Science

Murphy's Law And The Rocket Sleds That Love It

Exactly what part of “rocket sled” sounds like a good idea to you? I’ll give you a hint: none of it. Separately sure, rockets and sleds can be slightly hazardous. But slap them together and you’ve got yourself a fuel-injected suicide machine. Just look at the carnage wrought this collection assembled by our friends at Oobject.

When you finish pulling your teeth from the back of your throat, check out the dirty dozen of crash test dummies, these ejection seat test videos, and a collection of things that don’t need rockets but get rockets nonetheless.

Edwards Air Force Base Rocket Sled Test

John Paul Stapp riding the rocket sled that was only intended for crash test dummies to prove that people couldnt withstand deceleration beyond 18G. Stapp tested it to 35G.

10,200 kph Rocket Sled

Things have come a long way since the 321kph Gee whiz tests. The Holloman High Speed Test Track carried out a missile test on a sled track that reached 10,200 kph, crossing 3 miles on 6 seconds and breaking a 20 year old world speed record.

Sandia National Laboratories, Sled Track Impact Test

A bizarre looking setup from Sandia Labs test track, that is reminiscent of 50s TV sci-fi, Flash Gordon style.

Gee Whiz, the rocket sled that gave rise to Murphys Law

Col. John Paul Stapp aboard the Gee Whiz rocket sled at Edwards Air Force Base. The origin of the term Murphys Law comes from an engineer of the same name who worked on the Rocket Sled program.

Martin Baker Eurofighter rocket sled

Rocket Sled travelling at 5359 kph

A good demonstration of extreme flash photography, The sled is travelling at 4800 ft/s which is approximately 5359 kph.

Sonic Wind no 1 Rocket Sled

Sonic Wind No. 1, the rocket sled ridden by John Paul Stapp in the 1950s is now on display at the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Phantom F4 rocket sled impact test

This picture shows a Phantom jet with engines, the instant before it slammed into 4.5 metres of reinforced concrete at nearly 800 kilometres an hour. Click through if you want to see a video of what happens next.

Ejection Test Rocket Sled Rig

A relic from the past on display in Louisiana. These mockups consisted of an aircraft fuselage, fitted on rails and powered by rockets, in order to test ejection systems.


Have you subscribed to Gizmodo Australia's email newsletter? You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Product And Price Finder

Find more great products at