Rocket Project


Project Objective:

This project is to design, fabricate, and test a model rocket. This project introduces the students to the 3D printer and Laser cutter machines.

Two students will research, design, and construct a custom model rocket that must carry a specified payload using a standard propulsion device. Your goal is to create a rocket that carries that payload to the highest vertical position and then safely return the payload back to earth. You will also be expected to use your knowledge of kinematics and dynamics to analyze the rocket’s performance once we collect the data!


There are several products that you will be required to produce in order to successfully complete this project:

    1. Research Documents:
      A written compilation and analysis of information on model rocketry. This must be your own work and reflect your knowledge of the subject.
    2. Design Drafts:
      These drawing documents represent “rough” design ideas. These are to be done on graph paper and to scale.
    3. Final Digital CAD Designs and Drawings:
      These will be created using a 3D parametric modeling software. You must have a final assembly drawing as well as a separate drawing for each component.
    4. Fabrication Narrative and Bill of Materials:
      A narrative of all the required steps to create your model rocket. This includes material needs as well as instructions for safe/proper use of all fabrication tools.
    5. A Rocket and Payload Retrieval System:
      A safe and operational model rocket with a tested payload retrieval system that properly deploys and safely returns a specified payload.
    6. Design Analysis:
      A document that analyzes both the performance of your rocket and payload retrieval system.
    7. Team Evaluation:
      A reflection document outlining task responsibilities and performance.


  1. Students will be supplied one ESTES C6-5 model rocket engine: DIMENSIONS: Length = 70 mm, Diameter = 18 mm
  2. Students will be supplied with a solid state altimeter that MUST fit into the rocket’s payload container. DIMENSIONS: Length = 80 mm,Width = 14 mm, Height = 17 mm.
  3. A payload retrieval system must be designed and built and then approved by the academy staff. This system must be designed to allow for the safe descent of the onboard altimeter. For more information on the altimeter, visit the site
  4. Adhesives will be supplied. 

Check Out a Couple of Rocket Launches of the Past (and a couple of bloopers)

Blurry? Click on the Picture-in-Picture button on the bottom right (2nd to right button)

2019 Successful Rocket Launch
2019 Video of a Rocket not quite making it upwards
2019 Great launch but not so great fall!

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