GIF: YouTube

Despite only giving you about a second of excitement at launch, model rockets are still a fun way for us (non-billionaires) to live out our dreams of space travel. But have you ever wondered what’s happening inside a model rocket engine while you’re standing a safe distance away from ignition?

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YouTube’s Warped Perception channel cut an Estes model rocket engine in half (something you definitely shouldn’t try at home) and constructed a special see-through housing so they could film the burn at 1,500 frames-per-second using a high-speed camera.

Model rocket engines feature two stages of solid fuel: a primary one for blast-off which burns longer, and a second faster burn, in the opposite direction, which releases a parachute or ignites a second stage. Both are revealed in this high-speed footage, which only serves to confirm that you want to be at a safe distance when these things ignite.

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[YouTube via The Awesomer]