Students from SVCC participated in the launch of their school-project rocket last weekend. Instructor Brent Richey says the launch went well with the rocket going about 6000 feet up. However, the main parachute deployed early and with a good wind, the rocket drifted for miles rather than coming down near the launch site.
The students were not able to recover the rocket despite hours of searching over two days. Richey says it’s unlikely the rocket, with its onboard video camera and recording data, will be recovered in the roughly 1000 acre area.
The SVCC rocket has two different parachute systems. The first, small parachute deploys early to slow down the rocket. Then a second, much larger chute should appear at about 700 feet to bring the rocket to a safe landing speed. Unfortunately, the second chute deployed almost immediately after the first one at far too high an altitude.
“There is learning to be had in failure but it is much more fun to learn from success,” said Richey.