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7 Predicted Rocket Performance Spread Sheets

There were some assumptions that were made when calculating the values of
the predicted values on the following spreadsheets. The masses of the rocket engines
used in the launch were not measured before and after the flight of each individual
rocket. We are assuming that the mass of the engine used is the same as the mass of
the engine that was used to measure the total rocket weight before launch. This was not
the same engine used and the mass value could have differed by 0.5g. The value of
the propellant mass, mp, was therefore obtained from
the average of the 8 individual ground tests conducted
before the launches of the rockets. The engine
parachute ejection charge mass, mpec, was calculated
using the difference of the rocket masses before and
after launch. The rocket drag coefficient, CD, is
calculated using an approximation of the area of the
rocket, which excludes the small area of the fins that
faces vertically upward. The air density was found by
interpolating from Appendix A in Anderson for the
altitude of the launch site, which was 225.552m.
The value of the aerodynamic center, A.C., is
established by finding out where the quarter chord of
the mean aerodynamic center of the fins is. Figure E.71 shows the geometric method used to find the mean
aerodynamic chord, MAC, of the fins and the

Figure E.7-1 Fin geometry used to

find A.C.

corresponding quarter chord of the MAC. This method was used for the different type of
fin configurations for each individual persons rocket.
When solving for the zero drag, zero gravity burnout velocity two equations are
used: the kinematics method of

and the rocket equation which is