Friday, December 2, 2011

A Little Geeky Side Trip

Alright, an extremely geeky side trip, but geek is in my charter.  This is the kind of thing that just delights me. 

Late in October, a group of amateur rocket makers launched Qu8K (pronounced Quake - after the video game) in an attempt to exceed 100,000 feet in altitude.  The group's calculations showed they reached 120,000 feet, over 22 miles.  This qualifies them for the $5000 Carmack 100kft micro prize, although since they had some troubles with their GPS locking during the flight, it's not clear they have applied. 
Qu8K moments after liftoff.  The acceleration is extremely fast - you have 4000 lbs. of thrust in a 320 lb vehicle.  The vehicle reaches Mach 3 in seconds and coasts up to altitude.

Much more information at their web page, including a cool video that should be watched at full screen in HD mode. 

There probably wasn't an equivalent rocket on Earth until the 1930s; today, a determined group can build one in their shop. 


  1. That makes what we built in High School physics club look pretty puny.

    Pretty neat stuff, thanks for posting the link.

  2. Absolutely! My Jr. High and High school rockets were the little Estes models, and a friend recently did some high-power rocketry that I watched, but this is in a league of its own.

  3. I must have missed the geeky part. I didn't see anything geeky here. Nary a uP anywhere to be seen

    I love my work, but more often than not it's payloads, not propulsion.

  4. Q - professionally, I've only worked on payloads, not propulsion, but that was long ago. Still, you don't need a uP to be geeky; that's just one subset.

    I'm sure they used some processors to design the beauty and there may have been a few in its payload, if you insist. ;-D