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Barbie Transport Rocket

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surdumil

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I'm pretty sure I've seen a few posts here and there about rocketeers who have payloaded Barbie dolls into the lower atmosphere. The only one I can find a link for is Homer Hickam's effort at:

http://www.airspacemag.com/ASM/Mag/Index/2002/AM/rkbd.html

I've committed myself to launching a Barbie for my daughter. So far, we've agreed to use an el-cheapo Barbie-sized "fashion doll" which is considerably lighter than the real McCoy.

Homer's plan looks simple, elegant, but I dunno if I trust it.

At first, I was trying to figure out how to get Barbie up there in a model rocket without getting her scortched. A piston idea seemed to hold promice, but I wasn't sure if a model rocket motor could produce enough ejection gas to pop out a Barbie-sized piston.

Now I'm working on converting a transparent Ferrero Rocher egg-shaped container into a payload section.

I'm very curious, though. I'm sure many have flown Barbies before, but how have you done it or how have you seen it done?
 

DJ Delorie

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One thing I've been thinking about is an airframe center section that opens like a clamshell at ejection, possibly spring loaded and using the ejection charge to cut a trip line, so that a large payload can be deployed without any burning.

Um, not like the space shuttle doors, more like a BT split lengthwise that comes apart leaving a short nose section and a short burn section behind.
 

Elapid

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in a clear payload tube...unless you want her to have her own chute...

then you might glue her feet to a piston so she slides right into the body tube.

what fun!

what size motor were you going to use?
 

DJ Delorie

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Yeah, but a center section so that we don't compromise nose cone integrity. If the middle third of the rocket opened up like that, the contents would just spill out without needing to be pushed. Even wihout an initial impulse, as the parts started tumbling down they'd be pulled apart by increasing drag.

I'm sure there's a lot of details that would need to be considered first though ;-)
 

surdumil

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Hi Elapid,

the transparent egg holds her body quite nicely, but her legs dangle out of a hold at the bottom of the egg's base tube. It would be nice to add a clear cylinder for her legs, but I dunno if I've the know-how to do that yet.

A piston would be pretty cool, letting Barbie come down on her own 'chute, too.

Either way, the cross-sectional area of whatever's holding Barbie is going to be pretty wide, so I thought a 24mm mount might be wise. Maybe a D or an E motor?
 

scadaman29325

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I put a little army man, with his own chute, in my Warp II. I made a "gas pass" port through the bottom coupler to kick the nosecone off and when the payload section hits the end of the shockcord the passenger jumps (slides) out. Works great!
 

cbutler

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surdumil,

Thanks for the Homer Hickam link. I'm going to have to give that one a go.

I'll probably be doing to payload route as well at some point. My 4 year old daughter is a Barbie fanatic. She also likes "building" and launching rockets with me. She would love to see one of her Barbies parachute out of a rocket, I'm sure.

Here's our LOC Forte finished in Barbie motif:



(also have a thread over in mid-power on the story behind this rocket, if you're interested)
 

surdumil

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Ooo! Nice looking rocket. Great article you've written up as well.
 

surdumil

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Well, here's a photo of me with the end result of my first attempt at a Barbie payloader.

I delayed releasing this photo because I entered the design into RMR Descon 15, which keeps designers identities hidden until the contest ends.

Nope, the design didn't do well in the contest, but the design is fully disclosed and freely available from the RMR Descon archives, which is a major benefit of entering the contest. please have a look, maybe try building one, or maybe invent new variants or new designs. And please let us know about your activities.
 
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