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  #1  
Old 07-19-2018, 02:58 AM
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blackshire blackshire is offline
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Default Cesium-lofting?

Hello All,

There are other payloads besides eggs that would be interesting to loft aboard model rockets, like, say, cesium, which has been used as an ion engine propellant: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytxx95g-kiA (if done over water, it wouldn't even start a fire--on land, at least...).
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:10 AM
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Enjoyed the video, but it would have been more interesting had I been able to shake the mental image of Borat narrating it.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Enjoyed the video, but it would have been more interesting had I been able to shake the mental image of Borat narrating it.
That was part of what endeared me to that video--it's one of those, "it's so bad that its's good" ones--and the comment about his having more tables (to replace the burned-up one) is priceless... :-)
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Old 07-19-2018, 11:20 AM
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I prefer TARGETED BOWLING BALL LOFTING to Cesium Lofting.
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Old 07-19-2018, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghrocketman
I prefer TARGETED BOWLING BALL LOFTING to Cesium Lofting.
That's rather expensive even for HPR folks, and even more so for model rocketeers (that would require many A10-3Ts, and even quite a few D12 motors)...
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:25 AM
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I believe the H699N motor was developed just for this activity.
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:37 AM
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I remember once when I was a kid in Honolulu, looking up into the night sky and seeing an eerie green trail. Turns out the military launch facility on Kauai (Barking Sands) was launching a series of barium/copper payloads on sounding rockets into the upper atmosphere. Barium, like cesium is a highly reactive element and when the payload ionized it turned green. We never get to see the Northern Lights this far south, so it was a terrific light show.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BARGeezer
I remember once when I was a kid in Honolulu, looking up into the night sky and seeing an eerie green trail. Turns out the military launch facility on Kauai (Barking Sands) was launching a series of barium/copper payloads on sounding rockets into the upper atmosphere. Barium, like cesium is a highly reactive element and when the payload ionized it turned green. We never get to see the Northern Lights this far south, so it was a terrific light show.
Near Young Harris, Georgia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains (within a few hundred yards of the Georgia/North Carolina border), in the late 1970s or early 1980s, we saw a series of nightly barium releases, lofted by sounding rockets fired from one of the two USAF sounding rocket launch sites near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida (either Cape San Blas or Santa Rosa Island). If memory serves, there were three or four of them, each launched late during each evening's post-sunset "blue hour"; each began as a suddenly-appearing luminous orange ball, 15 or 20 degrees above the southern horizon, which rapidly turned green and then changed shape under the influence of the Earth's magnetic field, and:

I talked and corresponded with one of the officers who was involved in that and many other sounding rocket campaigns conducted there (Marshall Cartledge, whom I came across many years later while looking for scale data on sounding rockets for Peter Alway--he provided several of the pictures and drawings that Peter used in his books). Interestingly, Marshall said that the barium shots we witnessed in Georgia (some kids at school the next day after the first one, who'd also seen it, exclaimed, "The Moon blew up last night!" [I pointed out that ^that^ would have made the world news... :-) ]) had been lofted by surplus WAC Corporal rockets. Also:

I said to him, "Do you mean Corporal *missiles*?" (the early U.S. Army ballistic missile, which had been used as a target for HAWK missile ABM tests at White Sands), and he said, "No, they were WAC Corporal rockets." One of the two Eglin sites (Santa Rosa Island, if I recall correctly) had a 3-rail Aerobee tower which had also fired at least one 3-finned Iris, so WAC Corporals could have been launched from it. (At least one Aerobee 300 also flew from that Aerobee tower, which had unusual "tadpole-shaped loops"--extensions of the rails--at its top, for braking and catching the rockets' slip-fit "rail rider lugs" that were used for the Iris; Peter may have the picture that Marshall sent me of that Aerobee 300 [it's in a photocopied article].) I'm just sorry that the WAC Corporals weren't put in museums instead--the WAC Corporal (including the upgraded WAC B) is a very rare bird.
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http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
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Old 07-22-2018, 12:59 PM
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I witnessed the results of several of those tests over the years when I lived near Eglin. It was cool to see. I don't recall being aware of what kind of rockets were used. It is kind of surprising to me now to realize that I didn't try to find out.

I did get to witness a Bomarc launch from Santa Rosa Island. It must have been one if the last flights of the Bomarc. It was at night and we sat in the car for hours (it seemed) before my dad gave up and started to drive away. Of course, that's when the whole area lit up as the rocket launched.

Later, I worked a few years for the Joint Warfighting Center in a building at Hurlburt Field that used to be the hangar for the Bomarc.

-- Roger
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