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astroadrian99

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Hey guys, as the title suggests my highschool is currently attempting to reach space. We need your help though with donations check our website out at hartvr.wix.com/hartvr. Thanks
 

ksaves2

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Ahhhh, I hate to rain on your parade but unless you have some of the very skilled advisers who've done this before, it might be difficult to pull off. Your potential problem with a rockoon is having it in a reasonable position for a safe launch.
Using a K motor will cut down on the paperwork but the FAA might raise an eyebrow on your launching method. If they ask you to do a 6 degrees analysis of your flight for potential flight profiles, it would be harder to do without knowing the starting point
of the launchpad. If the rocket launches off center and nicks one of the balloons that could be an issue and they may question your intended recovery profile of your launchpad and failure modes of getting it down safely.
Launching from the ground is tough enough and you've added several degrees of difficulty by using a balloon lofted launchpad.

If you go way out in the middle of nowhere with uncontrolled airspace above, it might be "more easily" doable but your task is going to be daunting. Good luck. Kurt
 

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Astro. As Ksaves points out the issue with balloon launches is there is no way to keep the ballon in the waivered area. The Navy did balloon launches and even with unlimited resources and funds gave up on it. They used warships to go to the middle of the ocean before setting the balloon free.
When people wanted to do a balloon launch at BALLS is asked "How are you going to guarantee, 100%, the balloon up and down and the rocket will not leaved the TFR?" No one ever answered this question.
I read all of your posts. You ask a lot of questions a person launching to space should not be asking.

M
 

bobkrech

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I'll add to the above comments.

1.) There are only a handful of launch sites in CONUS where you can obtain a waiver for ground launched flights to over 100 Kft.

2.) I do not know of a single amateur FAA flight waiver granted for a rocketoon launch over CONUS.

3.) Every rocketoon launch attempt I remember has been done offshore from a ship in international waters.

4.) You are looking at a cost => $1000 per hour for a ship capable of supporting the launch, and that would be over several days......
 

cbrarick

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So, how did the FAA like your paperwork, especially without any mention of a certified flyer?
 

astroadrian99

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I read all of your posts. You ask a lot of questions a person launching to space should not be asking.

M
I know what you mean but I have to start my research somewhere you know. What better place than start asking questions to real people. I've read so many research papers on them, I've been in contact with Korey Kline (part of the team that designed virgin galactics engine) for a bit until he retired but it's always better to find multiple sources.

So, how did the FAA like your paperwork, especially without any mention of a certified flyer?
They just mentioned that all they're needing is a landing-zone footprint of the rocket and that's it. It'll be the first time they've gotten paperwork for this and it's seems pretty good so far.
 

MClark

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At BALLS we can get a waiver to 493,000 feet, 150 km. The radius is 19 nautical miles, the rocket, up and down must remain in this area. There is nothing in the circle (except RR tracks and we have to hold if there is a train)
When the 6 degrees of freedom calculation is done the landing zone must be in the waivered circle.

The 6DoF figures all kinds of variables (worst case), with the balloon as the launch platform it is taken into account. I did a quick search and found a balloon to 100k took 2 1/2 hours to each that altitude. Even with light winds it could add 50 miles to the radius, plus the 20 miles (the unstable platform would result in a large radius) would give a minimum landing zone of 140 miles in diameter!! It could go much larger with more wind.
So you need a 200 mile diameter circle with nothing in it.
This is why The Navy launched in the middle of the ocean.

M
 

Buckeye

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Just how much is your high school really involved? What is the name of your high school? Do you have advisors? Community or industry sponsors? I read your web page, and it looks like just two kids with a zany idea begging for money.
 

scsager

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Just how much is your high school really involved? What is the name of your high school? Do you have advisors? Community or industry sponsors? I read your web page, and it looks like just two kids with a zany idea begging for money.
Based on the reputation of the school, I believe these two bright young men are genuinely sincere about this endeavor.

Unfortunately, they have been guarded, and somewhat secretive with their posts on this forum. This could give the impression they are relatively clueless about the feasibility of their goal.

I do wish to encourage Adrian and Sebastian and wish them luck in accomplishing their goal this coming spring. It's relatively easy to pick-apart and critique a seemingly impossible goal. Positive support and encouragement can often be difficult, but it is the key to growth and accomplishment in all areas of human endeavor.

Without dreamers and lofty goals, the world wouldn't know names like Von Braun, or Musk. We must keep this in mind when a couple of high school kids come up with these “zany” ideas. These two young men and many more like them... ARE the future.

Clicky >>> https://www.mdc.edu/main/sas/activities/sas_wolfson_juniors_attempt_rocket_launch_into_space.aspx
 

dave carver

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An option you might ponder is along the lines of MClark's statement on how the Navy tried sealaunches. In the Gulf of Mexico there are dozens of abandoned oil drilling rigs, some in international waters. Most have platform accessible to helicopter landings. You barge the heavy stuff out and rent a copter to raise it to platform deck to keep costs down. To do a two stage N to N I calculated 15-20 bottles of Helium but considered Hydrogen as well. As the launch will destroy the bags of gas I thought the ignition of Hydrogen to be a plus on the visibility phase. AeroTech Blue Thunder fuel is so cool at night :) This was at the time the AT N2000 BT load and case came out. It was to be a DR Rocket Modular 4" N to N for the $50K prize then invest in the rocket with 4 N's, 3 in the booster and a single upstage. Lift was planned for a 90,000ft + lift to ignition

I was going to use this method for a CATS Prize attempt but the funding fell through. Launch at night with a strobe that can be followed from land. Water recovery with sea activated airbags.
 

astroadrian99

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Just how much is your high school really involved? What is the name of your high school? Do you have advisors? Community or industry sponsors? I read your web page, and it looks like just two kids with a zany idea begging for money.
The high school is School for Advanced Studies in Miami. Right now we have a few teachers and advisord involved in it and 2 dozen other kids.
 
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astroadrian99

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Based on the reputation of the school, I believe these two bright young men are genuinely sincere about this endeavor.

Unfortunately, they have been guarded, and somewhat secretive with their posts on this forum. This could give the impression they are relatively clueless about the feasibility of their goal.

I do wish to encourage Adrian and Sebastian and wish them luck in accomplishing their goal this coming spring. It's relatively easy to pick-apart and critique a seemingly impossible goal. Positive support and encouragement can often be difficult, but it is the key to growth and accomplishment in all areas of human endeavor.

Without dreamers and lofty goals, the world wouldn't know names like Von Braun, or Musk. We must keep this in mind when a couple of high school kids come up with these “zany” ideas. These two young men and many more like them... ARE the future.

Clicky >>> https://www.mdc.edu/main/sas/activities/sas_wolfson_juniors_attempt_rocket_launch_into_space.aspx
Thank you so much. Yes we have been secretive but it was mainly because most of the people involved voted to keep it that way in order to not let anyone copy us. I believed since the beginning that was a mistake but there's nothing I can do about it now.
 

Salvage-1

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Thank you so much. Yes we have been secretive but it was mainly because most of the people involved voted to keep it that way in order to not let anyone copy us. I believed since the beginning that was a mistake but there's nothing I can do about it now.
Sir, there is EVERYTHING that you could do. You are at the point where multiple very qualified people have informed or suggested that this venture is a very bad idea.
So... what do you do now?

You go to your group, explain the problems, and redefine your venture.

How is this for an idea. 100,000ft is a major milestone for amateur rocketry. Why not find a qualified mentor around your area and try and design a rocket(s) that can get close to 100K. Plus, this gives your group a chance to attend an event somewhere like Black Rock. Believe me, first time you see the projects that other people have out at Black Rock, you suddenly feel a little insecure :)
 

astroadrian99

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How is this for an idea. 100,000ft is a major milestone for amateur rocketry. Why not find a qualified mentor around your area and try and design a rocket(s) that can get close to 100K. Plus, this gives your group a chance to attend an event somewhere like Black Rock. Believe me, first time you see the projects that other people have out at Black Rock, you suddenly feel a little insecure :)
I have seen them, I went there once and I also know a few people who used to go there periodically like the CSXT group. It is awesome and I have participated in a group to reach 80 km but I want to go higher this time.
 

JJSR

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Based on the reputation of the school, I believe these two bright young men are genuinely sincere about this endeavor.

Unfortunately, they have been guarded, and somewhat secretive with their posts on this forum. This could give the impression they are relatively clueless about the feasibility of their goal.

I do wish to encourage Adrian and Sebastian and wish them luck in accomplishing their goal this coming spring. It's relatively easy to pick-apart and critique a seemingly impossible goal. Positive support and encouragement can often be difficult, but it is the key to growth and accomplishment in all areas of human endeavor.

Without dreamers and lofty goals, the world wouldn't know names like Von Braun, or Musk. We must keep this in mind when a couple of high school kids come up with these “zany” ideas. These two young men and many more like them... ARE the future.

Clicky >>> https://www.mdc.edu/main/sas/activities/sas_wolfson_juniors_attempt_rocket_launch_into_space.aspx
Scott, I believe in what your saying here.
BUT
when I started reading this thread all I thought of was:
"THEY WERE BRIGHT BOYS"
until they light a propane bottle on a skate board and it blew up in their face and killed them.
On a forum like this, I think we should DIScourage an anonymous person trying things that are beyond the type of model rocketry we're doing.
I know some people here are into very high altitudes, and if they are saying it shouldn't be done or suggest something different. that is spot on good advice
 

astroadrian99

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Scott, I believe in what your saying here.
BUT
when I started reading this thread all I thought of was:
"THEY WERE BRIGHT BOYS"
until they light a propane bottle on a skate board and it blew up in their face and killed them.
On a forum like this, I think we should DIScourage an anonymous person trying things that are beyond the type of model rocketry we're doing.
I know some people here are into very high altitudes, and if they are saying it shouldn't be done or suggest something different. that is spot on good advice
It's not like that though, we're not going with this project blindly, we are taking every safety measures in order to assure no one gets hurt. We've looked through all the FAA and NAR regulations in order to assure this. We also aren't building our own motors or anything like that for that reason. Anything that can harm will be bought. The only thing that can hurt us in some way will be the tools during construction, which we both have had experience in using for over 5 years. We will also be constructing most of it in a room full of other people with even more experience that can give assistance if any needed.
 
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JJSR

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astro"anonymous" 99

I truly hope your doing the right thing.
But maybe you missed my point, scsager is saying we should be encouraging you on with this project.
you'd be surprised how many people "anonymous people" come on here wanting help with hair brain ideas.
Not that yours is,,, well yours is because you here on a MODEL rocketry forum looking for answers. when you should be talking with people that go into space professionally on a regular basis.


just my 2 cents
 

FredA

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And you are trying to raise $5k....that's all?
Seems WAY too little for a practical attempt.
 

markkoelsch

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And you are trying to raise $5k....that's all?
Seems WAY too little for a practical attempt.
I agree with Fred on that. From my thinking you could spend a large percentage of that on just software and design.

I think your budget it pretty light
 

dhbarr

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Leaving aside the budgeting & software for a minute...

I see you're in Florida: planning to launch offshore? If so, how do you get the rocket back? If not, how do you predict safe splashdown for something with 100+kms of variance?

In any case, once you pop the balloon how do you track the hard bits? Where do they land?

Since your proposal has you at 100k balloon feet and near-zero velocity, how will you keep the pointy end up?

Safety of others & yourselves is a necessary prerequisite for any fun to be had, which is where we tend to focus first :)
 

astroadrian99

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I agree with Fred on that. From my thinking you could spend a large percentage of that on just software and design.

I think your budget it pretty light
We had a higher budget but once a few months passed without anymore funding, we decided to lower it in order to maybe get people to donate a little more.

Leaving aside the budgeting & software for a minute...

I see you're in Florida: planning to launch offshore? If so, how do you get the rocket back? If not, how do you predict safe splashdown for something with 100+kms of variance?

In any case, once you pop the balloon how do you track the hard bits? Where do they land?

Since your proposal has you at 100k balloon feet and near-zero velocity, how will you keep the pointy end up?

Safety of others & yourselves is a necessary prerequisite for any fun to be had, which is where we tend to focus first :)
Everything is going to have a GPS in it. We will have some offshore boats at the time in order to recover it that'll be constantly following it until the rocket lifts up. One will stay behind for the launch rig while others will go in search of the rocket that'll begin transmitting data once it gets below 60,000 ft. At 50,000 drogue chute will deploy in order to slow it down a bit and increase GPS accuracy.

The rocket will stay pointing by a team axis gyroscope we're getting for it. Once the rocket lifts off, it's fins and the launch rail will cause it to start spinning 30-40 rps in order for it to stay stable.
 

cerving

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The GPS is nice, but what kind of radio link are you going to use with it? Nothing you can get commercially (i.e. relatively cheap) is going to take you to space. You're going to need special FCC licensing, unless you plan on launching in international waters and hoping that it stays there. The subject of launched over water and the subsequent challeges have already been discussed...

Only a handful of COUNTRIES have every launched into space, much less private groups of individuals. It ain't easy... or cheap. We're talking millions of dollars, lots of time, and a high probability of failure. You're not likely to get there with a Go Fund Me campaign.
 

ksaves2

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We had a higher budget but once a few months passed without anymore funding, we decided to lower it in order to maybe get people to donate a little more.



Everything is going to have a GPS in it. We will have some offshore boats at the time in order to recover it that'll be constantly following it until the rocket lifts up. One will stay behind for the launch rig while others will go in search of the rocket that'll begin transmitting data once it gets below 60,000 ft. At 50,000 drogue chute will deploy in order to slow it down a bit and increase GPS accuracy.

The rocket will stay pointing by a team axis gyroscope we're getting for it. Once the rocket lifts off, it's fins and the launch rail will cause it to start spinning 30-40 rps in order for it to stay stable.
If launching and expecting to recover over water, is the rocket going to have flotation built in or a deployable flotation device? Having to depend upon a speed boat to get underneath it to snag it after splashdown and before it sinks is wishful thinking.
Will need to make certain your tracking is literally bulletproof. If it fails, the entire project is all for naught.
If water gets in the electronics bay (think static port ingress here), especially seawater, your recording devices might not survive and you'd have to hope you can lift the data off of the memory. Again, you have to get the rocket back. If you're able to monitor several streams of data remotely, you're stuck with the vagaries of radio propagation and the sophistication of your rocket tracking transmitter(s) and your receivers becomes very important. If going above 250k' I don't think there is a COTS
tracker you could use in a project that small with a K motor. You ideally would like something that could transmit your altitude at or around apogee. I don't think commercial GPS that doesn't cost an arm or a leg is up to the task.
A commercial tracking device can be of help in recovery but your receiver has to be within range as the rocket is coming down. Ideally, you'd want something that can telemeter the information so you have something of
record and then compare with what's on the memory after you recover the rocket. If telemetry fails, doesn't matter about the latter as the rocket will likely sink and be gone as you won't know where to look.
Barometric altimetry at that level I would venture is not accurate if the rocket is actually in space. You're starting out at roughly .162psi/8.36mmHg and want to get to around 300k' where it's 1.47X10-5 PSI/8x10-4mmHg barometric measurement I'm not certain can be accurately portrayed by electronic methods. I think commercial GPS may get dicey above 150,000' but that is based upon the commercial availability of a GPS receiver chipset one can buy.
I have never seen numbers quoted higher for a consumer available device. Anyone please point out any inaccuracies if I have posted any. Kurt
 

Buckeye

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Yeah, that is a nice puff piece, but still no mention of any serious technological or financial backing for such an extreme endeavor. As mentioned, a dinky personal Go Fund Me account with contributions from family members is not gonna get you into space (unless Bill Gates is your uncle). Hell, TARC teams have much more visibility and support, and they only launch an egg to 800 ft.
 

DavidMcCann

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Without dreamers and lofty goals, the world wouldn't know names like Von Braun, or Musk. We must keep this in mind when a couple of high school kids come up with these “zany” ideas. These two young men and many more like them... ARE the future.
Dreaming is good...we need dreamers.

What we don't need is people trying to take about a billion shortcuts, and try to get to space without doing any of the actual hard work to get there.


There's dreaming, and there's wasting time.

As for being secretive, you can either be secretive or ask people for help. Not both.
 
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DaveHein

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Some of the questions people have asked are answered in the specs page at http://hartvr.wixsite.com/hartvr/specs . The webpage has a few details, but it doesn't say where they're going to launch from, and how they'll get FAA approval. I think launching from the ocean is the only way they could get approval. And one poster implied that they are anonymous, but the "About Us" page gives their names and a picture.

There is some question whether you can reach space with a single stage K rocket. The specs page states that they'll be able to achieve a velocity of 2,800 MPH. With a little math this works out to 49 miles. Adding the 19 miles from a balloon at 100,000 feet totals to 68 miles, so yes that is above the 62.5 mile definition of space. However, this assumes no air resistance. The air density at 100,000 feet is about 1% of that at sea level, but it's not zero. The air resistance of a rocket travelling at 2,800 MPH at 100k feet would be similar to traveling at 280 MPH at sea level. So there will be a significant drag on the rocket that would prevent it from reaching 62.5 miles.

I looked at this several years ago when I was involved with Team Prometheus, and determined that a 2-stage K-to-K rocket launched from a balloon could reach space. You should run a few simulations before you settle on the type of rocket that you'll need.

Your spec says that the launch rods are 5 feet long. These might be long enough for a ground launch, but I think they are to short for a balloon launch. The launch rod would probably need to be 10 feet or longer. Alternatively, you could put active guidance in your rocket, but this will add weight and complexity.

Another possibility is to pre-spin your rocket before launching. Here's a video I put together a few years ago to show how a spinning launcher would work.
[video=youtube;KO7IURt6fug]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO7IURt6fug[/video]

You also have to consider how you will control the altitude of your balloons. Latex balloons typically fly to 100k feet, where they pop after expanding to 4 times its original diameter. If you want to launch vertically between the 3 balloons you probably need to space them out by 40 feet to ensure that there is a gap between the balloons. Also, balloons typically rise at about 10 to 15 MPH, so are you going to launch as the balloons continue to rise, but just before one of them pops? Or you could under-inflate the balloons so they don't pop at 100k feet, and release just enough helium at 100k to stop their ascent. This would require sophisticate electronics and some method to release helium. You would also need a way to cut away the launch platform after launch and recover it with parachutes.

There's a lot of work in a project like this, and its doubtful that you would complete it before graduating from high school. If you're lucky you might get it done before you graduate from college.
 
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cbrarick

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Recovery will be a true challenge, just starting with getting there. A trawler is going really fast at 10 knots, and you have a 100 nm radius, you'd be talking about 10 hours to get there. Most everything would be long swallowed by Davey Jones. You're not gonna be operating speedboats out there, even on a good day that far out is no place for them. Plus you will need a few real sailors. Being that far out isn't a joke. Of course, maybe you can loop in the coast guard, they have the marine protector class, top speed of 25 knots. the USCGC Marlin, Cormorant, Bluefin, Coho, Kingfisher, Seahawk, Gannet, Bonito, Shrike, Hawk, Sawfish, Crocodile, Diamondback & Alligator are all stationed in Florida. Who knows, maybe for a lucky high school science project with good pull (think senator) it could happen.
 

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I have worked with a few different youth / student groups, one thing I almost always have to work through with them is the idea of block development and technology readiness level (TRL). Best I can see it, there are about 10 different things that need to go right for you to succeed. Some aspects of your program are very mature, others not so much.

Sometimes it is more cost and schedule effective to prove each of these out with a pathfinder kind of test. Remember if EVERY aspect of your project needs to work without testing / engineering / planning, the odds of success are pretty low. I’m a supporter and trying to help you out, please take this as constructive not critical.

For example;
your communications link, you can build and test this on ground, then graduate to a ground based rocket, then a balloon. Does it work at the distance you need on the ground (may need to travel to a place with some tall hills or buildings), make sure it works like it should. If so launch it in a ground based rocket. Can you track it at 20,000 feet (easy altitude to get to with a smallish rocket) from 50 miles away? 20,000 feet would give you approx. 100 miles line of sight. If you pass that test, then launch it on a balloon, put it in the freezer first to get the cold soak, light enough weight makes permitting much simpler. Pass all those tests and your confidence levels would be much higher.

The rocket launch setup, testing this at low altitude or even tethered would let you learn and verify the setup, at much lower cost. Much more likely to be able to recover the rocket from 1000m, plus with a low enough altitude you should be able to find a low cost nearby range for testing. Just testing the aim and spin system in a relevant environment would be very important.

Just two that come to mind, I coach groups to list ALL of the technology ‘challenges’ that they have, honestly asses how ready they are, and come up with a plan to get them all up to the same level.

Mike K
 
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First off, I want to say good luck with your project!

Second, it would be truly best if you ditched the rockoon idea, from all the research I've done. Don't take this the wrong way either. My main goal in rocketry is altitude, and I've been obsessed with launching a rocket to space for a while. I've investigated the rockoon concept extensively, and the math sometimes look great, but the logistics are always awful. Seriously, it's not the way to go even cost-wise.

Also, I'm an undergrad AE major. So quite literally I was designing the same thing you're thinking of a year or two ago when I was in high school. But good luck, seriously. If you really want to get this done, hard-work and NEVER ending perseverance will get you there :) .
 

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While I encourage you to pursue this lofty goal, I echo most of the statements on here about technology readiness level. Having worked in industry for the better part of a decade on high reliability projects, it is standard practice to prove out the technology in milestone tests before trying to do the real thing. Do you plan on proving out the individual systems first? You may want to consider:
  • Ground testing of telemetry system and rocket avionics.
  • Launching the rocket on the ground and proving out the avionics and airframe on a shakedown flight.
  • launching the balloon with the cradle but without a rocket on land to 1) test the telemetry package and 2) test the launch system electronics at altitude and 3) test the recovery system and successfully recover it.
    • You will probably want to do progressively higher altitudes with this.
  • Find a land site where you can tether the balloon a few hundred feet in the air and do a successful rocket launch from the cradle in the tethered position to affect .

These milestones are broad milestones and I can guarantee you will probably repeat them a few times because the lessons you will learn from the first tests are going to drastically alter your thinking.

I glanced at your spec page and assuming you figure out the many issues associated with launching from a balloon I have the following concerns about just the rocket:
  • You page says you are going to let the rocket fall from space back down to an altitude of 30,000 feet before deploying the drogue. Are you going to break the airframe at apogee or are you coming in ballistic until 30,000'? What velocity are you planning on deploying at? Have you properly spec'd the recovery components for the anticipated stresses?
  • You say that the GPS will activate at 30,000' once the drogue is out and will operate until 15 min after splashdown. At 60 ft/s descent that's a hair over 8 minutes descent, let's call it 10 min with the main chute deployment. How do you plan on picking up the signal and getting a boat in place to retrieve the rocket in that time? If it splashes down before you get there, how will you know where it is going to drift?
  • How are you planning on dealing with the RF attenuation caused by the Carbon Fiber airframe?
  • With that spin rate and acceleration I am worried about the surface mount components of the electronics ripping off the boards. Do you have plans to pot the boards or provide another method of support?
 
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