back to article Laughing gas and rubber: A recipe for suborbital flight?

This summer, the skies above Nevada will thunder to the sound of a mighty hybrid rocket motor, as the Boston University Rocket Propulsion Group (BURPG) sends its Starscraper vehicle past the symbolic 100km Kármán line. BURPG group shot at motor test site BURPG: Laughing gas and rubber Having recently tin-rattled its way to …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Serious garden shed boffinry there.

    Looking at the specs, they want to hit their target with a 60 second burn time and some serious acceleration and even more serious deceleration.

    I wish them well and good health but I think I'd rather watch this one (including the fueling) from a bunker. Having been around N2O, it can be a bit tricky and lot nasty and when the crap hits the fan, all bets are off.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Serious garden shed boffinry there.

      The most interesting part is the thrust vectoring (if it works - I can see the belts and braces of using cold gas nozzles in case it does not). IMHO this is what sets this aside from VG and other hybrids.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Serious garden shed boffinry there.

      "Having been around N2O, it can be a bit tricky and lot nasty "

      But you'll die laughing.

      And it's safer than HTP.

  2. Lord of Cheese

    Mmmmmm Meat Rocket

    Didn't Mythbusters try a semi-successful hybrid rocket using Salami + N2O?

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Mmmmmm Meat Rocket

      Yes they did, and more than semi-successful too.

      >>>>>> Is this as close as we're getting to a rocket icon elReg?

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Mmmmmm Meat Rocket

        Could we have a ~ Shania Twain icon for rocketery topics?

        "Okay, so you're a rocket scientist

        That don't impress me much"

        "Mutt" Lange/Shania Twain, 1997

        Paris, standing in for Shania Twain.

    2. Dan Paul

      Re: Mmmmmm Meat Rocket @Lord of cheese

      Yes, the Mythbusters did a rocket using Nitrous and Salami as fuel. Didn't fly far but wasnt bad for knocking it up in such a short time.

  3. ukgnome

    yes yes it's all jolly nice that they get to launch their rocket and all that. But what we all insist on knowing is the LOHAN when.


    Nitrous oxide?

    You're having a ....


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    'Tim Pickens, who led development of the...'

    Bitterly disappointed with Tim's mum and dad. With a surname like that, you have no excuses whatsoever not to give your children the first name 'Slim'. If you have to have 'Slim1' and 'Slim2', so be it.

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Shame

      So what you're saying is that there are slim pickings for an appropriate first name? And at that, the choice pickings have already been used.

  6. boltar Silver badge

    A recipe for immense pollution more like

    The crap that comes out of the back of these hybrid rockets make what comes out of the chimney of a coal fired power station seem like fresh mountain air in comparison. I really hope these things don't become commonplace.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: A recipe for immense pollution more like

      Is there any danger of orbital lift rocket engines becoming "commonplace"? A chicken in every pot and a rocket in every back yard?

      I'm not going to bother with the back-of-the-envelope calculations, but I'll bet we'd have to launch a metric shitload of these rockets to achieve anything like the pollution emitted by, say, Centralia, PA.

  7. Sporkinum

    Last video

    I liked the camera mounted on the engine view. They had a dollar under the engine to burn. I am guessing it burned many dollars getting to that point.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Laughing gas and rubber: A recipe for sub...

    For a moment there the mind boggled.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The soldering on the wirewrap area

    Now I've seen it I cannot forget it.

    1. Clive Harris

      Re: The soldering on the wirewrap area

      I think those "Wirewrap" areas are actually heatsinks. That mass of via holes was to get good thermal coupling to the bottom layer which, presumably, had a large copper sheet, or mechanical coupling to an external heatsink.

      1. Bob 5

        Re: The soldering on the wirewrap area

        Quite right about the heatsink area - and what looks at first glance like two big blobs of solder appears to me to be two chip capacitors to ground, probably to reduce regulator noise and to ensure stability.

  10. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Shuttle SRB

    Were also a form of APCP - the binder being polybutadiene acrylonitrile (PBAN)

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