Sciences pures et appliquées

Building a rocket

Kristina Glenn-Grabowski

My goal with this project was to determine the best parachute design for my model rocket. As seen in the video, I made three different parachute designs. The first consisted of a standard octagonal parachute that I used as reference to compare the nest two that I made. The second parachute was also octagonal, but I added a spill hole (a hole at the top of the parachute). Theoretically, the spill hole would reduce swinging and allow for a straighter descent. This is what I intended on testing. My third parachute was an X-form which basically reassembles a cross. Once again, theoretically, an X-form parachute should create less drift and allow for a more stable descent in comparison to the first standard parachute I made.  My goal was to use the standard parachute as reference and compare the spill hole and the X-form to determine which parachute would recover my rocket with the most control. The results of my project were disappointing. Unfortunately, I ran into many problems that were out of my control. During the first launch, the parachute did not deploy. Once I modified my parachute it worked, however we had no choice but to launch in mild winds, the rocket travelled half a kilometer from where it launched and got stuck at the very top of a tall tree. Many attempts to recuperate the rocket were tried but unfortunately, I failed to bring it down. This said, I still learned a lot from what I was able to accomplish.

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