GSSV Rocket Science Project

Students launched a class-project rocket

Students from Southside Virginia Community College’s Calculus II class launched a class-project rocket on April 5th From Battlefield Park in Culpeper. SVCC's Brent Richey started this project with students in the GSSV STEM program while they were in Calculus 1 and 2.

Richey says they used a K660 motor which has about 2400 Newton/Seconds of impulse and it reached an apogee of 3688 feet and a max velocity of 480MPH. It returned on a dual deployment system which released a 36 inch parachute at apogee and then a huge 120 inch parachute at 900 feet. On board were dual altimeters that recorded data and controlled the main chute deployment at 900 (that's where the class programmed it to deploy). It really was a perfect launch and recovery.

The students built the rocket, which include a lot of math for things like parachute size and descend rates. Then they ran simulations of the flight which they used for adjusting the motor delay and programming the altimeters. They turned out to be pretty accurate.

The rocket was launched at Battlepark Field near Culpeper, Virginia with the Tripoli Central Virginia club. You have to launch these big ones at sites that have all the appropriate licenses and waivers from the FAA and that was the the closest one.

The airframe of the rocket was wrapped in fiberglass provided to us by BGF. They make that specific fiberglass for their customers in the aerospace industry.