Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Mythbusters Build Hybrid Rocket in Less Than a Week

In episode #40 of Mythbusters (Discovery Channel, check local listings) the resident scientists successfully constructed and flew a hybrid rocket built from plumbing pipes, using only Civil War era fuels as propellant.

For the last few years show hosts, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, have used the scientific method to bust a multitude of urban myths, including driving a pick-up truck with the tailgate down saves gas (wrong!), microwave ovens cook from the inside out (no they don't), and a piece of plywood could become an impromptu wing in the event you were holding one when you stepped off a highrise building (um, definitely not.)

But nothing they have done amazed me as much as when they built a hybrid rocket in less than one week. Nitrous-oxide, ethanol and gun cotton for fuel, stuffed into the end of some steel plumbing pipe from the hardware store. It flew successfully on the very first try, no problem.
Imagine what they might have done if they were really trying to get to space...

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