Today, we worked on the fins! Both our sub-scale and full-scale rockets need fins, so we decided that instead of spending hundreds of dollars on fins, we could very cheaply buy each material and glue them together. We are making about six fins for each rocket, we only need four, but extras are always good. The fins are made of Balsa wood, a material not known for its strength, so we are adding a layer or two of carbon fiber, and a smooth layer of fiberglass as a cover. To allow these layers to adhere, we are applying an epoxy, an adhesive mixture of two chemicals.
Over the weekend, a few members of our team went out to watch model rocket launches by various members of NC Rocketry, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and operation of amateur high power rocketry. Dr. LaCosse and Mr. Morey both launched their rockets. These are not the team's rockets.
Today, we decided to measure the elasticity of the shock cords for the drogue and main parachutes. The shock cord needs to be able hold the weight of the rocket under the parachute. When the drogue parachute, which slows our rocket down but not so much that it drifts, opens, it must suddenly carry the weight of the rocket. After the main parachutes open, allowing the rocket to land safely, an even greater weight must be supported. For this reason, both shock cords must be able to hold a large weight.
This blog will be updated once a week over the course of the 2018-2019 school year, detailing our progress. It will be signed at the end by a member of the team.