Want to Look Inside a Burning Rocket Engine?

by Nancy Atkinson on September 24, 2012

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Here’s a bit of pretty amazing hobby rocket porn. Ben Krasnow walks us through — in a rather matter-of-fact way — of how he built a hybrid rocket engine in his shop using a piece of acrylic so he could see inside and watch the gaseous oxygen burn. As one commenter on You Tube described it, “Hey guys, I was bored, so I built a transparent rocket engine in my garage. No big deal.”

“This engine is only meant to run for 10 seconds at most,” says Krasnow in his video, “and so this construction isn’t going to last long enough to make a reusable rocket, let’s just say. This is definitely for demo only!”

Next up, Krasnow will travel through time to contact Montgomery Scott to find out how to create transparent aluminum. If seeing this video makes you want to do an impression of Tim the Toolman Taylor, Krasnow also has a video tour of his shop.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

CallanTFC September 24, 2012 at 11:06 PM

No need for time travel! Just watch Star Trek IV in really slow motion :p

Wezley Jackson September 25, 2012 at 12:25 AM

Hi Nancy, Awesome – Please add more of these inspiring garage-tech inspirations whenever possible.. Great to see inventions from unexpected places by people like my hero Tim the Toolman Taylor – more power! aeee! ;)

Jeffrey Scott Boerst September 25, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Transparent aluminum already exists! ;)
http://phys.org/news167925273.html

Chuck Hawkins September 26, 2012 at 8:25 AM

I wonder what you mean by “watch the gaseous oxygen burn”? Oxygen is gaseous normally, but more importantly, it doesn’t “burn”, it burns other things. Is this a plasma torch? Or is something else (methane or whatever) burning, with oxygen as the oxidizer?

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