Hybrid Rocket - in Popular Culture

In Popular Culture

An October 26, 2005 episode of the Television show MythBusters entitled "Confederate Rocket" featured a hybrid rocket motor using liquid nitrous oxide and paraffin. The myth purported that during the American Civil War, the Confederate Army was able to construct a rocket of this type. The myth was revisited in a later episode entitled Salami Rocket, using hollowed out dry salami as the solid fuel.

In the February 18, 2007 episode of Top Gear, a Reliant Robin was used by Richard Hammond and James May in an attempt to modify a normal K-reg Robin into a reusable space shuttle. Steve Holland, a professional radio-controlled aircraft pilot, helped Hammond to work out how to land a Robin safely. The craft was built by Senior members of UKRA and achieved a successful launch, flew for several seconds into the air and managed to successfully jettison the solid fuel rocket boosters on time. This was the largest rocket launched by a non-government organisation in Europe. It used 6 x 40960 NS O Contrail Rockets motors giving a maximum thrust of 8 metric tons. However, the car failed to separate from the large external fuel tank due to faulty explosive bolts between the Robin and the external tank and the Robin subsequently crashed into the ground and seemed to have exploded soon after. In fact this explosion was added for dramatic effect as hybrids do not explode in the way depicted.

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