Want to Look Inside a Burning Rocket Engine?

Article written: 24 Sep , 2012
Updated: 4 Jan , 2016

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.

Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.


4 Responses

  1. CallanTFC says

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

  2. 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! 😉

  3. Member
    Chuck Hawkins says

    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?

Comments are closed.