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Lander/Rover project ends in catastrophic failure (AKA: Boom)

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Serpico

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3 yrs in the making; destroyed in 5 seconds :(

Always a chance this can happen - I happen to won the lottery this day. Made a 6.5 hour trek to NARAM58 this weekend to launch my lander/rover project... The solid rocket motor assembly (appears to have) failed 50 feet off the ground and the resultant explosions destroyed 3 years of work and thousands of dollars in less than 5 seconds. The failure resulted in a 100% loss of all vehicles (Launch vehicle, Lander, and Rover) and most of the electronics. I am shipping the fractured/melted casing and forward enclosure to the manuf. for analysis per their request.

You can see the launch video's here:
https://youtu.be/lZdIWAI9kHM
https://youtu.be/QcllMr-2NLc

Additional launch pictures here:
https://goo.gl/photos/gBoDL3aKuJNDWkjk8

I know this outcome is always a probability. I know I sound bitter; I am. I'm still sick to my stomach. Sounds ridiculous but after 3 years this project became a regular part of my weekly routine. Gonna miss her.

Signed,
"Sad in Springfield"
 

rfjustin

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Very sorry to see this happen! :(

What motors was used? Was a seal disk used? I trust it was loaded to manufacturer specs/directions?
 

Serpico

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Very sorry to see this happen! :(

What motors was used? Was a seal disk used? I trust it was loaded to manufacturer specs/directions?
Thanks, yes a seal disk was used. It was an Aerotech J570W. The assembly was reviewed a few times by myself and again by a couple folks attending and running NARAM58. All appeared to be correct (no missing parts, extra seals, extra o-rings, etc.).
 

samb

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The wound is still too fresh for me to look at any pictures or video. :(:facepalm::hot::shock::sigh:
 

thomas

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Very sorry for your project. I have just read your project page, it looked so great.

There is some wire hanging down from the rocket right below the motor, is this the igniter?
 

DavidMcCann

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:jaw::puke:

"That sucks" just doesn't cover that. Oh man.
 

FredA

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Given the condition of the forward end of the motor, I would guess that the nozzle was obstructed.
What did you use for igniter?
Did you put it on a stick or anything foreign inserted into the motor?
 

crossfire

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So how is filling out a MESS report going to help these guys out? Years of work gone in a flash.
 

MikeyDSlagle

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Holy crap that sucks. I followed a good bit of the build, was an awesome project.
 

Serpico

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Very sorry for your project. I have just read your project page, it looked so great.

There is some wire hanging down from the rocket right below the motor, is this the igniter?
That is the igniter - it hung in there for a little.

Given the condition of the forward end of the motor, I would guess that the nozzle was obstructed.
What did you use for igniter?
Did you put it on a stick or anything foreign inserted into the motor?
I used the supplied igniter, it went into the motor with no resistance whatsoever. Didn't use any tools to place igniter.
 

Pem Tech

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That is truly sad.
My condolences on all you hard work.
I suggest drinking, heavily.
 

burkefj

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Deleted....
 
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K'Tesh

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Really sorry to see your project go down like that.
 

mpitfield

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Man that sucks.

On a personal note, your workmanship and attention to detail is fantastic, love the pre-launch checklist. Was that a Fruity Chute I saw packed, was it also a write off?
 

Tonimus

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Been there, done that... I'm still bitter about my loss as well. I'm sorry, dude.
 

markkoelsch

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So how is filling out a MESS report going to help these guys out? Years of work gone in a flash.
Gary, does not help them, but it could help identify a larger issue if one exists.

Sorry about the project- does suck.
 

ksaves2

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Ah man, that's too good a project not to rebuild.
Ahhhhhh, He said quite the investment in gold ($$$$$) and time to pull off. I'd expect perhaps hardware/motor replacement but due to the nature of the hobby, it could hardly be expected that the pricey parts would be covered. I had the experience of losing a $70.00 GPS tracker from a forward closure
failure and didn't expect restitution for the electronics. If one flies it, there is some degree of risk involved that one has to live with. Still, my sympathies for the loss. Kurt
 

Nick@JET

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Very sorry to hear that! I haven't experienced loss like that in the rocket hobby but definitely have in the race car hobby.

I junked 2 rockets in one day, losing a camera and a couple altimeters and breaking a GPS tracker, I was licking my wounds and CJ shared an awful rocket story he experienced flying out west and I realized it is part of the hobby. Still hurts though, hope you get back at it, there are going to be mostly good times.
 

Serpico

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Thanks all for the kind words - much appreciated!

That is truly sad.
My condolences on all you hard work.
I suggest drinking, heavily.
I concur with your advice.

Man that sucks.

On a personal note, your workmanship and attention to detail is fantastic, love the pre-launch checklist. Was that a Fruity Chute I saw packed, was it also a write off?
Thanks! Yes I had 2 Fruity Chutes in this configuration: Rd/White 8' for the Lander recovery, and a Yellow/Black 5' for the airframe recovery.
 

Serpico

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Finally got around to digging the motor casing out of the airframe - shipping to Aerotech. Here are some high resolution shots of the casing and forward:


IMG_20160731_193246923.jpgIMG_20160731_193241973.jpgIMG_20160731_193236445.jpg

IMG_20160731_192402191.jpgIMG_20160731_192356342.jpgIMG_20160731_192352787.jpg
 

ksaves2

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Dastardly failure. Kurt
 

Serpico

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I received got word back from Aerotech on the failure:

"I have looked at the motor remains that (customer) sent in. It is my conclusion the motor failed at the seal disc liner interface due to either a cracked liner, damaged o-ring, seal disc backing out of its position. In the liner or a combination of the above. There is always the potential error by the customer with the installation of the seal disc o-ring not being seated properly. I will replace the 38/1080 hardware and the J570 reload, our warranty does not cover the rocket or its components."

So there we have it - final chapter closed on this project. Time to complete last phase or mourning then onto redesign and rebuild!

Thanks folks for the kind words and condolences.
-F
 

sandeja1

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I received got word back from Aerotech on the failure:

"I have looked at the motor remains that (customer) sent in. It is my conclusion the motor failed at the seal disc liner interface due to either a cracked liner, damaged o-ring, seal disc backing out of its position. In the liner or a combination of the above. There is always the potential error by the customer with the installation of the seal disc o-ring not being seated properly. I will replace the 38/1080 hardware and the J570 reload, our warranty does not cover the rocket or its components."

So there we have it - final chapter closed on this project. Time to complete last phase or mourning then onto redesign and rebuild!

Thanks folks for the kind words and condolences.
-F
That was terrible to watch and I am sorry you experienced the failure! I hope you will continue to build and launch rockets though.

My condolences on this loss
 

Zeus-cat

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Really sorry to see the destruction of such a great rocket and project. I've crashed a few and I know how much it hurts.

I used to handle warranty for an aerospace manufacturer. Aerotech's reply is exactly how I would have replied. It was in our contracts that we are only responsible for replacing the parts we made. Damage or destruction of other components is not covered. Hard for the owner to hear that, but just too expensive to cover all the other stuff. In addition, since the motors are assembled by the user there are too many variables out of the manufacturer's control to provide coverage for parts that they know nothing about.
 

CORZERO

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Motor assembly failure. Indeed, an expensive lesson to learn. Sorry for your loss. I was a follower and was excited for a successful launch. When you've completed your grieving process and pull yourself up by your bootstraps, consider:

 
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