Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For several weeks in May, Rivers seniors embark on self-directed independent study projects that can involve anything from volunteering at a soup kitchen to running a marathon. Over the next few weeks, we will be periodically checking in with a handful of students to learn more about their experiences. Today, we hear from Ian Brownstein, who is working on fulfilling his level I and II certification for rocketry.

Today I finally finished the goals I set for myself earlier this month. I have nearly completed two high-powered rockets: one rocket capable of sonic flight and one rocket carrying onboard electronics. I understand how the onboard electronics my rockets require work and is prepared to use them for my next launch. I have designed and constructed a liner rail launch pad that has been tested to show its ability to make my rockets fly straighter and to prevent the pad from falling over with larger rockets. I have read and learned new methods to build rockets and learned some of the laws and regulations surrounding model rocketry required to pass my level two certification in the future. I learned about these restrictions this week by reading the Handbook of Model Rocketry by G. Harry Stine. This is the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) handbook that all NAR members are recommended to read. This was a helpful experience for me since I learned rocketry on my own. It filled all of the gaps in my knowledge making some of the most frustrating parts of rocket construction much easier. I also completed the rocket capable of sonic flight today with the exception of its fiberglass coat, which is still in the mail. It was a relatively easy to build rocket with no surprises or unexpected components but I had to strengthen the rocket for its near breaking of the sound barrier less than a second after the start of its first flight. To do this I had to apply multiple coats of epoxy to not only the outside fins but also the insides of the body tube and all of the internal components of the rocket. Once the fiberglassing material arrives I will be able to paint the rocket and it will be launch with the BBX on July 18th.

1 comment:

winchou said...

Ian! You're still trying to take over the world with your rockets? I *love* it. Congrats. Hope it all went well. Yours in rocketry, Mr. Chou