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  A tale of woodchucks, rocket fuel and eBay

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Author Topic:   A tale of woodchucks, rocket fuel and eBay
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27327
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 07-31-2005 02:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the Elmira Star-Gazette (Eileen Collins' hometown newspaper):
About six years ago, the brother of my former co-worker, Jim Lowman, was fishing off the shore near Cocoa Beach, Fla., and noticed several grayish objects bobbing in the water. He retrieved them and learned they were pieces of solid rocket fuel.

The discovery was made shortly after the 1999 launch of the space shuttle Columbia, which - like the shuttle launched this week - was commanded by Elmira native Eileen Collins.

The theory is that the material probably came from the shuttle's booster engines, which detach from the spacecraft and fall back into the ocean after the fuel is spent. Pieces of the propellant were mailed to Lowman in Elmira.

The material was highly flammable - spitting out blue flame and resembling a Fourth of July sparkler when lit.

Lowman and his neighbor, who told me the story, used up the fuel two years ago chasing woodchucks from the burrows the animals dug in the men's yards.

When the woodchucks were spotted going to the hole, the pieces of fuel were lit with a match and quickly tossed in behind them.

I told you that story to tell you this one.

Read the complete article here.

A related story also appears in today's paper: Shuttle souvenirs are out there.

These articles makes mention of a few specific auctions:

2003 Harley-Davidson: VRSC VRSCA Shuttle-Rod

Original NASA Space Shuttle Prototype .006 Scale Convai

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited July 31, 2005).]


Posts: 2488
From: Titusville, FL USA
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 07-31-2005 03:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I've heard that those pieces of spent solid fuel are called "moonrocks".

All times are CT (US)

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