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Solid Fuel Rockets

Space and Science Festival - 13 May 2017

Tom, Sam, Adam and I went to a Space and Science Festival.

Whilst there we built a small solid fuel rocket that uses a Quest A6-4 solid fuel motor. The A6-4 motor is electrically fired and will run for 0.4 secs - then there's a 4 second delay - then the top end of the motor fires upwards which causes the parachute to deploy. The rocket gracefully drifts back to earth.

As is sometimes the case in Wellington - it was a bit gusty. Some of the rockets launched that day landed within the school field we were operating from, but Adam's got blown into nearby power-lines - and so we could not retrieve it. Others suffered a similar fate and had there rockets blow back and land on the roof of the classroom behind the launch area.

So at the end of the day, after everyone had packed up, we climbed up and retrieved two rocket bodies in good condition.


Home launch test 1 - 17 June 2017

We ordered some more Quest A6-4 motors from Aerospace Education and reassembled a rocket. I made up a launch platform from a small sheet of tin (with a hole drilled in the middle) and steel rod. Then I made up a rocket firing wire cable; it's just a 4 m long pair of wires with clips on one end, running to some battery crimps which connect it to a 12 v battery. And then there a push button switch on the end of another 4 m of cable. Plus there's a on/off safety switch in the circuit too.

Much to Adam and my amazement it all worked flawlessly. After round up some of his neighbourhood friends we had a second successful launch.


Home launch test 2 - 24 June 2017

This time Sammy got to try out the Quest A6-4 motor in his own rocket body. Another good launch. Everyone buzzing.

As it was a calm day we decided to trying out a Quest B6-4 motor. This has a burn time of 0.8 secs (twice the A6-4 motor burn time). That may not sound like a long time - but it really is!

Everyone really impressed by this one.

We need to paint the rocket body a dark colour so we can see it better.

We've got two more B6-4 motors to fire another day. We're thinking about how to add a camera. Would we need a double or even triple fuselage setup? Time to find out.

Also: the next step up is the C6-5 motor with a 1.2 second burn time - crazy! We'd need to find a much larger field to launch from.

Note to self:

A6-4 Max. Lift Off Weight: 74g
B6-4 Max. Lift Off Weight: 113g
C6-5 Max. Lift Off Weight: 113g



Page last modified on 24 June 2017 at 09:23 PM