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Rocket Development Diary


1. List all of the components necessary to build a model

Aluminium foil frame for the rocket body, balsa wood for the
fins of the rocket, engine fastener, black powder for rocket
engine, fuse, 3D printer for the nose cone and parachute.
2. What are the main stages or rocket systems for building a
We need rocket fins and rocket nose cone to keep the body
balanced and to avoid flow-detachment, turbulence and
drag. We also need rocket engine for making it fly. Moreover,
we need the parachute system otherwise the rocket will not
land successfully.
3. What variations of model rocket engines exist?
Gun powders and black powders are the variations of model
rocket engine.
4. What are the sizes of black powder engines?
The black powder engine is 7cm tall and the diameter is
5. According to CASA, what regulations exist regarding the
use of model rockets?
There was nothing about the safety of the rocket model.
However, there was a similar model which was the safety for
flying drones. The website demonstrated that the model
should be below 2kg.
6. What is the maximum height model rockets can reach
without a permit?
The maximum height of rocket models including the rocket
nose cone would be around 45cm.

7. What size rocket engine do you hypothesise will be used

for your project based on your knowledge from question 5
and 6? Justify.
Based on the knowledge from question 5 and 6, I hypothesis
that the size of the rocket engine would be around 8cm.
8. What environmental conditions must be considered when
launching rockets? What are the main safety issues
requiring attention when launching from the school oval?
How can these be minimised?
The environmental conditions must be mild without any
rainfalls, storms or winds. The oval should have no trees or
buildings nearby. The main safety when launching a rocket
from the school oval is to be minimum 3 metres away, to
wait 60 seconds if the rocket misfires and more.

Today, I planned how to make my rockets nose, body and fin.
For the body, I used the frame of the Aluminium foil because it
was tall enough and quite stronger than the frame of the toilet
paper roll. I planned to use the 3D modelling software which is
called Sketch Up to make a rocket nose cone. I decided to
make the nose cone part rounded which is called parabola
because a pointed nose cone can produce flow-detachment,
turbulence and drag. However, a rounded nose is more immune
to this effect. I also decided to place my fins slightly tilted to
make it spin. If it spins, even though the fuel is gone, it would
fly a second more because of the force which spinning is


Today, I made a rocket nose cone with the software Sketch Up.
First, I made a ring by making two circles and deleting a smaller
one. Secondly, I made some few shape including a rectangle
and a curved shape. Then, I selected the face of a ring by

double clicking and selected the Follow Me tool and clicked the
shapes I made before. It formed a rocket cone with a smooth
surface that can be plugged into a rocket body. Lastly, I had
created two rectangles crossed each other and pushed them to
make it thicker. This produced an excellent place to tie the
parachute on.

Today, I decided to make a STL file for my 3D model to make it
able to print it out from the 3D printer. First, I had to install a
STL file converter from Extension Warehouse. Secondly, I triple

clicked my model and go to file and clicked Export STL.

Thirdly, I chose the place to save my file in my browser. Then, I
got a STL file of my model which was imported on the 3D
printing software called 3D Builder. Lastly, I sent my STL file to
the STEMs computer by USB. I was one of the people who gave
the STL file faster than others in the STEM class. I would
probably get my 3D printed model next SRT class.

Today, I unfortunately didnt get my rocket nose cone 3D
printed out. However, I planned how Im going to do with my
rocket fins. I planned to make 4 rocket fins as 10 by 13cm
which is shaped right angle triangle. I drew the shape in a piece
of paper and traced it out on a piece of balsa wood. Then, I was
planning to cut the balsa wood with a scalpel to make 4 fins out
of it. However, Mr. Riley told me that the fins were too big for
my rocket body. Therefore, I decided to design and cut out my
fins smaller on my balsa wood piece in next SRT class.


Today, I planned to make 3 rocket fins as 5 to 9.5cm and as a

right angle triangular shape. I chose to make 3 instead of 4
because 3 fins would cause less drags than 4 fins and 4 fins
could also cause heavier weight than 3 fins. I drew the new
rocket fin design on a piece of paper and traced it out on the
piece of balsa wood. Then I cut out my rocket fins with a
scalpel. It was quite successfully done because the balsa wood
was very easy to cut with a scalpel. Then, I sandpapered the
rocket fins to make it smoother. First, I made the end bit
exceptionally sharp to avoid flow-detachment, turbulence and
drag. Secondly, I made the bottom part straight and smooth to
make it easier to stand with a 90-degree good position. When
Im sandpapering I had to make sure that I swipe it one at the
time, so its smoother. As a result, today I was able to make my
rocket fins successfully. Next SRT class, I would hopefully, glue
on the rocket fins on to my rocket body.

Today, I glued my rocket fins to the rocket body using a hot glue
gun and a PVA glue. But, it was not very successfully done
because I wasnt quite sure about gluing the rocket fins in the
rocket body. I was supposed to put less amount of hot glue
guns and use PVA glue for the actual glue to use. However, I
put more hot glue guns than the PVA glue which was much
stronger and lighter unlike the hot glue gun. If I used small
amount of hot glue gun it could had been lighter and smoother.
Although, the rocket fin was glued very strongly and steadily.
Thus, I believe that I had sticked the rocket fins strongly, but
was not successful because the hot glue gun was used too
much. Next SRT class, I should be planning for the parachute
system which is one of the most important part in a rocket.

Today, I finally received my rocket nose cone from Mrs. Saint
Pierre. However, the rocket nose cone was a bit smaller to fit
perfectly in my rocket tube. So, I wrapped a blue duct tape
around the nose cone to make it thicker and fit in perfectly.
However, my rocket nose cone was too sharp and the bottom
bit which was supposed to produce an excellent place for tying
a parachute was not printed well. As a result, today I made my
rocket nose cone thicker to make it fit into the rocket tube
successfully. Next SRT class, I should be able to make my nose
cone rounder and think of the way to tie the parachute in.



Today, I sandpapered the rocket nose cone and made it rounder
to avoid flow-detachment, turbulence and drag which occurs if
it is sharp. I also asked Mr. Leggott what I should do to tie the
parachute to the nose cone. He said that it would be too weak
for drilling in a hook. So, he concluded that he would try to tie it
if its possible. Therefore, I successfully made my rocket nose
cone rounded by rubbing a sandpaper on the top.



Today, someone accidently snapped one of my rocket fin.
However, I glued it with a PVA glue successfully. Today, I also

asked Mrs. Saint Pierre what I could do with my rocket nose

cones parachute tying part again because I was not very sure.
She said that I should take it off and stick two match sticks in
and make a crossed shape like what I was supposed to do.
Therefore, next SRT class Im going to bring in some match
sticks and stick it on crossed shape.

Today, I didnt bring any match sticks. Instead, I brought two
pieces of wooden chopsticks to stick it on the rocket nose cone
for tying the parachute in. First, I measured the length of the
diameter of the nose cone which was 24mm. Then, I marked
with a black pen and cut the chopstick with scissors. Lastly, I
glued that piece of chopstick to the nose cone with a hot glue
gun. Therefore, today I had glued in a piece of chopsticks to the
inner part of the rocket nose cone successfully. Next, SRT class I
would hopefully research on my parachute and start to make

Today, I had a research about rocket parachute system. I found
that the rocket parachute opens from the rocket nose cone by
the gas which fires up when the engines all burned out. I also
found the basic materials and steps when making a rocket
parachute system. To make a parachute, table cover, string and
a Duct tape was the material needed. Tools such as scissors
and hole punch tool were also required. A strip of duct tape
should be applied to each corner of the edges to prevent them
from ripping off. I also found out that a hole to tie strings should

be created on each corner of the parachute using a hole punch

tool. Moreover, I found out that the parachute needs to be cut
at the edges of the rectangles and make an octagonal perfect
shape because it would have a better balance to tie 8 strings
than 4 strings at the edge. Therefore, today I successfully
researched important facts about the rocket parachute system.

Today, I actually started making a rocket parachute with a piece
of pink fabric. First, I cut the fabric in to a perfect square with
scissors to make a good shape. Secondly, I cut the edges with
scissors to make an octagonal shape and balance it well.
Thirdly, I taped each edges with a clear tape because I couldnt
find my duct tape. Then, I created holes in each edges by using

a hole punch tool. Next SRT class, I would be able to continue

on my rocket parachute making. Thus, today I was able to
make the base of my parachute system successfully.

Today, I worked on some parts of the parachute system which
was tying strings for the eight holes that I created with a hole
puncher. First, I cut the strings as almost 3 meters because I
wanted each edges tied with 35 centimetres. Secondly, I
divided them in to eight different strings and tied them on.

However, the length was not all exactly the same because
measuring them was pretty difficult. It was successful even
though it was not perfectly measured. Next SRT class, I would
hopefully finish my parachute system and could paint my
rocket if possible.

Today, I worked on spray painting my rocket yellow, parachute
system and the engine fastener. First, I sprayed my rocket body
and the fins yellow to make sure it is mine because not many
people used yellow. Secondly, I placed the rocket on the

concrete area where everyone placed it to dry it. Then, to make

an engine fastener, I sandpapered a balsa wood which was cut
rounded to make sure it fits in the rocket tube. Then, I traced
the rocket engine out in the centre to fit the engine in. Then, I
tried to cut it with a blade to make a perfect hole on it.
However, I accidently, broke the engine fastener when making
a hole in the middle. Accordingly, I went down to the concrete
and got my painted rocket which was completely dry. Then, I
tied my rocket parachute on to my rocket nose cone. Therefore,
today I achieved on painting my rocket and continuing my
rocket parachute system successfully.

Today, I finished working on my rocket parachute system and
started working on rocket engine fastener again. First, I cut an

elastic string which was about 25 centimetres. Secondly, I cut a

strip of paper which was rectangular shape and was 10cm to
3cm. Thirdly, I glued the elastic band on the paper with a PVA
glue and folded 2 times to make a square which made it more
stable. Then, I glued the paper end of elastic string with a PVA
glue and let it dry for 20 minutes. While waiting for it, I was
remaking a rocket engine fastener by sandpapering extremely
carefully this time. Lastly, when it was completely dry, I tied the
other end of the elastic to the rocket nose cone. Therefore,
tody, I achieved to finish my rocket parachute system and
restarted to make an engine fastener.


Today, I found out that someone broke the bottom bit of the
rocket fin again and told Mr. Leggott about what happened.
However, he told me that it was okay because the bottom bit of
the rocket fin doesnt really affect flow-detachment, turbulence
and drag. As a result, I didnt worry about my rocket fins
anymore and started sandpapering my engine fastener to finish
off what I did in previous SRT class. However, I wasnt
successful. I snapped it again because it was too fragile.
Consequently, I went to get one again, but there was nothing
left. The only choice to make an engine fastener was to cut out
4 pieces of balsa wood which will be sticked besides the
engines to make it fit in the rocket tube. So, I measured and
traced my rocket fastener design on the balsa wood. Therefore,
today, I started making my rocket engine fastener again
because it snapped in to pieces.

Today, I successfully made the rocket engine fastener and put
my rocket engine inside my rocket tube. I also made my rocket
fuse with a plastic straw. Firstly, I cut out 4 pieces of
rectangular balsa wood with a scalpel which was 7cm long and
0.5 cm wide. Secondly, I glued them beside the rocket engine
with a PVA glue and let it dry. When waiting for it to dry, I used
the plastic straw to make a rocket fuse. First, I cut the bit that
bends easily. Then, I sticked the straw between 2 fins vertically
with a hot glue gun successfully. Then, I tried to fit the engine
with fastener which was dry inside the rocket tube. However, I
sandpapered a bit because it was too big. Lastly, I glued the
other side of the glued fastener and put it inside the bottom of
the rocket tube which fitted perfectly. Therefore, today, I finally
finished making my rocket successfully. I have done my rocket
nose cone, rocket fins, rocket parachute system, rocket engine
fastener and rocket fuse.