48 votes

What is the feasibility of a rocket hobbyist achieving a LEO orbit with a microsat?

It isn't really feasible to launch your own rocket, unless you have a lot of money to spend. The required power is immense. Hitting sub-orbital might be possible, and has been done once by amateurs, ...
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  • 118k
46 votes
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What would one need to do to get an amateur satellite into orbit?

Astronautical engineer here, welcome to the small satellite community! Firstly, it's important to recognize that the FCC tightly regulates the radio spectra available to satellites and amateur ...
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  • 909
27 votes
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Is it possible to reach space using home-made rocket?

First of all, LEO isn't just reaching 160 km, it's reaching there and moving at a very fast speed. In fact, 160 km would be a really poor orbit, you really need something more like 350 km to get ...
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  • 118k
20 votes

How easy is it to use liquid nitrogen dioxide as an oxidizer?

Not a good idea for amateurs; it can kill you without you realizing you're dying: 10–20 ppm can cause mild irritation of the nose and throat, 25–50 ppm can cause edema leading to bronchitis or ...
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19 votes

Would a 'small' rocket like this reach space?

First, I suggest watching this tv show: They set out to put a backyard rocket into space (note: space, not orbit.) Unfortunately, that turned out not to be feasible, ...
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17 votes
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Can we use liquid propellants in amateur rockets?

Liquid propellants like kerosene and hydrogen peroxide - that's risky, though doable. Cryofuels like liquid oxygen and hydrogen - no. Even if you manage to develop an amateur rocket motor that's ...
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  • 52.6k
15 votes

Whipped cream hybrid rocket

What a fantastic question! Absolutely it's possible! $N_2O$ is $N_2O$, whether you get it from an 8g whipped cream charger or a massive industrial tank, it oxidises just the same. The valve you'll ...
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  • 7,088
13 votes
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Could HIBEX propellant be used for amateur rockets?

According to Wikipedia, HIBEX employed a star-grain "composite modified double-base propellant", known as FDN-80, created from the mixing of ammonium perchlorate, aluminum, and double-base ...
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12 votes

Is it possible to reach space using home-made rocket?

While it's theoretically possible to home-build something capable of attaining the needed 9.3+ km/s, it's not something that the average person can pull off. You'd need to be exceptionally talented ...
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  • 11.5k
12 votes

What would one need to do to get an amateur satellite into orbit?

The Space Shuttle retired in 2011, and no amateur launch has ever reached orbit, but there are plenty of opportunities to piggyback on commercial and government launch services. Mostly this is ...
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  • 1,625
12 votes

How easy is it to use liquid nitrogen dioxide as an oxidizer?

Nitrogen dioxide is a chemical that forms an equilibrium with dinitrogen tetroxide, which in the world of rocketry is often just called "nitrogen tetroxide" so as to increase the amount of ...
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  • 7,944
11 votes

What would one need to do to get an amateur satellite into orbit?

A TV show addressed this some years ago. What appears to be the full video on You-tube: (Link gone--tv show "How Hard Can It Be", Episode 3 -- "Homemade Rocket".) Owner's website ...
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10 votes
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Can I make my own RP1?

I'm going to start off with a warning: if you want to get started with model rocketry, it is about a thousand times safer and easier to start with off-the-shelf solid rockets. Don't even consider ...
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10 votes
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Amateur satellite launch

No, in fact, it's very difficult to even reach the threshold of space (50 miles or 100 km) by amateurs, they've never even gone close to the required velocity to achieve orbit. See the Amateur Rocket ...
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  • 118k
10 votes

The thrust in the calculation of specific impulse

There's no "the" specific impulse, in the sense that the performance of a rocket engine varies over time. For a given moment in time, the instantaneous specific impulse can be derived from ...
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8 votes
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How did the GoFast 2014 Rocket de-spin?

I don't have any direct information but I can't think of anything else it could be. If it were roll thrusters (cold gas or monoprop) you'd expect to see much slower response (because you'd want them ...
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8 votes
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How does spin stabilization intuitively work?

Preamble Conservation laws may never be intuitive; what makes them laws is simply that after all this time we've never seen exceptions to them or the things that imply them. Conservation of angular ...
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  • 148k
7 votes
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How would E85 work as rocket fuel?

Which one? Which supplier, which brand, which set of additives, what content of impurities? That matters. This is why rockets fly on RP-1, not on JP-1 kerosene - because the standard for JP-1 is crap,...
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  • 52.6k
7 votes

Open source liquid rocket engine

Several papers have been published on liquid rocket engines. Below is a collection of some. Some links are from ResearchGate so you need an account there (free for academics/students). With 3D files: ...
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  • 1,343
6 votes
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new nozzle design, is it a fail?

Bernoulli's principle only applies to incompressible flow. Once you go compressible, especially when you go supersonic, things become counterintuitive. This design will limit you more or less to an ...
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  • 16.8k
6 votes

Is it possible to reach space using home-made rocket?

Although it stretches the definition of home made, JP Aerospace is a very small company run by John Powell. They started out attempting just that. Their current plan is to build an airship that is a ...
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  • 900
6 votes

Would a 'small' rocket like this reach space?

Since you added that drawing I am adding this answer to specifically address your drawing: No. It will not reach space. Note that there is nowhere near enough information in your drawing to reach ...
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6 votes

Could HIBEX propellant be used for amateur rockets?

"Yes", but that would sort of be silly and it would highly depend on where you live, since it may be illegal in your country to mix your own rocket propellant. HIBEX used what is ...
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5 votes

Building a ultra-small almost space vehicle

You will have quite a challenge to get to 50 km with a balloon or reasonable sized rocket. Even weather balloons don't hit those altitudes. Probably one of the best places to start for this kind of ...
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  • 831
5 votes

How did the GoFast 2014 Rocket de-spin?

I shortly after found this video, which confirms it's a yo-yo de-spin. I wonder why this guy called his video "flat Earth dome". I didn't spend any time looking at his other videos, but it appears he'...
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  • 1,156
5 votes

What is the feasibility of a rocket hobbyist achieving a LEO orbit with a microsat?

It's probably good to bring up Copenhagen Suborbital up as a reference here. They're quite possibly the most competent amateur rocketeers, yet their name already points out that they're not aiming for ...
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  • 1,614
5 votes

What materials should I use to make a suborbital amateur rocket and where can I buy them?

Titanium is too ambitious for a first project. It's difficult to machine and weld. It's also overkill: even many orbital rockets use aluminium hulls. Amateur rockets generally use plastic bodies. To ...
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  • 121k
5 votes

How does spin stabilization intuitively work?

The most intuitve way to explain spin stabilization would be a spinning top, e.g. this one: Youtube Clip of a spinning top You can imagine the satellite as the spinning top, as long it is spinning, it ...
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  • 2,549
5 votes
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I don't know where to start with the calculations - rocket engine

The reason you can't finish your calculations is that you are missing half of the engine. You are going to have to make some decisions about the nozzle in order to get exhaust velocity. I'll make some ...
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