Few scientific undertakings capture the public imagination like rocket launches, judging by the throngs of spectators headed to Cape Canaveral to witness the maiden flight of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy vehicle on Tuesday.
While this launch is shaping up to be particularly spectacular—the Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket to take to the air since the NASA’s Saturn V, after all—even hobbyist launches of small model rockets have their own miracles to share.
Take this new video from Warped Perception, a YouTube channel run by DIY experimenter Matt Mikka, which shows close-up, slow-motion shots of model rocket igniters combusting into mesmerizing patterns of fiery energy.
It’s fascinating to watch how differently each blast plays out depending on the propellant, from the slow-burn (relatively speaking) of the E-match igniter to the gorgeous blaze of the igniter designed by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics chapter at the University of Illinois, shown above.
These igniters are much different in scale and design from the mechanisms that spark massive rockets like the Falcon Heavy into gear, but the basic concept of turning a buttload of chemical energy into a kinetic megaboost is the same—and just as jaw-dropping.
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