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Wanna Buy a Reusable Rocket for 19k USD? 153

Posted by timothy
from the cheap-thrill dept.
Anonymous Coward writes with story from the Mainchi Daily News: "'Earlier this month, Hokkaido University started putting its Camui rockets on the open market. Camui rockets are true rockets, being 1.6 meters long, flying at 300 meters per second and parachuting slowly to the ground after reaching heights of up to 1 kilometer.' The Camui use a mixture of fixed fuel acrylic and liquid oxygen."
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Wanna Buy a Reusable Rocket for 19k USD?

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  • by Black Parrot (19622) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:14AM (#10533377)

    "Not recommended for use near airports or presidential motorcades."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Feh. If I only had some faster-than-light propulsion I would have got first post, but all I've got are these *damned* slow rockets. :-(
  • WMD? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:15AM (#10533381)
    This seems much more of a WMD than the Iraqi aluminum tubes. When does the bombing start?
  • by peterprior (319967) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:17AM (#10533390)
    Well, bonfire night in the UK is less than a month away. I wonder what the shipping time is on these. :)
    • Well, bonfire night in the UK is less than a month away. I wonder what the shipping time is on these. :)

      How are these going to be re-usable after they've been blown into a multi-cloloured explosion?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:18AM (#10533393)
    I don't want to start a holy war here, but what is the deal with you Camui rocket fanatics? I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Camui rocket (a 300m/s w/1km altitude max) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes. At home, on my Titan IV running 150m/s, which by all standards should be a lot slower than this Camui, the same operation would take about 2 minutes. If that.

    In addition, during this file transfer, the guidance system will not work. And everything else has ground to a halt. Even GPS is straining to keep up as I type this.

    I won't bore you with the laundry list of other problems that I've encountered while working on various Camuis, but suffice it to say there have been many, not the least of which is I've never seen a Camui that has run faster than its Boeing counterpart, despite the Camui's faster propellant architecture. My hobby kit model rocket with helicopter nose cose runs faster than this 300m/s rocket at times. From a productivity standpoint, I don't get how people can claim that the Camui is a superior machine.

    Camui addicts, flame me if you'd like, but I'd rather hear some intelligent reasons why anyone would choose to use a Camui over other faster, cheaper, more stable systems.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:20AM (#10533405)
      Never underestimate the bandwidth-distance of a Camui rocket filled with DAT-72 tapes...

      Might be a possible candiate for a new "space speed record" for data.
    • by RMH101 (636144)
      can we turn this into a "which is the better platform: crack or crystal meth" thread?
      • I've always found that on a price/performance basis methamphetamine just wipes the floor with crack. I reckon it would also make a much better active ingredient for all those 'energy drinks' than caffeine, taurine or guarana.
    • ...and this troll gets modded +2 insightful how, exactly?
    • I've been sitting here at my freelance gig in front of a Camui rocket (a 300m/s w/1km altitude max) for about 20 minutes now while it attempts to copy a 17 Meg file from one folder on the hard drive to another folder. 20 minutes.

      I would just like to ask the idiots who modded this +2 interesting how a rocket can copy things between folders on its harddrive.

      This is a copy/paste troll thats been around for ages. Fucking read the comment before you mod it next time...
      • If they like auto trolls complaints, why not expect a little more. E.g. from Scott Pakins Complaint generator:

        http://www.pakin.org/complaint?firstname=Camui& p gr aphs=10&gender=c

        "The purpose of this letter is to outline a plan to rise to the challenge of thwarting Camui's money-grubbing, vile plans. Let's review the errors in Camui's statements in order. First, Camui's use of acrimonious scrubs is unquestionably pathetic. I do not find warnings that are stingy, sexist, and impolitic to be "funny"
    • You just gotta know how to configure it properly! Don't wanna flame, but Camui's should not be held responsible for the (in)competance of their owner!
  • regulations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by rguiu (472301) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:19AM (#10533396) Journal
    Can anybody buy his/her own rocket and launch it from the backyard?

    With so much airtraffic is not a danger?

    Can be this technology used for making weapons? I remember the article of someone building cruise missiles: http://slashdot.org/articles/03/12/09/205252.shtml ?tid=137

    Seems very nice, but I would not like a plane shot down because a rich kid was playing with one of this toys.
    • Everyone should be allowed to protect their own backyard from overflying airtraffic...
      • Re:Second Amendment (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rguiu (472301)
        can a libian/sirian/north korean citizen protect his own backyard from US airliners too? How far can travel this "second amendment"?
        • Oh no no no... Listen up mister! I was talking about rights here. Rights only apply to Americans, in fact only to Right Thinking Americans tm. If the Liberals demons don't like the second amendment they should not be allowed to use it.

          Hmmm... maybe I should stop being ironic and maybe I should not have seen Outfoxed (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0418038/) last night.
        • Re:Second Amendment (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Stone Rhino (532581)
          Countries have sovereignty over their airspace, just as they do over their seas. They're free to withdraw overflight privileges and shoot down any plane that tries to enter, but to do so is likely to cause a diplomatic incident.
    • Re:regulations (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrXym (126579)
      I was landing at San Jose airport once and there were fireworks were exploding all around the plane. I have no idea why, and I doubt a tiny cracker would harm a jet, but it didn't seem like a good thing to me.

      Still, if I were a terrorist I wouldn't be looking to buy some proper rocket system. Over the counter fireworks seem like a great way to dump anthrax spores over a wide area. Do it at an event like bonfire night, July 4, New Years Eve etc. and you'd probably have a nice crowd of people standing under

      • Only problem with the fireworks/anthrax spore idea is that:
        1. when the firework is launched...how are you going to package it so the sports don't "burn up"
        2. when the firework explodes, how do you protect the spores?

        Grump
        • Re:regulations (Score:3, Informative)

          by DrXym (126579)
          Firework rockets usually consist of gunpowder propellant (to get them into the air), an explosive charge (i.e. more gunpowder tightly wrapped) and pellets containing various metallic compounds for the colourful 'starburst'. If you removed the pellets and packed it with your pathogen of choice it would have the desired effect. I imagine some thick cardboard would insulate the contents sufficiently for most of it to survive.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Concerned your plane might be shot down by a rich kid's rocket?

      Sir, the affordable Camui range is aimed at the masses so your plane is much more likely to be brought down by missiles fired by kids from lower income families.

      I trust this allays your fears.

      Camui Marketing Director

    • Re:regulations (Score:2, Informative)

      by jguthrie (57467)
      Can anybody buy a rocket and launch it from his backyard? Well, it depends on where you live. If you live in the United States, then the answer is a qualified "yes". It's "qualified" because you're not supposed to launch any rockets near airports.

      The air traffic is not really an issue, even near a airports. It's hard to hit an airplane with a rocket. That's why military missles are guided and typically use some sort of proximity fuse and explosive warhead. Those guidance systems and warheads with pr

    • Re:regulations (Score:3, Interesting)

      by The_REAL_DZA (731082)
      "Can this technology used for making weapons?"

      For some strange reason, there's something | There [railgun.org]
      called a "lameness filter" that repeatedly | are [trebuchet.com]
      rejected all attempts to post this message | lots [siege-engine.com]
      the way I wanted it to appear and saying I | of [amazon.com]
      had too few characters per line and that I | technologies [usda.gov]
      needed to reduce the count of "junk" chars | that [spudtech.com]
      per line in my post. Perhaps it's just me, | can [aborigine-blowguns.com]
      but I think that making me do something so | be [backyardartillery.com]
      TOTALLY HOKEY as THIS, JUST so the post'll |
    • Re:regulations (Score:2, Informative)

      by solodex2151 (700977)
      All of the existing regulations in place for High Power Rocketry would apply to these rockets. You need a cleared FAA wavier in order to fly anything above 2500 feet. These are not hard to obtain, and 95% of the population in the US is within 3-4 hours of a high power capable launch site. On the other hand, rockets are NOT capable of shooting down planes. Some government agencies tried proving this before, but were unsuccessful and looked like idiots doing it. Also, the rockets are not impressive at al
  • by Prophetic_Truth (822032) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:21AM (#10533409)
    No, Not really.
  • why is this here? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by poptones (653660) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:22AM (#10533410) Journal
    a km? I made a solid fuel estes when I was in Jr. High that would go to 3000ft (more or less a km) and it required none of that other crap. It was about a meter tall, had three stages, and used three solid fuel engines that, all combined, cost about ten bucks.

    Why is this a story? Someone deisgned and constructed an overpriced, hard to use, liquid fuel rocket that can be outperformed by a twenty year old Estes and is offering copies of it for sale, but no one has been stupid enough to buy one yet. This is news?
  • by ceeam (39911) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:41AM (#10533471)
    19k big firework that you need some liquid oxygen to launch. Hm... Sounds like a bargain, what's the catch?
  • On road costs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hfis (624045) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:47AM (#10533492)
    Whilst 19k sounds like an "ok" (hah) price, imagine the 'on road' costs of running this thing. That fuel isn't cheap, no matter where you are..
    • I guess that means I'll be throwing away my plans for an alternative fuel car based on a liquid oxygen rocket. Do I have to send the government their grant money back?
  • by nilbog (732352) on Friday October 15, 2004 @05:50AM (#10533501) Homepage Journal
    The Bush administration has found evidence of a massive WMD missile facility in your backyard.
    • Re:IN OTHER NEWS: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by syrinje (781614)
      Aiiieeaaaaaarrhhhh! Where are my mod points ehen I am really moded to laughter by a post - someone please Mod Parent Funny.

      OMFG, I just realised this could just be true (and insightful)....Hey Jimbo, go run check on the tarp ....

    • Re:IN OTHER NEWS: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nathanh (1214)
      The Bush administration has found evidence of a massive WMD missile facility in your backyard.

      That's OK. You have no oil in your backyard so you're perfectly safe, just like North Korea.

    • We should all chip in, buy a couple and send them to Iraq so W can find justification for the invasion.

      Well, then again, it'd look a bit silly since he changed the reason so many times since.

  • by ceeam (39911) on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:00AM (#10533537)
    Is there a section for a cat or do you strap it externally? Do they provide a tiny helmet?
  • by mikeophile (647318) on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:06AM (#10533555)
    http://www.h2orocket.com/ [h2orocket.com]

  • pictures ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by weighn (578357) <weighn&gmail,com> on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:07AM (#10533560) Homepage
    there's some pics here [hokudai.ac.jp]. and a cnn story here [cnn.com].
  • Ainu (Score:4, Informative)

    by kahei (466208) on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:12AM (#10533573) Homepage

    The real significance of this project is that it's probably about the last time anyone names anything in Ainu, the old language of Japan... ...although SNK fans will recall that Nakoruru's moves are named in Ainu, and her 'Kamui Mutsube' is Ainu for 'God Blade'. The real Ainu pronunciation would be more like 'Mutpe' though. Okay, I'm rambling.

    • Japan is one place that could use a few less languages. As a gaijin, I'm dumbfounded by their what, four written languages. And don't even get me started on their three different numbering schemes...
    • Re:Ainu (Score:1, Troll)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      That is the most inane post I have ever seen in my life. Seriously. I congratulate you. Not only did you utterly waste my time it took to read that, but you managed to get modded up so that most others will also utterly waste their time reading it.
  • by vudufixit (581911) on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:13AM (#10533576)
    With the surplus decommissioned missile silo I picked up for a pittance. Next step: declaring my fully armed and operational missile silo sovereign territory. Surviving relatives of Randy Weaver, Ted Kaczinsky and David Koresh are welcome to stay with me.
  • by Rie Beam (632299) on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:16AM (#10533586) Journal

    I Googled for "Camui rockets", to see if the whole "1 km" deal was true. From what I read, this article was taken from an AP article, which originally read:

    "The Camui-50P rocket was developed by a team from Hokkaido University and can fly as high as one kilometer (0.6 mile) within three seconds after take off"

    Dunno if that means "that's as high as it gets" or "that's how high it can get within that short amount of time"; for $19,000, though, let's hope it's the second one.
  • by D4MO (78537) on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:20AM (#10533598)
    ..at 300 meters per second. A little over 3 seconds worth of blast. Hey, lasts longer than me, honey.
  • by DevilsEngine (581977) on Friday October 15, 2004 @06:20AM (#10533601)
    I have hybrid engine models (acrylic / NO2) that are larger and go higher. Heck, I had refillable solid engine models that were considerably more powerful -- though with new regulations, getting the refills has become too much of a hassle. I don't see anything to this that wasn't available in dozens, if not hundreds, of High Power Rocketry models available ten years ago. Standing next to me at the moment (in two pieces, because it's too tall to be assembled indoors) is a 11' tall model on 5.5" tubing (at base, step down to 4" at top). Hybrid engine in the "L" range. It's made half a dozen flights on hybrid power, and a couple before that with solids. Easily clears a mile. Next to it is a LOC Magnum, a standard kit available for nearly a decade, with what has to be a good twenty flights to better than a kilometer on a "J" class hybrid. What makes these any less "true rockets?"
  • Obligatory Alan Cox quote [google.com]
  • by Doc Ruby (173196)
    Will they ship to addresses in North Korea? Because the North Koreans can send them right back to the return address, but at least about 10-15Kg heavier [wikipedia.org].
  • No and ill tell you why, Hobby stores sell a reusable rocket with a paracute and using solid based cheap fuels that can reach a thousad meters for twenty quid. Although the one i bought turn itself into a missile shortly after take off. Skimming the heads of passers by and embedding itself into a tree. So im sure the one for 19k is a bit safer!!
  • The Camui use a mixture of fixed fuel acrylic and liquid oxygen.
    Does this make acrylic sweaters dual-use items?
  • by tod_miller (792541) on Friday October 15, 2004 @07:10AM (#10533726) Journal
    Star-struck space lovers can now buy their own bona fide rockets, thanks to a Hokkaido University aiming for the stars, according to Weekly Playboy (10/26).

    ?? So I am not the only one who reads the articles?

    Lets think seriously:

    1: When does linux get installed
    2: What kind of imaging can we expect
    3: Some more money than sense geek gonna hack us up a nice GPS tracking and imaging softwqare with gyro compass and GIS based ground sensing auto navigation?

    Neat.
  • Real Rockets! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Natchswing (588534) on Friday October 15, 2004 @07:15AM (#10533736)
    > Camui rockets are true rockets (...) reaching heights of up to 1 kilometer.

    One kilometer?? DEBI [erau.edu] was a real rocket. [pictures [erau.edu]] About 30 feet long, two stage solid fuel. With 40 G's acceleration it reached mach 10 in a little under 30 seconds (below 40km altitude) and sailed to a apogee of about 800km. Since the rocket had a ballistic trajectory we needed clearance through the pentagon to circumvent the anti-ballistic missle treaty.

    Even little baby Loki Dart's [designation-systems.net] will reach 50km on a good day.

  • Here is a CNN article w/ a picture
    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/10/05/explorers.rocke t.ap/ [cnn.com]

  • I can think of a certain Jrock star who definitely has a Camui rocket in his pants.
  • Yes, I am very interested in buying one of these rockets. Tell me, what size warhe.. er.. payload does it carry?

    Osama
  • My ultralight will get you to 1 km, stay there for hours and then gently fly back to the ground, carrying a payload of 200 kg... And it's fully reusable! And you can have it for 10k only.
  • These guys talk say that "We want to use the technologies we've developed by making our small, hybrid fuel rockets to create new rocket markets."

    In another article today on Burt Rutan (link [yahoo.com]), he talked about how "Lockheed and Boeing will be making very low-cost access to space hardware within 20 years. They just don't know it yet...because they're going to have to."

    We're just starting down the path where lower costs allow new users into a market, which increases sales volumes, which further reduces pr
  • My only question about these things is whether or not I'm able to strap one to the roof of my Chevy Impala?
    I mean, it's not a JATO unit, but it would still be one hell of a ride before I hit that canyon wall :)
  • With all the past things people have done to hamsters (no Richard Gere jokes please), it's only a matter of time before one takes a ride on a personal rocket.

    When the new police station/courthouse opened in town, it had one of those air-delivery mail systems, like your bank's drive-up teller window. Within two weeks, the newspaper printed an article that some people had been disciplined for sending a hamster all around the building!

    kM
  • I am level 2 certified through the National Association of Rocketry [nar.org] and Tripoli Rocketry Association [tripoli.org]. I have rockets, built from kits purchased for under $200 and propelled by solid fuel motors [aerotech-rocketry.com] for around $200 or hybrid motors [hypertekhybrids.com] for about $100 that can carry a 0.5 pound payload far higher than one kilometer. Anybody on this list who is willing to take a few evenings to build a rocket kit, spend the money to join NAR or TRA, and join the nearest high power rocketry club will be able to launch a small TV tra
  • Imagine - a home-built SpaceShipOne!

    "And you're going to do WHAT with that tanker truck full of NO2 and those old tires in your backyard?"
  • That's lame, to say the least. There are much more capable homemade rockets capable of reaching a mile or more.

    One kilometer is 3280 feet. I've taken my homebuilt airplane (RV-7 [vansaircraft.com]) to 18,000 ft (5.48 kilometers, the highest allowed in VFR flight) several times still showing 500 fpm climb and other RV builders with setups similar to mine have made it to 25,900 ft. (7.59 kilometers) [hiwaay.net]

    This rocket costs 2.1 million Yen is $20,000 US dollars. A finished RV will cost you about twice that but it'll get you a lot
  • Akira: Yes, you have very lucky dishes, Mr. Simpson. This soap is from the sacred forests of Hokkaido, renowned for its countless soap factories.

    Homer: [thoughtfully] Hokkaido, eh?

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