Parts of a Rocket
Menu Part-A Part-B Part-C Part-D Part-E Part-F Conclusion

1. What is the function of the following parts of a rocket?
A. Fins- Stabilizes rocket during flight. Without fins, the rocket would wobble in flight and would land in an unpredicted spot.
B. Recovery Wadding- Prevents parachute from being melted from ejection charge. Still allows parachute to be ejected, allowing safe recovery
C. Shock Cord- Connects parachute, nose cone, and fuselage so that parachute safely recovers all parts of an airplane. Otherwise, parts of the rocket would fall to earth in free fall and would be damaged.

2. Consider what happens throughout the flight of a rocket.
A. During the launch phase of the flight which is greater, the thrust of the rocket engine or the total weight of the rocket (with motor)?
The thrust during the launch phase is greater. In order for lift-off to occur, lift must overcome the force of weight, so the thrust must be greater than the total weight.

B. When a rocket runs out of fuel it enters the coast phase and thrust is no longer being produced. What two forces slow the rockets upward flight?
Both weight and air resistance slow the rocket’s upward flight. Friction removes energy from the rocket, while the decreasing thrust is overcome by gravity.

C. When the parachute is deployed and opens, what happens to the drag on the rocket?
When the parachute is deployed, the drag on the rocket greatly increases. It should be mentioned that the weight of the rocket doesn’t change. The increased drag, which opposes the force of gravity, decreases the acceleration of the rocket towards earth.

3. The motion of a rocket is the result of the balance of forces on the rocket. Consider the forces on the rocket throughout its flight.
A. What are the four forces that a rocket is subjected to during its flight?
The 4 forces acting on a rocket are weight, drag, lift, and thrust. These are the same forces that act on an airplane.

B. What is the difference between a scalar quantity and a vector quantity?
A scalar quantity has a magnitude but no direction. An example of a scalar quantity would be speed. A vector quantity has both a magnitude and a direction. An example of a vector quantity would be velocity.

C. In an airplane the lift force is used to overcome weight, what force is used to overcome the weight of the rocket?
The force used to overcome weight in a rocket is still lift. However, thrust and lift occur in the same direction if the rocket is pointed straight up, so it can also be said that thrust is used to overcome weight.

4. Model rocket engines use a solid propellant to create thrust.
A. Solid rocket propellant is a mixture of both fuel and oxidizer. What is the role of the oxidizer? A solid rocket engine uses a fuel and an oxidizer. The oxidizer when burned delivers oxygen to the fuel so that it can burn. Most rockets use oxidizers because when the rocket burns it uses so much oxygen that they need a readily available supply.

B. What type of rocket engine requires the use of a pump to mix the fuel and oxidizer? A liquid rocket engine uses a turbo pump. It does this because it must mix a liquid fuel and an oxidizer so that is can burn and produce thrust.

C. In a model rocket engine, where is the nozzle located? The nozzle in a model rocket engine is located at the bottom of the engine.

5. Describe the function of a rocket engine nozzle. The function of the nozzle is to direct the hot exhaust gases out the back of the engine. The nozzle is specially designed to let the exhaust out in a certain way so that all the energy is transfer to the rocket and not into the open air.


Motion is an illusion (Zeno's Paradox)

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