Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Rocket

I mentioned before that my son had a rocket project for school. We finally got a chance to actually complete the project last Sunday.

First of all, it was a little frustrating because his teacher was pretty adamant about what he wanted my son to do but a little vague on how he was to go about doing it. My son, being a little shy, wouldn't pin him down on this matter.

Son: Lt. Prince wants me to shoot the rocket off at different angles and predict something from that.

Me: What does he want you to predict?

Son: I don't know, he said something about thrust and something else. You can go to a web site and put in the information and it shows you the path of your rocket.

Me: Where's the website? Where do we get this information?

Son: Uh, I will ask him tomorrow.

Next day comes...

Me: Did you talk to your teacher?

Son: Yes, he said something about thrust. Thrust and how high the rocket will go. There is a website.

Me: Where is this website? How the heck are we supposed to know the thrust?

Son: I don't know. I keep asking him but he is used to talking to college students and he uses big words I can't understand. He ran for office twice.

My son seems to think this is a good explanation for the fact that the guy can't seem to speak in simple terms. Ha! He may be right.

Me: Would you please ask him what information you need to know, a web site, something?

Son: I will try but he is hard to talk to. He said something about looking at the website where we bought the rocket.

Oh. My. Gawrsh. I wanted to wring his neck. Both of their necks. So on this went for days. I know this wasn't my project. My husband reminded me of that. "But I want to be an involved parent!" I whined. "I don't want to do it for him, but I want to make sure it gets done and not just abandon him!"

Yeah, well guess who finally looked up the websites that gave him the info he needed? ME. Here is a great website for predicting altitude. My son input all the numbers they asked for (finally got that info from the rocket we bought) and found that at zero degrees past vertical the rocket should go about 750 feet into the air with a flight time of about 55 seconds.

By the way, when looking for a rocket to purchase, he ended up choosing the one that gave the highest maximum altitude. Most of the rockets weren't supposed to go over 600 feet or so, but the rocket we bought listed a maximum altitude of 1000 feet. This may have been a mistake.

We went to the ranch to shoot off the rocket because there is a little more room than here at home. He got the motor in and everything all set up and ready to go.

I was able to capture some pictures from the film I took of the whole thing:

Putting in the parachute

Hooking up the motor to the launcher

Getting ready for take off


See the little building in the background? That is my mother-in-law's laundry room. Heh heh.

The rocket went very very high. After the parachute came out and it started sailing, I was afraid it was going to go a mile.

The whole experiment thing was kind of dumb because he was supposed to predict how high it would go but had no way of knowing how high it really went. All we know is that the flight time was 30 seconds longer than predicted. Duh to the teacher.

No rocket, just rain clouds

The grin says it all

He is telling me that the rocket landed in the neighbor's tree. One of the ones over his right shoulder. So much for wider more open spaces.

This is the one and only flight my son's rocket took. He was supposed to shoot it off at least 3 times, preferably more, for the whole experiment. But he was having a lot of trouble with the fins coming off and after the rocket was recovered from the neighbor's tree, 2 of the fins came off--one is gone forever.

After he repairs the rocket we will definately be setting it off again. This time it will be just for fun.

1 comment:

KarenK said...

Whish, boom, crash -- Congratulations!!