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US rocketeer thunders to 121,000ft

Mighty thruster vies for altitude prize

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A US rocketeer's mighty thruster has thundered to 121,000ft above Nevada, in the process returning some seriously impressive footage.

Derek Deville's Qu8k soared from the launchpad at Black Rock Desert on 30 September. Here's the full-fat vid of the mission, and there's a shorter version right here:

Qu8k was built to take a shot at the Carmack 100kft Micro Prize, a $5k altitude gauntlet thrown down by John Carmack, the Doom and Quake programmer and founder of Armadillo Aerospace.

Back in February, Carmack slapped the cash on the table for "for the next ground launched rocket flight above 100,000' with GPS log and successful recovery".

It appears he might now have to open his chequebook, if Deville's flight data is anything to go by. You can find the proof here, along with more on the Qu8k design and construction. ®

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