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Estes Eagle CATO

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An Estes black powder rocket motor suffers a "Catastrophe At Take Off" (CATO) at the May, 2008, ROCK launch.

This slow-motion video was taken with a Casio EX-F1 camera. The camera recorded 1200 frames per second.

At Saturday's ROCK launch, I had my first chance to play with my new Casio EX-F1 camera. In addition to taking still photos at up to 60 frames per second (fps), it includes several high-speed video modes.

To try out the 1200 fps video mode, I set the camera on a tripod as the Estes Eagle was launched. The result was a spectacular CATO. The nozzle of the motor failed resulting in an upside-down roman candle on the pad.

In the 1200 fps mode, the camera takes a small 336 x 96 pixel video. The video is similar in size and aspect ratio to ad banners used on web sites. I turned the camera sideways to catch the rocket being launched. I used Adobe Premiere to rotate the video 90 degrees and to convert it from Quicktime format.

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