Slow Motion Footage of Rocket Igniters is Mesmerizing

Rocket igniters are critical to the success of any rocket launching mission. This slow motion video reveals their secrets.
Jessica Miley

As the world watched Elon Musk launch the Falcon Heavy we were amazed at the rocket design and the theatre of it all. But who spared a thought for the rocket igniter? A rocket igniter does the very important job of providing the ignition for the rocket fuel to be ignited and sending it on its way. If you have never heard of these important little devices don’t worry. This fantastic video from Warped Perception takes us on a guided tour of the rocket ignitors that are being developed by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) at the University of Chicago (UIC). Filmed in 4K, the video is slowed down so you can see every glorious beautiful detail of ignition. These small ignitors really pack a punch. The AIAA is developing a custom type of rocket ignitor for competition rockets. The video films four of their prototypes to prove how they worked and try and help the understand for the team themselves exactly what happens at the point of ignition. A good rocket ignitor needs a lot of heat and redundancy and you can see just how powerful these very small amounts of propellants can be.