Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rocketmodeler II - NASA Website

NASA provides some amazing resources for science education online. More than just providing information there are interactive simulator programs such as RocketModeler II Simulator.  I am just starting to work with this program and find it slightly frustrating at times, maybe it is just me. From what I have seen all parameters have to be in range or you cannot attempt to got through the launch simulation. This makes sense except it does not let you know what you are doing wrong.

Something Wrong With Design When I Clicked on Pad

All Green Gives Fire Button

There are three major areas that need to be correct to be able to launch; Design - Fuel - Pad. When you have adjusted the parameters, then you press the Go button and proceed to the next area. You can get through a couple of areas and then in the third area it will warn you that the first area was incorrect. Sometimes I would have everything green and ready to launch but the rocket would just fallover, the tube inside of the rocket was too short.

Rocket Fell Over on Launch

When you do get the rocket to launch it is so interesting to see the graphics and data change. At beginning of the launch you will see the thrust numbers adding up. When the water has been expelled this number will go to zero and the rocket is coasting. You can see the speed changing and the path changing as you experiment with the wind speed.

Thrust Number Visible to Start Launch

Thrust Zero as Rocket Coasts

Rocket Coming Down

I sure would like to hear any tips that people have for running this program.

Bill Kuhl

For an explanation of many aspects of simple aerodynamics with math problems check out my article Basic Aerodynamics With a Lesson

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