Celtic Kane

How do you think it did? Well…it crashed. Basically nothing went right during launch, but I did learn some things that will hopefully help me if I do another rocket. The problems started when I tried to put an engine in my engine block. Apparently the engines lose diameter after launch (not just mass), and I used an old engine to measure out a correct diameter. Solution? Right before launch I grabbed a lighter, melted the engine block (which was a CD) and increased the diameter. The fix was simple and effective.

I picked the launch day a month or two in advance, and I was determined to launch no matter what. This, of course, was another mistake. It was a relatively windy day, and the wind definitely didn’t do me any favors.

Once I put the rocket onto the stand, the big problems started. My nose cone was too heavy and it broke my launch lug off. I wasn’t prepared with any duct tape or super glue, so I did what any normal person would do — put it back on with chewing gum. Although the gum did not hold it very well, it still ended up working later on. Once I put the rocket back on the stand, I realized that the weight of the rocket was too great for the stand (especially with the wind) because the stand was just tipping over. Solution? Well…I just put the damn thing on the ground and hoped it would go straight. 3…2…1… It launched alright; it launched right at me! It got about 5-10 feet off the ground then just rotated right back down and ended up deploying the parachute (which did work) while it was on the ground. Not good — I broke a fin off too.

Now, most normal people would realize their rocket sucked and leave with some pride and some parts of a rocket left….well, that’s just not me. I took the nose cone off (it was too heavy), and I set the rocket back up on the stand — using the chewing gum to hold the launch lug to the rocket. 3…2…1….apparently if you’re missing a fin and a nose cone, the rocket won’t fly too well. Basically the exact same thing happened except this time all the fins broke off. I decided not to try a third time, since I figured I’d get about the same result.

What’s my conclusion? I think my rocket’s diameter and weight were far too great for a C engine. I was launching in windy weather, which didn’t really affect the rocket the day of launch since it didn’t get over 10 feet, but it would definitely have if the rocket had worked. What did work? Well, the parachute system deployed just like it was supposed to, and the engine block was literally perfect — if you don’t get anything else from this project, use my engine block design method. This concludes Project II, but what’s next? IF (yes, there may not be another) I do another rocketry project, I plan on doing a much smaller rocket, perhaps the size of a toilet paper roll. Who knows if I’ll do it or not, so check back every now and then to see what I’m up to.

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