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BALLS 21 - CTI N5800 Minimum Diameter - "Don't Debate This"

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Published on Sep 24, 2012

Lift-off weight: 48.2lbs, Overall length: 98.75", Aiframe diameter: 99mm, Fin-can diameter: 105.4mm. Brazed aluminum fin-can. Modified Performance rocketry 5:1 conical nosecone. Filament wound fiberglass coupler tube aiframe.

Saturday, September 22, 2012. After a long wait due to a 16kft cloud cover this rocket went up at about 3:30PM PDT. Max. velocity was reported as Mach 3. The rocket spent approximately 31 seconds over the speed of sound and reached apogee after 54 seconds at 56,000 ft (Raven 56,504 feet, Stratologger: 56,641 feet AGL).

Both sets of tracking electronics did not function properly. Having pretty much zero indication of where the rocket landed, I drove around the north east end of the playa for about 45 minutes, but it was a useless exercise. I went back to camp to help another project make their way out to the pads when a call from the LCO came over the radio that a rocket matching the description of mine was found and the coordinates had been recorded. Long story short the rocket was found at about 6PM 1.8 miles due south of the range head completely intact and with some pretty damn cool battle wounds!

I started working on this project in October 2011, the build thread began on the Australian rocketry forum (ausrocketry.com/forum) in April. Please check out their forum for a detailed history of this rocket as well as many other really interesting projects.

Photo credit: Lance Lickteig (lift-off still), Blake Nikolic (lift-off video & screaming), Andrew Hamilton (landing).

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