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Ideas for launching projectile rocket

  1. May 23, 2005 #1
    For a class assignment, I must construct a rocket-like projectile to launch in a launching tube of 2 inches in diameter and about a little less than 2 meters in length. I am given a hard-type construction paper to make the rocket and a golf ball as my "astronaut" to be put inside when launching. I can do it whatever way I want and the competition is to see who can get the most distance. The catch is that the launching tube will be at an angle of 60 degrees. My physics teacher gave a hint as to how to make the launch a success and that is to take into consideration the center of gravity so I must find a way to have the golf ball placed at the top of the rocket and have it remain there throughout the launching to achieve distance. The problem is how will I get it to stay there? I can use glue, tape, etc. Another idea is to have a conical shape rocket with the sharp point at the back end and the front the base of the cone so it can hold the ball in place and just put the nose or nozzle to cover it up. So my question is, which way is the best to go about constructing the rocket for greatest distance? How long should the body of the rocket be?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 23, 2005 #2


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    Is this really a rocket, or more like a gun? To clarify: If it is a gun, the projectile is fired out of the tube and then flies freely. If it is a rocket, it has an engine on it that thrusts after the projectile leaves the tube.
  4. May 23, 2005 #3
    Well it is a shape of a rocket but treated as a projectile.
  5. May 24, 2005 #4


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    Damn! There goes my special rocket motor idea! If it's going to be a projectile, leave the tube hollow. Reinforce it if you can, say by wrapping tape around it. Also, if possible, put some kind of perforated base-plate in the bottom. Tape or glue the ball in position. It shouldn't undergo enough g-force to move it down the tube. The reasoning behind the hollow tube with base plate is that it will become somewhat (not much) pressurized during launch, and then release the pressure through the base as if it really were a rocket. It can be good for a few extra feet of distance. For the ball, use construction glue (Elmer's, etc.) rather than any kind of Superglue. It's a lot better for things like this. Also, construct a cone to cover the ball and thus minimize your aerodynamic drag. If allowed, some kind of fins would also be helpful for stabilization and therefore extra mileage.
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