orbital Decay!

I flew the prototype twice this weekend and some adjustments are needed before I start taking orders.

Orbital Decay Prototype Launch 2 - 1/5 Orbital Decay Prototype Launch 2 - 2/5 Orbital Decay Prototype Launch 1 - 9/9
Click to Embiggen

I received an email today from Bruce Lidl about an ambitious project by Sony and Intel.

The blurb from the project website -

Over the course of the next few months, 8 students assisted, by Tom Atchison and the Rocket Mavericks team will attempt to design, launch and operate a rocket using new Sony® VAIO notebooks..

Recently I decided I needed a stand to support my rockets horizontally while I glued bits on (like launch lugs and fins). And since I'm building lots of little rockets, I thought I had better build a little rocket stand!

Rocket Stand
Click to embiggen

Built using 5mm balsa & wood glue in about 20 minutes - not the prettiest stand on the block, but works a treat!

Hacked Gadgets, Alan Parekh's blog, has featured my Camera Rocket. It must have been popular as the video received almost 1200 views in a single day :)

A couple of days ago, I uploaded the photos of Rocket2 on to my Flickr page. I also dropped a couple of photos into the Make Pool. The photos in this pool appear on the side-bar of the Make blog. Well! One of the authors noticed it and decided to feature it! Neat :)

Very cool German D motor from the Flemish Rocket Organisation (Vlaamse Raket Organisatie).

German D7-3
German rocket motor - D7-3
  • Total impulse: 20 Ns
  • Average thrust: 12 Ns
  • Thrust duration: 1.7 s
  • Dimensions (W x L): 23 x 70 mm

Russian MRD20-10 (D Motor)
Russian rocket motor - MRD20-10       
  • Total impulse: 20 Ns
  • Average thrust: 10 Ns
  • Thrust duration: 2 s
  • Dimensions (W x L): 20,2 x 85 mm
40 Years ago on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the face of the Moon.


Being a little less than two years before I was born, I have had to re-live the excitement of the events vicariously through books, movies and the Internet and of course, by building and flying my own rockets.

I may never have the opportunity to walk on the face of another world but that will never stop me dreaming. Well done guys. You really are heroes.

It's official. As of May 2009, I am a Tripoli Rocketry Association member :)

Work has begun on my Level 1 certification rocket. When finished, it will be 4" diameter x 6' tall. I will be using a Hypertek hybrid motor for my attempt (due to the current restrictions on solid propellant in Victoria). RockSim seems to think that the rocket will tip over at about 3,000' on the first fire of the grain and at about 4,000' on the second. The 300cc tank is the smallest in the Hypertek range and is the only tank that allows for two flights on the one grain.

I will undertake my certification flight if I have everything ready at the start of June.
As the note included with my membership documentation said "Welcome to High Power!"

Multi-Purpose launch towerAlmost 18 months ago I found an old telescoping light stand that was being thrown out. It seemed solid and I figured that I'd put it to use one day... Well, that day has come!

I've removed the telescoping sections and have now turned up a drop-in slug with a 1/8" launch rod fitted in the middle. I am half-way though making a 2nd one that will hold my launch rail as well as one for a 1/4" rod. It was flight-tested last weekend and am very happy with the results :)

More photos on Flickr