Check out my Youtube Channel, TimPickensRockets, for awesome videos!

Rocket Suitcase

Back in the early 1990s, I built this portable suitcase rocket engine to carry around to schools and demo fire and smoke. It served me well for hundreds of test firings. I used it my first month on the job when I went to work for Burt Rutan in Mojave, California, on SpaceShipOne. I served as lead propulsion designer, and this portable demonstrator was what I used to demo to Paul Allen during a rocket overview that I was asked by Burt to give to him and his team. I ended up giving him an overview on hybrids for about 15 minutes and then did a demo in my office and lab. The oxidizer is nitrous oxide and the fuel is plexiglass.

Steam Rocket

I built this steam rocket in about 1990 because solid rocket motors were too expensive. I was able to fly this rocket many times on water for about $3 per flight. It generated about 500 lb sec of force. This was my first flight. It weighed about 55 lbs fully loaded and had about 22 lbs of water heated to generate a pressure of about 300 psi. We later flew it to pressures up to 500 pse and hit over 2000 ft.