Meet the South Africans who made history with their amateur rocket

Meet the South Africans who made history with their amateur rocket

- A group of local men have broken the amateur rocket altitude record

- They shared their achievement on social media

- They hope to break the international record one day

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A team of South Africans from Cape Rocketry has broken the Africa amateur altitude record with a successful launch of a rocket they made. The JR101 reached an amazing altitude of 10.37 km.

The four-man South African team consisting of Mark de Bruyn, his sons John and David, along with Dino Marx, also broke the previous record of 9.5 km.

Amateur rocketry, sometimes known as experimental rocketry, is a hobby in make their own rocket motors. According to Cape Rocketry, the rocket was built using all South African parts.

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The propellants include standard Ammonium Perchlorate which generates chlorine gas as a by product. JR101 is ultimately powered by a custom-built Ammonium Nitrate based motor. The other by product is water.

The rocket is also equipped with a GPS system, which is responsible for deploying the parachute and tracking the rocket to the landing site. The rocket burnt more than a kilogram of propellant within a single second.

According to a report on IOL, the rocket reached twice the speed of sound after seven seconds.

It traveled "faster than a rifle bullet, and had more kinetic energy than five African elephant bulls charging at top speed"

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The motor can reach temperatures of over 2 000ºC and after 45 seconds of flight time, it reportedly exceeded the height of Mount Everest by over a kilometre. It had to lose 20kg of its weight before achieving this height.

According to Cape Rocketry, their next challenge is to reach the 20km mark.

“There are other records to look out for. The European record is about 32km – that would be an interesting one for us to break"

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