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Welcome to Rocket Research 103

"Kind of a Drag" - WATER ROCKET DRAG

Illustration of Fins on Water Rocket3. The Fins

In Rocket Research 102, you learned that fins are needed to stabilize the rocket.

Bonus Question!

Why wouldn't this work on the moon?

Make a prediction and write it down. Ok! Check your answer.

As you would expect, fins with their thin edges facing into the wind have very little drag. However, increasing the thickness, the surface area, or the number of fins can increase the drag.

Using the Simulator, experiment with different fin shapes, sizes, and quantities to determine which design gives the least resistance.

Go to Simulator

Reminder: When changing one variable (fins), keep all the other variables the same. Maintain the same air pressure, water level, take-off weight, nose cone, and fairing for all your fin experiments.

Use this chart as a guide, recording the altitude attained in each case:

Fin Style Number of Fins Size/Altitude
Fin Shape 1   1.
2.
Fin Shape 2   1.
2.
Fin Shape 3   1.
2.
Fin Shape 4   1.
2.
  1.
2.
Other fin style   1.
2.

 

Let's continue.

 


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Any comments, concerns, or questions should be addressed to:    

Developer: David Mazza    
Responsible NASA Official: Jo Ann Charleston    

 
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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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