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Aerospace Airbags for rockets

  1. Dec 25, 2005 #1


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    Hi, I'm building a rocket, and my team is planning to use airbags to protect the tanks from crushing during landing. I'm a newbie at this, and I want to know where I should start:)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 25, 2005 #2


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    Please describe your rocket concept. Presumably the rocket is landing so as to take off again, which would imply there is a fuel supply or one will have to produce a fuel supply near the landing point.

    The air bags would in theory deploy themself to distribute any forces on the tanks to the structural frame of the rocket. Then that also means the rocket motors, which would have to be attached to fuel/oxidizer transfer lines, would also have to mounted with a shock absorbing system with similar displacement as the tanks, or the fuel/oxidizer transfer lines have to be flexible to accomodate the differences in displacement between rocket motors and tanks.

    One has to look at the structural frame and tank geometry to determine the optimal placement of the air bags.

    Also are the airbags external or internal. Airbags were used for the Spirit and Opportunity landings on Mars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Exploration_Rover_Mission#Airbags
    The actual airbags were tested at Glenn Research Center, NASA.
  4. Dec 26, 2005 #3


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    I know that airbags isn't the best option, because you never know where the rocket will land and they can only deflate once. Are there any options for protecting the rocket during landing other than airbags?
  5. Dec 27, 2005 #4


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    You might be better off sticking with a good parachute, or maybe even an R/C steerable parawing. Maybe cushion-mounting the tanks would be of benefit as well (ie: pack styrene peanuts or foam rubber around them and use flexible lines).
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