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Originally posted by powderburner
Was that in/near Denver?
Was that anyone we know?

There has been some discussion about this on the TRA list. The location is about 15 miles north of Colorado Springs. He does not appear to be a TRA or NAR member.

It could only take one person to mess up one WHOLE thing...:( :mad:
Originally posted by phaar
It could only take one person to mess up one WHOLE thing...:( :mad:

Well, fortunately, it sounds like the only injury was self-inflicted; adult morons removing themselves from the gene pool (a.k.a. Darwin Award nominees) rarely are cause for official notice and legislation. If this guy had injured innocent bystanders, or if kids had gotten hurt, that's when the authorities would tend to take notice, and get pressured to take action.
Originally posted by shreadvector
Did they find the remains of any books that he recently bought on eBay?;)

He'd also apparently shelled out a bunch of money for a CD full of old Estes and Centuri rocket instructions. ;-)

This is just an example of modern day evolution....Darwin Lives on
FYI, they've found some male remains in the house. They don't know if it is/was the owner or not at this point.
I have heard a rumor of a guy lighting off an I motor in a hotel, but a guy blowing his whole house up? Was he planning to attempt a space-shot the next day or something!?

I agree, there was proabably a gas line or other explosive device that came into play... Rockets just dont blow houses to the ground unless theyve got C4 in them... :eek:
Originally posted by Neil
I have heard a rumor of a guy lighting off an I motor in a hotel, but a guy blowing his whole house up?

I was at that launch where the I motor lit in the hotel room. I won't mention names or exact locations, but it was a midwest launch in 1991. The gentleman in question had an I65 in a EZI that he was prepping in his hotel room with the ignitor in the motor. A static discharge jumped across the ignitor leads and he had enough time to point the motor in the corner of the room, away from the other occupants. The lesson learned that quickly became a heavily enforced rule at every major launch is that you NEVER install ignitors until you get at least to the RSO table.

As for the Colorado guy, it doesn't say if the whole house blow'd up, or if it burnt down after part of it blow'd up.
it also says that he was KNOWN to play with motors and fireworks ... not that it was the cause!... lets not jump to conclusions
He couldn't possibly have been a rocket hobbyist like us. Period. Look at the damage done in the photos -- the house is LEVELED, the remains are charred, and there is nothing left. We all know that APCP simply DOES NOT react like that in open air. I place another vote for the winner of the Darwin award.

Or maybe he was (legally) storing 50 lbs of black powder for his interest in antique firearms? ;)
All the comments about propellant not possibly blowing up (detonating) are not correct. Let's clarify:

Properly mixed/formulated rocket propellant for amatuer rockets should not detonate. Propellant that you buy for use in High Power Rockets or Model Rockets (RMS type reloads, or single use motors) will not detonate.

IMPROPERLY mixed or formulated home-made propellant CAN INDEED detonate. I've seen the results and dealt with some of the damage clean-up while at MIT. We had a student who was making proellant for use in a research project. He violated safety protocols and was testing it alone in the basement test cell (lab). It detonated big time. The steel blast chamber and quartz window saved his life, but the door was blown open with TREMENDOUS force. It smashed into the shelves as it pivoted open crushing the wood. Every flourescent tube in the room was blown to bits. The student has hearing damage again, he might have been killed if the steel chamber had not protected him.

The steel door which had angle steel stiffeners was deformed (bowed outward) by the shock. I attempted to straighten it by propping it up on a curb and driving the MIT Aero Astro Dept truck over it. Did not get anywhere near the force needed to bend it back.... I ended up adjusting the door clamps and adding larger seals to prevent gas leakage (it had a powered vent).

Did I mention that the roof of the blast chamber was spring loaded to releive pressure in case of explosion. It was allegedly designed to withstand a stick of dynamite. The spring loaded roof worked, but not fast enough for this explosion.

The MIT Safety Office was not amuzed.

The term "Basement Bomber" was not made up by Vernon Estes merely to sell his products. It is real. I have other stories as well. Ever see someone blow their hand off making "rockets"?? The arterial bleeding (spurting) from the remains of the hand with the bones sticking out and the shredded skin hanging down is very memorable.
Originally posted by shreadvector
The term "Basement Bomber" was not made up by Vernon Estes merely to sell his products. [/B]

it was given to goddard after he blew up a basement where he was studying :D (forgot school and cant find his biography lying around anywhere)
seems this is indeed bad news....

snipped from news report>

Deputies said they have been at the house for small explosions in the past because the owner of the home builds rockets and narrowly survived the most recent explosion last week.

A little about the incident....

I live in Colorado and on our lists there has been a lot of discussion about this incident. First, the man, so far as we know here is that he wasnt TRA or NAR affiliated. Also, when you see pictures of the house leveled are after it had burned to the ground. The house burned for a couple hours after the explosion, it wasn't instantly leveled. The explosion is thought to have started in the garage, as the doors were found 30 feet away. From what I have gathered on news and through the lists he was a fireworks enthusiast and the media has confused that with rockets. We are pretty sure that he made large artillery shells. For some reason rockets/fireworks go hand in hand.

Right now here in Colorado we are trying to get the local news media out to a launch to see that we don't all have this much disregard for safety - let them see HPR, the good, lawndarts and CATO's....