Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
  A random path.
Tonight I was watching the last of the three PBS science show pilots (you can watch them online if you want). Science Investigators was terrible, 22nd century was ok, and Wired Science was turning out to be all fluff and not much useful science; but the last part was on rocket backpacks which is cool. I've seen shows about rocket backpacks before, and besides them being rather limited in use (15-20second total flight time), they seem to be rather expensive to fly, so I thought I'd check out how expensive.

They use the monopropellent Hydrogen Peroxide, so I jumped over to wikipedia to find out more about it. Sure you can buy it at your local pharmacy, but the good stuff is far more concentrated and a lot harder to come by. Handling stuff over 70% concentrated turns out to be really dangerous and so they tend not to sell it to people trying to build their own backyard rocket packs. This has led to people trying to concentrate the stuff themselves, usually to the detriment of anyone in the immediate vicinity. There are also other ways to hurt yourself with it and apparently spilling it on your clothes can cause them to spontaneously combust after a period of evaporation of the water.

Anyways, one of the big dangers from Hydrogen Peroxide is BLEVE which I know all about from reading about steam. That's when a bunch of stuff that should be a vapor but is a liquid because its under pressure, rips apart the container its in when a leak forms allowing the entire contents to vaporize instantly. (Translation: very big boom)

Because of the thousands dead in numerous accidents the 1800s when steam vessels failed, you're basically not allowed to run a steam engine without certification & annual inspections. Tanker cars for propane had to be redesigned in the 1960s after numerous fires turned into massive explosions, killing or wounding everyone in the vicinity.

While a picture is pretty impressive of one of these, I figured a video would be even better, so I went browsing around on You Tube.

Didn't get to the explosions of fuel tanks, but this science teacher sure looks like he was putting his life on the line just to try and blast some interest in science into his class. Go see the entire series, starting with Mr. Smiths Liquid Nitrogen Demo (vid 1).

Labels: , ,

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
Life in the middle of nowhere, remote programming to try and support it, startups, children, and some tinkering when I get a chance.

January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / August 2008 / February 2009 / August 2009 / February 2010 / February 2011 / March 2011 / October 2011 / March 2012 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / December 2014 / February 2015 / March 2015 / July 2016 / September 2016 / December 2016 / April 2017 / June 2017 / July 2018 /

Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

Powered by Blogger