'I Landed a (Model) Rocket Like SpaceX. It Took 7 Years'

"If you've been following Joe Barnard's rocketry projects for the past few years, you'll know that one of his primary goals has been to propulsively land a model rocket like SpaceX," reports Hackaday.

"Now, 7 years into the rollercoaster journey, he has finally achieved that goal with the latest version of his Scout rocket."

Many things need to come together to launch AND land a rocket on standard hobby-grade solid fuel rocket motors. A core component is stabilization of the rocket during the entire flight, which achieved using a thrust-vectoring control (TVC) mount for the rocket motors and a custom flight computer loaded with carefully tuned guidance software. Until recently, the TVC mounts were 3D printed, but Joe upgraded it to machined aluminum to eliminate as much flex and play as possible.

Since solid-fuel rockets can't technically be throttled, [Joe] originally tried to time the ignition time of the descent motor in such a manner that it would burn out as the rocket touches down. The ignition time and exact thrust numbers simply weren't repeatable enough, so in his 2020 landing attempts, he achieved some throttling effect by oscillating the TVC side to side, reducing the vertical thrust component. This eventually gave way to the final solution, a pair of ceramic pincers which block the thrust of the motors as required.

"I have been trying to do what you just saw for seven years," Barnard says in the video, remembering that he started the project back in the fall of 2015. "Not because it's revolutionary or game-changing for model rocketry, but because it's a really cool project, and I knew I would learn a lot." (On Twitter, Barnard added that "I had no background in aero, electrical engineering, coding, etc so it took a lot of trial and error.")

And in the video Barnard made sure to thank his 690 supporters on Patreon — and also shared a surprise. He'd printed out a sheet of paper with the name of every one of his Patreon supporters, rolled it up, and inserted it into the hollow center of his rocket before the flight. "So if you support, you were part of this."

The Patreon account offers more details on Barnard's mission. "Learning by experimentation is the most effective way to gain a deep understanding of new concepts, which is why providing hands-on experience with advanced rocketry components is important for the next generation of scientists, engineers, and astronauts."

And the video ends with Bernard describing the next projects he'll attempt:

More SpaceX-like vertical landings
A 9-foot model of SpaceX's Starship Super Heavy rocket
A special secret project known only as "the meat rocket"
An actual model-rocket space shot — that is, a rocket that ascends over 100 kilometers

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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10760 Rooves in Berrima cropped DSC_0001

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10761 Old Man Banksia Coogee cropped 20220807_114531

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Pompoota - Purpose built General Store & Post Office and Butcher shop: supplying support services for the Soldier Settlement Training Farm: located close to Hall/Schoolroom. South Australia

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Pompoota - Purpose built General Store & Post Office and Butcher shop: supplying support services for the Soldier Settlement Training Farm: located close to Hall/Schoolroom.  South Australia

This substantial schoolhouse and hall was built specifically for soldier settlers who trained at the Pompoota Training Farm.

On the occasion of the building’s centenary a plaque was unveiled, reading -

“This plaque was unveiled on 22nd January 2017 by The Honourable Jay Weatherill MP, Premier of South Australia.

The plaque commemorates the centenary of the Pompoota Hall, built as a school and community facility on the Pompoota Training Farm.

The hall was officially opened on 22nd January 1917, by The Honourable Crawford Vaughan, Premier and Minister of Education.

The farm was established to train returning World War 1 servicemen in agricultural pursuits so that they could take up the land through the Soldiers Settlement Scheme and support themselves and their families.”

In keeping with Mr Vaughan’s late arrival in 1917, Jay Weatherill and his party arrived late for the Centenary celebrations. On each occasion the Premiers were transported down the river and escorted to Pompoota.


The training farm for returned soldiers, started less than 12 months ago, now presents an animated appearance. Rows of wood and iron cottages, some having canvas additions, house the families of many men who have come back after taking part in the Great War to devote their energies to the arts of peace.

As a township has sprung up a school was needed, and yesterday the Premier and Minister of Education (Hon. Crawford Vaughan) opened a new building on the high land at Pompoota to serve the double purpose of schoolhouse and social hall. The Premier was received by a guard of honour composed of 25 school children in the charge of the schoolmistress (Miss Bradley). A large number of the settlers gathered to witness the ceremony. After inspecting the children the party gathered outside the porch of the hall.

The Director of Irrigation and Reclamation Works (Mr S McIntosh), after introducing the Premier, remarked that when the scheme was mooted for the training of returned soldiers at Pompoota it was realised that one of the most essential requirements would be a hall for social and educational purposes.

Altogether seven buildings had been provided for (built by contractor Mr R H Elvage), including administrative offices and officers’ residences, and the hall was pushed on with as being the most urgently needed. He asked the Premier to declare the hall and schoolroom open.

Mr Vaughan apologized for being late. He feared it was setting a bad example to be late on the first day the school was opened.

This building no doubt would be the forerunner of many schools that would be built along the majestic river, schools that would serve the needs of the children of more men who would safely return to civil life from the front. (Ref: The Advertiser, Adelaide 23-1-1917)

“Farms for Returned Soldiers-Bill before Parliament. The Government proposes to deal liberally with the men who return to Australia from active service. The Premier (Hon. Crawford Vaughan) on Friday moved the second reading of a Bill to give concessions to returned soldiers which were not given to ordinary settlers. He said the Government had already received applications from men for assistance to get on the land.

It was proposed to establish practical training camps, so that the men might gain experience, and so that it might be decided whether they were capable of going on the land. If not capable they would not be likely to secure a block of land from the board. One proposal the Government had in view was to settle men on reclaimed irrigation lands. The proposal was to establish on a swamp area like Pompoota a training camp and put the men thereon under supervision.” (The Advertiser, Adelaide 11-12-1915.)

Kerncentrale in Zaporizja weer beschoten

Volgens de Oekraïense president Zelensky is de belangrijke kerncentrale vrijdag en zaterdag bestookt. Daarbij is een werknemer gewond geraakt en een deel van de centrale beschadigd.