Mini-Grants: Discovery Park

Discovery Park
Summary – Rocketry Courses – 2004

Physics 298 Section D – Eastern Arizona College
Physics of Model Rocket Flight
Beginning Workshop

Two workshops were held during the 2004 calendar year serving 24 students. See newspaper write-up attached. This workshop focused on the basics of model rocketry and required each student to complete flight equations by hand followed by a computer analysis of the flight equations. This compared the manual solution to the computer solution showing the convenience, accuracy and time saving features of the computer. The fabrication of a rocket from a commercial kit was required. The rockets were launched on the final day of class.

Physics 298 Section E – Eastern Arizona College
Physics of Model Rocketry Flight
Advanced Workshop

Two workshops were held during the 2004 calendar year serving 5 students. This workshop focused on the computer design, building the rocket from scratch, and launching the rocket. The design parameters were to construct a rocket to carry a hen’s egg 1,300 feet and recover the rocket and egg intact. The parameters forced a two-stage rocket design. The rocketry design program SpaceCad [] was purchased and used for both sections of the course – see sample datasheet attached. A Dell computer was purchased to assist the rocketry class and provide a workstation for the students enrolled in the rocketry classes held at Discovery Park. This has been a very popular program and is expanding each semester. We are now launching advanced rockets up to 4 feet in length with “G” motors – the largest motor that does not require the responsible person to hold a National Association of Rocketry (NAR) certification. (But we are working on that!)

Launch Day –

The class was divided into three sections – Launch Control, Tracking / Range Control, and Recovery. Each section had their specific duties to carry out during the launch. Each student launched their own rocket observing safety guidelines while the tracking crew called in the angle of apogee and the time of descent allowing an altitude calculation to be made. The recovery crew chased the rocket and returned it to launch control.

Discovery Park is grateful for the $400 grant through the Arizona Space Grant Consortium. The money was used to replace an aging Gateway computer that was not able to run the software used in the class. A Dell 4600 desktop workstation and SpaceCAD software were procured to conduct the rocketry program. Thank you – it is a blast!

Discovery Rocket 1
EAC student prepares rocket for flight – carefully “stuffing” the parachute into the rocket body.

Discovery Rocket 2
The Launch Controller is checking the rocket and launcher – and finally connecting the rocket motor igniter to the battery powered launch control panel.

Discovery Rocket 3
Countdown begins…

Discovery Rocket 4
Madhuri Bapat, Physics Instructor at Eastern Arizona College tabulates data as it is radioed in from Tracking and Range Control.

Discovery Rocket 5
Eastern Arizona College physics student assists two young men from the San Carlos Apache Tribe as they prepare to launch their rocket.

Discovery Rocket 6
Workstation with SpaceCAD showing the flight dynamics of a rocket designed by the advanced class.


View the SpaceCad Datasheet PDF


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