Apogee Physics (9/11/20)

I began researching on a few fronts, the first of which would be calculations regarding Tsolkovinsky’s equation, or the rocket equation and the other maths related to the sending of a rocket up into the air and back down. I came across the linked article a few days ago and this was a lecture that I read from MIT that helped me calculate the acceleration of my rocket and its expected apogee.

There are a few things that made this problem more difficult than a normal kinematics equation and that is that pretty much everything is changing instantaneously. The mass changes, which changes the acceleration, which changes the speed, which all change the position of the rocket. Oh and not to mention, gravity decreases slightly upon ascent oh and by the way air resistance is a function of velocity. Needless to say, I was in over my head. I found this lecture to help. It began by discussing the mass fraction of a rocket and then proceeded to walk me gingerly through the math. It got me thinking about the different forces acting upon a rocket, many of which are not mentioned in the article, but they all go through a similar mathematical process to impact the body temperature and all of the design choices of building a rocket.

This gave and some other things gave me more of a perspective on the forces that act upon a rocket in addition to the nature of those that a rocket imparts onto itself. Reflecting on this lecture, I think that there is a much greater value in textbooks and that is where I will be focusing my efforts. It was nice to be able to finally crunch out the numbers I needed to verify our design but this is only the beginning. I hope to learn more about this topic enough to be proficient in avoiding rapid unscheduled disassembly of my works.

Spakovszky, Z., 2000. 14.2 The Rocket Equation. [online] Web.mit.edu. Available at: <https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-1-4615-2522-6_129l> [Accessed 9 September 2020].