(Photo: Don Campbell/Herald-Palladium)
(Photo: Don Campbell/News-Dispatch)
The ambition of mankind will propel us beyond our humble origins, driving us forward and upward, to pierce the sky and explore new worlds. We could see this clearly last Saturday, when, in Three Oaks, Michigan, rocketry enthusiasts launched a porta-potty outhouse into the sky. It flew up several hundred feet, then parachuted down to a fairly soft landing.
You can see the entire launch and landing in this thrilling video. The project, dubbed Thrusting the Throne, is a program of the Michiana Rocketry Club. The Michigan City News-Dispatch describes the engineering challenges:
"This was not barnyard engineering. This was done carefully," said Bob Bycraft, a salesman and a member of the Throne Thrusters, an offshoot of the Michiana Rocketry Club.
They worked with scale models until they arrived at the desired design.
"You want it to be stable. You want it to fly straight," Kingman said.
The craft was basically an aluminum frame rocket with a porta-potty frame bolted to it, with Plexiglas fins, Bycraft said.
Getting it off the ground is the easy part, he said. The hard part is having it land and be in one piece.
When completed, the 10-foot tall rocket and its seven motors weighed 450 pounds, and was lifted with 2,865 pounds of thrust.