Celtic Kane


Right before the week of finals, inspiration hit. I found my old Estes Wizard rocket from fifth grade and decided that it would be awesome to shoot off rockets after my friends and I were done with semester exams. Of course, it wasn’t really smart to start on a big project during the week of finals, but I didn’t care. Kate got a model rocket set for Christmas, so we decided to go ahead and plan to shoot them off. I couldn’t just leave it at that though. After doing some research, I decided that instead of using a rocket flare to slow the rocket’s decent, I was going to design and build a parachute.

The following sections will show you the math and theory behind a parachute, how I built mine, and problems I encountered, and my testing results with my parachute. Hopefully you will be able to use this as a resource to design your own parachute and test it out.

Table of Contents

Math and Theory
The physics behind parachutes, how they work, and math equations to determine proper canopy size

My Calculations
My calculations for my Estes Wizard rocket

Designing the Parachute
The step to bring the design into reality — how I made my canopy, what material, etc.

Any problems I encountered or couldn’t figure out — this should definitely be read before starting

Testing and Conclusion
Find out how my parachute performed and my conclusion about the overall project