HUFFINGTON POST

Qu8k: Derek Deville's Amateur Rocket Reaches 121,000 Feet, Produces Amazing Video (VIDEO)

10/11/2011 10:17 am ET | Updated Dec 10, 2011

What's cooler than building a rocket and launching it over 120,000 feet?

Attaching video cameras to said rocket, then posting the video on YouTube for all to see.

Derek Deville and the team from Qu8k (pronounced "quake") built an amateur rocket to contend for the Carmack prize, a $10,000 award put up by John D. Carmack, a space fanatic and the creator of the Doom and Quake video games (hence the name of the rocket).

Carmack started the contest to reward the first team to build a rocket that exceeds 100,000 feet, according to The Escapist Magazine.

So, on September 30th, team Qu8k launched its rocket from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Traveling at speeds that exceeded Mach 3, the nearly 14-foot rocket reached a height of 121,000 feet in 92 seconds. To give you an idea of that height, commercial airlines tend to cruise between 30,000 and 40,000 feet.

According to Deville, the rocket flew for a total of 8.5 minutes and reached speeds of 900 feet per second on its descent. It landed only 3 miles from the launch pad.

But even though the Qu8k team's rocket exceeded the 100,000-foot ceiling for the Carmack prize, they probably won't be getting the money.

According to Deville, writing in a YouTube comment, "one of the requirements is GPS data over 100k. Even with four separate GPS systems, we were not able to get a high altitude fix." With no tangible record of the rocket's soaring ascent, it's unlikely that Deville and his friends will score the cash.

Multiple video cameras installed in the rocket caught the entire journey, so check out the video (below) to see what it's like to travel away from the earth at 3,200 feet per second. And if you can handle it, you can also watch the rocket's descent.

The team has cut cut two versions video of the rocket's trip, a 1:30 second version (available above) and a longer, 17:00 version, available below.

For some amazing pictures from the event, be sure to visit Qu8k's website.

WATCH: Unabridged version of Qu8K

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