Bringing Sixy.. Back!

As our Twitter followers know, RPL found SixyBack in early January. It was located about 7 miles away from the launch site. The GPS pings we received during the flight were invaluable in predicting where it landed. The highest ping showed an altitude of approximately 63,000 feet AGL, which is a record for RPL! From that height, it would have been able to see as far as Mexico, Las Vegas, and near the Bay Area.

Like our previous record holder, Silver Spur 3, SixyBack suffered an avionics or recovery malfunction, and it impacted the desert. Very little of it was intact when we found it, and there is only a slim chance that we will get any data from the memory cards. Nevertheless, we consider the project a success, because the filament-wound motor case performed excellently; the nosecone TPS was only slightly ablated, proving that it will work for Traveler; and the GPSs were able to regain signal lock and transmit the rocket's position before apogee.

Here's a picture of some members of the recovery team with their SixyBits: