AE Unit 11: Rockets

Designing and building rockets

ROCKETS OVERVIEW

 Download the Bug Bot Assignment

Now that we’ve looked at flying on Earth and exploring the surface of planets, it’s time to turn our attention to getting things up into space.  In this unit, we get to investigate the creation of rockets, some of the terminology and physics surrounding rockets, and what it takes to make a rocket deliver a payload. In this unit you should be learning:

  • How rockets are used to put things in orbit and send things into space
  • How to simulate and build model rockets
  • How to problem solve the safe delivery of the payload in a rocket

In the end, you’ll need to be able to use proper terminology as you design and build a variety of rockets to meet different parameters. As you build your different rockets, you’ll go through three major steps:

  • STEP 1: Learn about rocket systems, applications, and simulations
  • STEP 2: Build and launch a model rocket of your own design
  • STEP 3: Work with your team to send your Malemute Mars Mission to space

When you’re done, you will have learned some of the basics of rocket design. You also will have helped design and build a rocket to send your Malemute Mars Mission crew to space and back.

PART 1: ROCKET SYSTEMS

(10 pts) About 2 days

To start, we need to look at some different rocket designs and how they have evolved over time.  We’ll also use a rocket simulator to predict how well model rockets of different types will be able to fly. The physics and simulations that support rocket design will be very useful as we start to build our rockets.

PART 2: ROCKET BUILDING

(30 pts) About 4 days

You will take your successful rocket design and construct a model rocket following your plan.  Once all rockets are ready, we’ll get to launch them and collect data on air time, altitude, and drift.  The data and different styles tested by your classmates will help inform your team’s design decisions in the final part.

PART 3: MARS MISSION CHALLENGE

(30 pts) About 4 days

Once you and your team have a good understanding of what it takes to make a successful rocket, it will be time to send your Malemute Mars Mission crew into space!  You and your team will build a larger rocket that can carry a payload of 12 crew members into the air and return them safely to the ground.

 Download the wiring information!

 Download the designing information!

 Download the building information!

Part 1: Rocket Systems

Investigating the development of lunar and Mars rovers

Rocket Terminology

Rocket systems are definitely complex.  The types of fuel combined with the need for precise aerodynamics at high speeds makes the design and construction of rockets expensive, complex, and potentially dangerous.  Aerospace engineers need to take a lot of factors into consideration when designing effective rockets.

In this part of the unit, we’ll start by looking at rocket systems of different types.  We’ll be able to consider how control surfaces and air foils play a role in rocket design, as well as start using a rocket simulator to test different parameters and their impact on flight success.

GRADING & PROCESS

Take 1 full page of detailed notes rocket systems, rocket engine types, and terminology

Complete the RocketSim data collection activity

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your notes and activity

Rocket Systems

RocketSim Overview

RocketSim Data Collection

What’s Due In Part 1: Rocket Systems

  • Rocket Notes
  • RocketSim
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation

Here’s what’s due in Part 1: Rocket Systems

  1. Take a full page of careful notes on rocket systems, engines, and terminology
  2. Complete your RocketSim data collection activity
  3. Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your notes & activity

Part 2: Rocket Building

Design, build, and launch your own rocket

RocketSim Reference

 

RocketSim is a tool that can be used to design rockets.  In this part of the unit, you’ll have the freedom to adjust the various rocket parameters to create a rocket of your own design.  We’ll follow some simple guidelines based on some kit materials, but will soon have the freedom to make custom parts and pieces in the makerspace!

Once you have a RocketSim design that will fly, you’ll build your actual rocket.  When we go to launch the rockets, we’ll also collect some data on the type of rockets that everyone built, the air time they had during the launch, the horizontal drift, and the altitude they flew to.  Together, this data will inform the design of our final Malemute Mars Mission rocket launch!

GRADING & PROCESS

 Plan your own rocket design using RocketSim and recording your plan and parameters in your engineering notebook

 Build your rocket!

 Launch your rocket with your team and collect the relevant data; share your data in the combined AE Spreadsheet

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your rocket and launch

Rocket Design

 

Rocket Building

Rocket Launching

What’s Due In Part 2: Rocket Building

  • Rocket Design
  • Rocket Build
  • Rocket Launch
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation

Here’s what’s due in Part 2: Rocket Building

  1. Record your rocket plan and design in your engineering notebook
  2. Build your rocket
  3. Launch your rocket, record and share data
  4. Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your rocket and launch

Part 3: Mars Mission Challenge

Build a rocket to send your Mars Mission Crew to space and back!

Mars Mission Challenge Overview

The final phase of the Malemute Mars Mission is here!  In this final step, your job is to design and build a rocket that can transport your 12-person crew into the air at least 400 ft up, and return them safely to the ground.  This final task will require the development of a new rocket that will likely be slightly larger than the rocket you build in the last part. 

GRADING & PROCESS

 Plan your Mars Mission Crew rocket in RocketSim using the information from the class launches and meeting the parameters of the Mars Mission

 Build your Mars Mission rocket carefully!

 Launch your Mars Mission Rocket – you only get one try!

 Complete the Rocket Reflection in your engineering notebook

 Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your rocket launch!

What’s Due In Part 3: Mars Mission Challenge

  • Rocket Plan
  • Rocket Build
  • Rocket Launch
  • Rocket Reflection
  • Mr. Benshoof’s Confirmation

Here’s what’s due in Part 3: Mars Mission Challenge

  1. Plan your Mars Mission Crew Rocket within the parameters
  2. Build your rocket!
  3.  Launch your rocket!
  4.  Complete rocket reflection
  5. Have Mr. Benshoof confirm your rocket launch

Double Check: Unit Expectations

Check what you need to have completed by the unit deadline

The purpose of this unit is to give us some experience designing, building, and launching model rockets.  In addition to getting to see a new type of simulation, this unit should also give you another chance to do some building in the makerspace, to think about materials, and to consider control surfaces and aerodynamics.  The big event in this unit are the rocket launches, and we will get to discuss launching procedures and safety as well as collect and analyze flight data.

Engineering Notebook:

(Part 1) You should have taken careful notes on rocket systems, engines, and terminology

(Part 2) You should have recorded your rocket design in your engineering notebook

(Part 3) You should have documented your Mars Mission rocket design and process in your engineering notebook

(Part 3) You should have completed the rocket reflection in your engineering notebook

Building & Making:

(Part 1) You should have completed the RocketSim data collection activity

(Part 2) You should have built and launched your model rocket

(Part 3) You should have built and launched your official Mars Mission crew rocket

Checkpoints & Quizzes:

(Part 1) Mr. Benshoof should have confirmed your notes and RocketSim activity

(Part 2) Mr. Benshoof should have approved your rocket and confirmed its launch

 (Part 3) Mr. Benshoof should have confirmed your final rocket plans and launch