Beach Shoot #2 - Sugar & Iron Oxide Rocket

Date: 2003-08-26


Cereal box cardboard case, 7 layers taped, no glue. 12 mm ID, 60 mm length, 3 mm diameter cavity, 25 mm deep into grain. 10 mm thick cat litter nozzle. Grain length 35 mm. Bulkhead of paper wadding and hot-melt glue.

KN/Sucrose/IO propellant:

70% Potassium Nitrate

29% Sucrose

1% Iron Oxide (red)

Each very finely ground seperate in a coffee mill, then combined and tumbled on the ballmill rollers in a small jar with a few lead fishing weights to completely mix and break up any lumps.

The motor was rammed on a mandrel.

Fused with loose meal prime and an experimental meal paper fuse taped across mouth. This fuse failed to ignite the rocket on a previous shoot, the rocket was refused with a meal-IO paper fuse and waited several days while the wind died down for a new launch test.

Bamboo stabiliser stick, a little too short for this mass rocket. It was painted red to aid recovery.


Rocket CATOed after a short low thrust take off.

Took a moment to come up to pressure and lift off the pad. It flew straight for a few feet, then arced over and exploded.

The rocket was not recovered despite an extensive search! The exact nature of the failure is unknown. From the video it appears that the bulkhead failed and grain fragments were ejected still burning, however it may have been a nozzle failure, the images are too dark and indistinct to tell for sure.


title type size
Rocket CATO video/x-msvideo 1.117 Mbytes
Pre-Launch Picture image/jpeg 40.946 kbytes