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Scratch-built model rocket liftoff error

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Kitkat21

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Hello All!
I scratch built a model rocket, including a potassium nitrate engine. Went out to launch it after having done calcs and tests, and the top popped off, but the rocket didn't go anywhere (it also melted my launch pad). What could I have done wrong?

Kat:facepalm:
 

Steve Shannon

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Simple,
1. You built your own motor without a mentor to help you learn to do it safely.
2. You didn't follow any of the safety codes that were created because curious, smart, would be rocketeers were getting hurt.
There's nothing wrong with building your own rocket motors if you take certain precautions. Tripoli Rocketry Association requires that you be Level 2 certified first. That's a good start.
 

Kitkat21

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In any case, I would still like to use it as a learning experience and actually figure out what went wrong- I am super curious. Any ideas?
 

Steve Shannon

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We don't have enough information to know and homemade motors (research motors) have a special subforum here. They are not commonly discussed publicly because the information divulged might lead a curious person to try something and get hurt.
Find a nearby Tripoli Prefecture, get to know them, participate in their launches, get Level 1 and Level 2 certification, ask someone to mentor you, then learn as much as you can from them. You will then know exactly what went wrong.
Were you following a book, a website, a YouTube video? How did you teach yourself to what you did? Did you use computer software or math to calculate necessary parameters for your motor design, or just put some stuff together and hope it worked?
 
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