Ideas have changed since this initial post see post number 6.
I am not sure if this should go here or in the "scratch built" section so it will probably get moved.
I have been given a school project (an EPQ) that allows me to do pretty much anything and I have decided to design and launch a rocket! I would quite like an original fuel or material not used before (but that I can actually get hold of).
This is still very much in the preliminary stages but I had an idea to do a Space Shuttle. It would have 3 motors, one in each SRB and one where the three SSMEs would be. The two SRBs would jettison and the orbiter engine would burn for a bit longer then and ET would jettison and the orbiter would glide back as a remote controlled glider. The trouble is jettisoning the SRBs and ET. I was thinking the back-thrust normally used to deploy the parachute could be directed inwards to push the SRB or ET away from the orbiter although that depends on just how powerful that thrust is as if it is too weak then the SRBs will not be able to be held to the ET, and the ET to the orbiter, strongly enough and still be able to separate by that method. Also this would mean the ET and SRBs could have no recovery device but I have been informed if they are light enough that is OK.
Shaping the Orbiter could be quite awkward to do from scratch, possibly a balsa tube for a simplified fuselage shape, balsa carved wings, and maybe some very difficult balsa carving for the cockpit area. The SRBs could just be basic tube rockets and the ET a similar idea (but no motor).
What motors should I use (bearing in mind the proposed separation method above (if indeed that method is any good) so the time between burnout and jettison would have to be timed correctly and the Orbiter engine should burn for a bit longer then separate the ET almost immediately)?
Also any ideas for computer programs that could model this (bearing in mind I have no programming skills). I would also quite like to attach some instrumentation such as an altimeter, transponder, accelerometer etc.
I seek your superior knowledge!
Deadline is Christmas time this year.