Workshops: Rocket Transportation
Engineers and scientists have met many challenges to reach outer space with various spacecraft. The mass of a rocket can make the difference between a successful flight and a rocket that just sits on a launch pad. As a basic principle of rocket flight, a rocket will leave the ground when the engine produces a thrust that is greater than the total mass of a vehicle. Large rockets, able to carry a spacecraft into space, have serious weight problems. To reach space and propel orbital velocities, a great deal of propellant is needed: therefore, the tanks, engines and associated hardware become larger. Up to a point, bigger rockets fly farther than smaller rockets, but when they become too large their structures weigh them down too much.
A variety of propulsion techniques may be used to propel a spacecraft to and from Mars. In this activity, you'll get to use a down-to-earth propulsion system - compressed air. Although a system of this type probably won't propel a Mars mission, it will generate plenty of fun and exploration.
Design a balloon rocket that can travel the greatest distance. You can add extra balloons, change the length/position/number of straw segments, etc., in your quest to construct the best propelled vehicle! You will be judged on:
Performance: The rocket that travels the greatest distance.
Engineering Technique: The use of engineering principles in your design.
Creative Achievement: The most appealing and original looking design.