This will be quite a challenge. The rocket has to achieve twice the speed of sound. But the real challenges will be the following:
The rocket has to stay together
The rocket cannot exceed 17,000 feet
The rocket must be successfully recovered
The rocket speed must be accurately recorded
Well, we already had a 48-inch 54mm Carbon Fiber Tube, so Rocksim was fired up on the computer and a rocket design based on the 48-inch 54mm Carbon Fiber Tube started to materialize. After many adjustments and simulations, we ended up with a 6’10” rocket with an aluminum tipped conical graphite nose cone and three sleek triangular fins. Ben and I were assigned the nosecone and electronics bay, JP was assigned an additional 24-inch carbon fiber tubing, fabric, and engine retention, and Joseph was assigned fins and epoxy. We all researched our responsibilities and started to place orders from around the globe.
An aluminum tipped conical graphite nose cone was necessary because the intense heat of mach speeds would melt a normal plastic or fiberglass nose cone and cause it to collapse during flight. An ogive nose cone has too much drag. The aluminum tip will dissipate much of the heat from this friction of air as the rocket transitions to mach speeds. Also, the aluminum tipped is just plain cool. The nose cone was ordered from Rockets Magazine
and is the same nose cone from their Mongoose 54 series. The fins were ordered from Giant Leap
and are the #3 fins. The Carbon Fiber fabric was ordered from US Compsites
. The final design tweaks are being made until all the parts arrived. Construction will start in June 2009.