How To Improve The Nose Of Your Science Olympiad Rocket

what is ping pong parachute


Ping pong parachute is an engineering-based event hosted by Science Olympiad where students are tasked to build and test a bottle rocket indoors that deploys a parachute that holds a ping pong ball. The objective to achieve the highest time aloft for the ping pong ball. These concepts also apply to Indoor Bottle Rocket, another event held by Science Olympiad. 

In this post, we will discuss how you can improve the nose of your ping pong parachute bottle rocket.

improving the nose

use a rounded nose

In ping pong parachute you are limited to only 60psi of air pressure to shoot your rocket towards the ceiling. While, 60psi is enough to get you to the ceiling in most testing venues, it may not have enough power for super high testing venues. One way to make your rocket fly higher is to make it more aerodynamic by using a rounded nose. If you use a rounded nose, your rocked should be able to cut through air molecules a little better and experience less drag on the way up.

Another benefit to using a rounded nose id that it helps to protect your parachute. This effect, however, is dependent on the way you deploy your parachute. If your parachute simply sits on the nose of your rocket, this is a HUGE benefit to you, and not so much the other way around.

When you use a rounded nose, your parachute is less likely to be pieced by your rocket when traveling at high speed, given that you are using a deployment mechanism that we previously discussed. The worst thing that can happen in this competition is that your parachute breaks before it get a chance to deploy. Sacrificing a few grams of weight is 100% worth it in exchange for the safety of your parachute.

cheap solutions to make a rounded nose

Some cheap solutions to make the nose of your ping pong parachute rocket more round is to attach a ping pong ball to the top of your fuselage. Additionally, you could look for those cheap plastic easter eggs and use those instead. Make sure to watch my video o this topic to get a better sense of what I am talking about.

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