Amateur Rocket Launch Reaches 121000 Feet

Led by Derek Deville, the rocketeers launched their custom-built 26 ft. (8 meter) Qu8k (pronounced "Quake") rocket on September 30, 2011 from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. It reached an altitude of 121,000 feet (36,880 meter) in 92 seconds, at speeds of 2,185 mph (3,516 km/h). Holy speeding missiles, Batman! The Qu8k rocket returned to Earth safely just 8.5 minutes later, landing 3 miles (5 km) from its launch point.

The incredible footage from on on-board camera shows the curvature of Earth and the black sky of space. See the full video below.

The launch was an attempt at the Carmack Prize, a challenge by John Carmack (creator of Doom and Quake and founder of Armadillo Aerospace) to hobbyist rocketeers to launch a rocket past 100,000 feet, log the feat with GPS, and recover the rocket intact after reentry. As the GPS devices on Qu8k failed to log readings above 100,000 feet, the attempt is likely disqualified.

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