The Chibi Project

Test 13: Rocket

Test Performed: Rocket
Test Date: December 21, 2001
Special Conditions: Bound with duct tape
Objective: To test Chibi Moon's endurance to the extreme force and temperature of a rocket engine

All photos are clickable for larger versions.

She doesn't seem scared at all. When we were nominated for the best web site in the Miscellaneous category of the 2001 Sailor Moon People's Choice Awards, we promised that we would do a destructive test if we won. We did. In return, we've done what is by far the most destructive test The Chibi Project has ever seen...the rocket test!

It was five months since our previous test. Part of the problem with doing this test and the reason for the delay was because we needed to find a suitable test area. We could not perform this test inside our research laboratories and the parking lot is always jam-packed with employees happily working we had to go someplace else.

This scene is about to be disrupted by a rocket firing We researched a number of locations, but as not to be interrupted by law enforcement officials, disturb innocent civilians, or cause harm to any property, we had a difficult time finding a testing site that was adequate to our needs.

Eventually, one of our co-workers working across the hall for's Lazer Tag Reference Guide suggested Cat Rock Park, a favorite local park where he often arranges Lazer Tag battles with his buddies. We scouted out the area and it seemed to be remote enough and open enough for our testing needs.

The most powerful available at WalMart --> Preparing the engine --> I think I hear muffled screams

Say your prayers, toadstool! For our rocket engines, we chose an Estes D12-3. These are the most powerful rocket engines available to the average consumer without spending a bundle at a specialty store. They deliver 12 Newtons of thrust. There is a three-second delay before the ejection charge is activated, but that doesn't concern us since there's no nose-cone and parachute to eject here.

The rocket igniter was placed inside the nozzle. We removed the wire twist-tie from Chibi Moon's waist and duct taped her under the business end of the rocket engine. The nozzle was pointed directly at her head.

The launch pad was cleared of debris for safety reasons. Once the pad was ready, Chibi Moon was placed in position.

3...2...1...IGNITION! After Chibi Moon was positioned on the launch pad, a quick check was made of the surrounding area to make sure there were no innocent civilians in the area. Once the area was determined to be clear, the countdown began...and the button was pressed.

You can watch the actual launch in episode 2 of The Chibi Project Podcast. We would like to apologize for the poor tracking of the rocket. Our cameraman didn't actually expect her to go anywhere and it was difficult to track such a small, fast-moving object. (This was our first Chibi Project test with video coverage.)

Not much left! The engine's thrust quickly burned through the duct tape. The engine went flying and took Chibi Moon with it. In a matter of seconds, the engine came to rest in a patch of grass. After a small fire was extinguished, the engine was recovered...but Chibi Moon was no longer attached! Had she been vaporized?

The engine was placed back on the launch pad for a photo. Note the black scorch marks on the rock that aren't there in the above photo.

The search began for Chibi Moon's body. After 20 minutes, her right half (the half that attended Mikkakan) was recovered. The search for the left half continued for about 25 minutes until dusk. When it was too dark to continue searching, it was called off.

That's no way to cook a burger! The search resumed the following day and within 15 minutes the left half was recovered. Photos of the devastation are below.

Have we seen the last of Chibi Moon? Was Test 13 her unlucky number? What is the future of The Chibi Project? Only time will tell.

Whatever happens, you can rest assured that our research team will keep attending anime conventions (with whatever's left of Chibi Moon) and would love to see you there! Keep checking in to find out where we're headed next!

Damage Assessment: Severe. Front paint is gone. Body charred. Melting in face and parts of body.
Conclusion: Chibi Moon cannot stand up to 12 Newtons of rocket thrust in her face.

Before Photos

Before (Front) Before (Back)

After Photos

After (Front) After (Back)

Note: Chibi Moon can no longer stand on her own. She is laying flat in the "After" photos.