We bring news from the frontiers of backyard rocketry. Telstar Logistics is pleased to report that last weekend, Steve Jurvetson, our Director of Space Operations, successfully completed the maiden voyage of the Telstar Logistics "Expediter," a robust platform for high-g amateur videography.
Launched from a remote mountain base near Farmington, California, the Telstar Logistics Expediter is a 4-foot rocketcraft powered by a Aerotech J315 Redline motor. In addition, the Expediter includes a strap-on video unit, which sounds smutty, but really isn't. Rather, the video pod is simply an off-the-shelf Oregon Scientific camera mounted inside a streamlined housing epoxied to the rocket body.
The successful deployment of the Expediter comes on the heels of the sad failure of the Telstar Logistics V2.0, which, after several successful launches, crashed to the ground due to a catastrophic parachute failure. Undaunted, the Telstar Logistics "Night Ops" rocket was used to map several essential entertainment curves, and after extensive laboratory experimentation, the Telstar Logistics Expediter was born.
Following the recovery of the Expediter, Steve filed a flight report with our Space Operations Bureau. In it he said:
Well, ground control was elated to see the structural and electronic elements of the TL Expediter withstand this test flight. As an added precaution, we wrapped the joint in a slow-cure JB Weld epoxy (this stuff is strong enough to repair tractor engine blocks) and wrapped it in fiberglass, like a tight ace bandage. The battery leads were soldered together, and nose cone made from a half an easter egg was fiberglassed to the camera for better retention.
The Aerotech J315 Redline motor that I built right before launch worked like a charm. Parachute deployment was triggered 1g of black powder ignited by a low-current DaveyFire igniter triggered by the on-board computer.
We also captured these readings from the G-Wiz LCX on-board computer with accelerometer and barometric pressure sensors:
Acceleration: 455.6 f/s/s = 14 g’s
Max Speed: 567.3 ft/s = 387 MPH
Max Alt: 5,186 ft.
The strap on video worked without a hitch, recording video all the way up and down. (You can see the cars and the launch area as the rocket comes spinning back to earth dangling by parachute.) The on-board computer recorded a max speed of 387MPH as it pulled 14 g’s. Jurvetson out.
Indeed, we've reviewed the video footage back at Mission Control, and it came out great. See for yourself! Click the image below to watch the onboard video captured as the Expediter soared into the sky:
And what did the Expediter look like as it left the ground? Apparently, Kim Jong Il wondered the same thing, so he monitored the flight from his Pyongyang observation post. That's how he captured this video, which was later leaked to YouTube: