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2004 Water Rocket Mission Logs

I decided that I would keep a log of all my water rocket launches, and post them to the site. Below is my first log. Come back to this page often, as I will update it ever time I do a test or launch off a new rocket.

Date: June 30 2004

Today we launched off two water rockets. The first rocket to meet it's doom was our Red Barren. This rocket was designed to back-glide (come down on it's side). It was a windy day and we decided to test out our new launcher, which allowed us to aim the launch tube into the wind. This was a bad idea. The rocket traveled so fast through apogee that it never had a chance to back-glide, and came plummeting down, landing wedged between two pices of concrete. When we found it it was brocken in three places. Now we know never to launch back-gliders into the wind. We are still working on a parachute recovery system.

Our other rocket fated a little better. It was a moster measuring 8 feet tall, with a diamiter of aproximently 3 inches. The problem was the rocket was so heavy it didn't have enough thrust to get it going. It went up about 100 feet, and then back-glided down. When it hit though, the nose was dented, due to it landing on concrete. I will have pictures of the rockets soon.

August 6

About a week ago, dad, mom, my friend, and I went to our launching site, at Hamilton. We brought with us two rockets. A fluorescent light tube covering (FTC) rocket, and a Black Knight rocket. Both rockets measuring at just over 8 ft. We launched the FTC rocket first. We had just glued it together the previous night, and the nozzle had not had sufficient time to dry. So, when we pressurized the rocket, with our new co2 tank, up to 80 pounds per square inch (PSI), the nozzle never left the launcher. The rocket went shooting up into the sky. It looked like we might get lucky, and the rocket would backslide, but our hopes were diminished when the rocket took a deadly dive for earth. The rocket plundered into the ground, and when we finally found it, it was crumpled beyond repair.

Then we decided to try our faith with our newly built Black Knight. It had flown only once before, and it had back glided. We had added a coat of paint to its; surface, to transformer it from the White Knight, to a Black Knight rocket. It was very winding that day, and the rocket was big, and heavy. Not a good combination. It began to lean toward the houses, which was into the wind. My mom was yelling at us not to launch it, and my dad was yelling at my to pull the launch cord. I listen to my dad, and gave the rope a tug. I watched in amazement as the rocket, quickly rose, 500 ft. into the sky. Then the frightening realization that the rocket was heading directly into the wind, and for the houses, hit me, like a giant meteor falling from space, and slamming into my body. Again it looked like the rocket would back glide, and it should, I thought. But something went terribly wrong, as I watched the rocket, with hawk eyes, as it disappeared between two houses, and was shortly followed with a load thud. Instantly I knew what had happened. The rocket dove nose first into the ground because, the center of gravity, had moved forward of the center of area, due to the acceleration of the rocket. A rocket only will backslide if it is launched vertically. We went in search of the rocket, knocking on the doors of the houses, to see if they had seen any sign of our rocket, but none had. This concludes our day.

Next time we launch we will rely on a parachute recovery system, which I will update you about when we launch next time. And although this day was not what we hoped for it was still fun, because when you pull that cord, you can only wait and see what will happen. Anyways it gives us an excuse to work on water rockets, and a new, more reliable recovery system. So in the end, looking back, it was one of our greatest water rocket days. To achieve greatness, you must take great risks. So long until next time.

August 27

Today we launched off a rocket that we made from a kit that we bought. It was cool because it had a parachute recovery system. The question was, was it going to work? Our first couple of attempts failed because our launch tube was caght on a cable tie. Once we fixed that we got a successful launch. The rocket went about 200 feet, and deployed the parachute, as the rocket was coming down. We launched the rocket several more times, each time the parachute deployed too early. It usually deployed when the rocket was about 100 feet up. One fin got damaged after the first or second launch, so we think that maybe it was a problem with the rocket curving as it went up. All in all though it was a successful day. Hey, even if the parachute deployed early more than often it still deployed!