Friday, April 11, 2008

The Outcome

Well folks, we didn't make it this year. On behalf of the team, I'd like to thank all of our supporters this year, and I'd like to encourage everyone to pay attention to our team next year should we be able to continue. Now, I say we very loosely since Serena Howe, Sarah Waterman and I will all be graduating in May. However, I sincerely hope that the program will continue. I think that this next round of team members will have to do a lot of work to make something happen, but that's exactly what we had to do. I feel confident that with determination, perseverance and a double helping of common sense, they can make something happen next year.


Capt. Joseph Salvatore

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Friday, February 22, 2008

22nd February Launch

We had planned to launch today, but when we awoke to snow falling quite heavily I promptly postponed it. However, it cleared up round about 10 though, so myself, Shelby, Josiah, Peter and Lucas hurried and went out to catch what we could of the good weather. Set up was slow since we were missing Serena, Sarah and Mr. Bartel, but we got it done. Launched at 635 grams with a 19in parachute and hit 737 feet in 38 seconds. We're getting much closer! One of the fins broke, so we need to fix that before the next launch. Keep up your prayers!

-Capt. J. Salvatore

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Year Three

Greetings to all those who have stumbled across this blog.

In case you do not know, this is the official blog of the St. Andrew's Academy Rocketry Club. Here we post information regarding the Team America Rocketry Competition, notices to team members, and updates regarding our progress and our launches.

As Captain of this years team, I will be working as best as I can to make sure that this blog stays as up to date as possible.

It is my pleasure to announce that today we had our maiden flight of this year's rocket, and flew to a very successful 941 feet with no damage whatsoever. The goal for this year is to launch two eggs to 750 feet within a 45 second time frame. Our second flight today brought us to 783 feet and 36 seconds after a weight increase of about 58 grams. We will spend the next week or two re-evaluating and brain storming and will launch again soon.

Your ever-hopeful messenger of good news,

-Capt. J. Salvatore

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


There has been... for a while.... a post where this one is. Ignore it. It was meant to be published to me OTHER blog (you know, the one no one ever reads) but somehow it migrated... I'm really not at all sure how that happened. But my apologies anyhow. Ignore anything you may or may not (probably not) have read.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I have updated the Calender and will start blogging all the emails, so I would appreciate it if everyone would start making it a habit to check this periodically. I know I haven't been good at keeping it updated, but I will from now on.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Mr. Bartel's Comments and Concerns

This is an email Mr. Bartel sent to me a week ago. Everyone please read this and pay close attention especially if it has anything remotly to do with your job. If you have any questions or comments on this, do comment please.



Here are a few things that I will mention to you that I have concerns about:

1) I don't think that the Estes engines are going to get the team where it needs to be - to much variability in the propellent mass, nozzle dimensions (not sure if this is a factor), and especially the delay timing. Also we are going to be pushing the ability of this engine to get us the extra 50 m.

2) The options are to go with an 'E' sized engine from Aerotech (which might have the same issues) or to use an 'E' reload-able engine.

3) Would the team consider a electronically controlled ejection timer? Currently the engine has a delay built in and then burns a little more propellant to pop the parachute. I think the built in delay has too much variation. We could build an ejection system based on commonly available parts. I stumbled across a web-site that could be adapted to provide a safe way to generate ejection gasses fired electronically -
I would have to work with the person responsible for this, but ultimately, they would make design choices and built the system.

4) I think the team ought to consider having the booster separate from the payload section for recovery. The rules say that this is acceptable, and the time is based on the part of the rocket that carries the egg. Our last flight separated on accident and the booster section tumbled down undamaged while the payload took too long to get down due to less weight. If we design it this way, I think that there will be less variability in the dynamics of the descent so we should be able to be more consistent. The payload and parachute can be exactly the same for each flight - no variation in weight.

5) We ought to try to find a balance for weighing the rocket and components - more precise. Along with this we need to consider some kind of field table that can be leveled and possibly shield against wind.

6) I would like the team to buy a composite launch rod (much like an untapered fishing pole). This will be straighter and resist permanent bends - unlike the current rod. Here is a link.
We need to check the rules to see what the length requirement of the actual rod will be (we might be able to get away with the 6' length, but we could go for the 12' length and trim to size if needed). When we go to Va, we could take the rod with us ensuring a consistent drag due to the launch rod.

The Real Deal

This is the job master list. Enjoy. :D

Launch Operations - Sarah
Data Retrieval - Joe
Flight Performance - Andrew
Vehicle Design & Integration - Joey
Propulsion - Shelby
Recovery - Amanda
Safety & Quality - Charris
Manufacturing - Joseph
Ejection - Joe/Serena
Supervisor - Serena (duh)


MANDY - Ejection Decision (or "do we want the electric ejection thing or not? other possibilities...?")
SHELBY - Propulsion Analysis (or "what sort of engine do we want? pros and cons of each..?")
CHARRIS - DVD from Shayne (doesn't necessarily have to be got by next club, but you do need to get this done asap)
SARAH - Basic Plan Thing
JOEY - see above