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(Spokesman Review)   Attending the University of Idaho isn't rocket science   ( spokesman.com) divider line
    More: Fail, rocket fuel, experimental rocket fuel, Rocket, explosion, fuel test, Student, Rocket Engineers, Parking lot  
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1856 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Apr 2017 at 1:41 AM (31 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



19 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-04-14 11:57:54 PM  
img.fark.net
 
2017-04-15 12:35:01 AM  
TFA doesn't say, but they were undoubtedly trying out a monopropellant of some sort. There's a fne line between an efficient monoprop and an effective explosive. Glad they all survived.
 
2017-04-15 12:57:16 AM  
This was likely the act of a bunch of random Vandals.
 
2017-04-15 01:51:41 AM  
shoulda stuck to one of these:
tobar.co.uk
 
2017-04-15 01:51:59 AM  

Straight Outta Wells Branch: This was likely the act of a bunch of random Vandals.


How do you know? They could have been Visigoths.
 
2017-04-15 02:01:14 AM  
Moscow, Idaho is perhaps the most depressing college town in the United States.  Although I'm not sure about that.  Pullman, Washington is also in the mix.
 
2017-04-15 02:19:46 AM  
I thought they tested just about every unstable compound in the '50s for rocket fuel use. Though I understand some crazy guy in Germany is constantly coming up with new compounds like something like 20 nitrogen bonds and absolutely nothing but nitrogen. They discuss those advances on Things I Won't Work With, and the comments go quite a bit into the history of rocket fuel research and the utter ridiculousness that went on in that program.

I'm guessing the chem lab in Idaho doesn't have all the padded suits with explosion resistant face shields and the training to go along with it. But they should have had access to texts that talk about proper preparation and hazards concerning these things. They seem to be brought up quite a bit in discussions on the matter.

I mean, I'm not a chemist, my dad was one but he was in food science. And I didn't even pick up this stuff from him, just enough vocabulary to understand what is said on science blogs that I randomly click links to. But I'm scratching my head wondering how they were testing rocket fuel preparations without a blast shield, without reinforced clothing, without anything but what OSHA says I need to wear in most factories.
 
2017-04-15 02:25:43 AM  
TFA: Ewart said a faculty adviser was present when the explosion happened. He said the club is recognized by the university but wouldn't say if the fuel test had received proper approval. "The group is sanctioned," he said. "The event we're investigating."

Faculty adviser may want to update his CV and seek legal counsel.
 
2017-04-15 02:31:04 AM  
Moscow Launches Missile, Claims Four Casualties in Idaho

/alarmistest headline I could come up with
 
2017-04-15 04:03:25 AM  

EdwardTellerhands: Moscow Launches Missile, Claims Four Casualties in Idaho

/alarmistest headline I could come up with


American Vandals Set Off Pipe Bomb in Moscow

/Yes, we know it's pronounced Mosc-oh.
 
2017-04-15 05:26:32 AM  

brobinson2001: Sounds like they didn't separate the different stages of liftoff. Thrust=maintain=achieve. As the song goes "Ya gotta keep em separated"

Hopefully whoever is "teaching" them chemistry or physics doesn't have a job anymore, bc they basically taught them how to build a pipe bomb with an open end.



The chemistry was good but the engineering was bad.
Manually lighting anything which is described as "rocket fuel" was a lesson in physics waiting to happen.
 
2017-04-15 05:51:16 AM  

brobinson2001: Hopefully whoever is "teaching" them chemistry or physics doesn't have a job anymore, bc they basically taught them how to build a pipe bomb with an open end.


Every rocket is one bad part away from being a pipe bomb with an open end.

From the sound of it they were doing a static test with solid propellant. Easy enough to have that go wrong. As for the fuel, could have been ammonium perchlorate, it works but oh if you don't get it just right, ooops.
 
2017-04-15 08:28:28 AM  
My sister is a rocket scientist currently living in Idaho, so I'm getting a kick.
 
2017-04-15 09:27:10 AM  
Why are they testing potential explosives in a parking lot?
Why are they close enough to be hit by shrapnel?
Why wasn't there some kind of blast shield?

Granted, I'm not an engineer so I guess I don't understand the intracacies of maiming yourself with experiments.
 
2017-04-15 01:08:35 PM  
Hey!  I attended UI.  Way too many years ago.  We apparently had a different definition of rocket fuel though.
 
2017-04-15 01:14:57 PM  

yelmrog: Moscow, Idaho is perhaps the most depressing college town in the United States.  Although I'm not sure about that.  Pullman, Washington is also in the mix.


You have clearly never been to Terre Haute, Indiana. I say that as somebody who lives in Pullman and went to school in Terre Haute. It's not even close.
 
2017-04-15 01:25:44 PM  

Herr Flick's Revenge: Why are they testing potential explosives in a parking lot?
Why are they close enough to be hit by shrapnel?
Why wasn't there some kind of blast shield?

Granted, I'm not an engineer so I guess I don't understand the intracacies of maiming yourself with experiments.


Hard to tell.  There is certainly the possibility that the explosion happened before they hit igniter (when they should be far enough away).  No idea why it would explode without it, but rocket fuel is pretty unstable stuff (and that's exactly what they were testing).

http://fringe.davesource.com/Fringe/Explosives/Ignition.An-Informal-H​i​story-of-Liquid-Rocket-Propellants.John-D-Clark.pdf  - note: I've seen multiple sources claiming that this is a free download, but I can't guarantee that *this* link has the full chain of copyright approval.  Download at your risk.
[basically the above "Ignition!" is *the* book on the history of rocket fuel and how it was tested].
 
2017-04-15 03:14:51 PM  
No fueling
 
2017-04-15 04:16:54 PM  

yelmrog: Moscow, Idaho is perhaps the most depressing college town in the United States.  Although I'm not sure about that.  Pullman, Washington is also in the mix.


As some who has to deal with Schwietzer relays on a non regular basis, kick, etc.

/actually they are fairly user friendly. Just too many bells and whistles when all you want is a 50/51.
 
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