April 16, 2004


The results of the qualifying for the Team America Rocketry Challenge were released, and the team I was mentoring didn't make it to the finals. Darn.

I just talked to their teacher, and we agreed that they learned a lot from this project. Since the finals will be local for them, they might come out and spend the day watching. That would be a great thing, because they were entirely successful, it just wasn't quite enough to advance. Besides, it'll do them good to see finalists have the same problems they had while making their qualifying flights. It's rocket science, and perfect preparation means you only minimize the effects of bad luck. You can't eliminate it completely.

In other great news, they've already announced that there will be another Challenge held in 2005. This was originally conceived of as a one-time event, but it's been successful enough to have a third go-round.

Next year's Challenge will be a little different. Instead of a target altitude, the kids will have to design a rocket for a target duration. In other words, the rocket from lift-off to touching ground again will be timed, and that's the parameter they're trying to zero in on. Of course, the rockets will have to carry at least one egg (and bring it back unbroken), and it looks like there will be bonus points awarded for two-stage designs and carrying two eggs aloft.

Mookie and I will be volunteers working the finals again this year. Fun fun fun!

Posted by Ted at April 16, 2004 12:10 PM | TrackBack

Is that time aloft before the chute deploys? It would seem to me that if was total time from take-off to landing a big chute would have big advantage.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at April 16, 2004 06:54 PM

Nope, it'll be total time. There's quite a bit to consider about this seemingly simple task. I'll work up a separate post about it, because I've been thinking about it a bit. :)

Posted by: Ted at April 16, 2004 08:17 PM
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