Fantastic 3-mile High Rocket Flight Captured with Raspberry Pi Camera

Drones & Vehicles Raspberry Pi Rockets Space
Fantastic 3-mile High Rocket Flight Captured with Raspberry Pi Camera


This Portland State Aerospace Society’s (PSAS) L-12 launch in mid-July is beautiful and impressive. PSAS is a student-based open source rocketry group out of Portland State University. They make all of their design files, flight data, documentation, launch procedures, etc. available on GitHub. PSAS has a history of pushing the envelope in amateur rocketry and they still have much loftier goals in sight.

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The L-12 rocket flight, the group’s thirteenth launch, took off above the Central Oregon desert at 11:15am Pacific, July 19th, 2015. The over 13′ tall lift-vehicle 2 (LV2.3) used a Cesaroni Technology (CTI) N-motor (N2501-W) to propel the rocket to an altitude of 5 kilometers (over 3 miles).


On-board were two Raspberry Pi computers with HD video cameras streaming live footage to the ground over a WiFi telemetry system. The L-12 also carried a custom GPS module built by PSAS. Definitely watch the video in hi-def to see the prettiest flight.

You can view a complete photo gallery of the L-12 launch on the group’s Flickr page. Their website and YouTube channel are also filled with background and documentation on this launch (and building and testing of the rocket), previous launches, and more about the group. If you’re interested at all in amateur rocketry, as an armchair enthusiast, hands-on hobbyist, or as a student or educator wanting to see what’s possible at the college level, check out PSAS.

And check out this super slo-mo video showing the umbilical disconnect on launch of the 3D printed, spring-loaded disconnect mechanism. Really impressive how professional amateur space is looking these days.

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The group’s long term goal is to eventually put a tiny satellite into orbit. As impossible as that may seem, you get the sense that they just might reach that lofty goal after watching this video introduction to the group.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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