From the onset of our project, we were certain of one thing: We wanted to recover our rocket. By recovering the rocket, we would be able to reuse many pieces of the system and redundantly check our data.
So when our team found Fruity Chutes, Inc., we were ecstatic. Here was a company which could provide us with a drogue chute and main chutes — and to specification! You may recognize the pictures below… They are from our first round of “official” drogue parachute tests in December.
Originally, Castle Point Rocketry planned to utilize one drogue parachute and one main parachute. The drogue parachute would deploy at maximum altitude (or “apogee”) and help the rocket fall in the correct orientation. Once the rocket had fallen most of the way back to Earth, our main parachute would open up. The main chute would provide drag (and added visibility) to allow us to track where it fell. It would also ensure the rocket didn’t impact with a big *splat*.
But, as with much of our project, the parachute system has undergone some iterating. Due to our rocket getting longer and heavier over the last few months, we needed more surface area. (More surface area creates more drag, the resistive force which slows the rocket’s descent.) Rather than buy a bigger chute and scrap our first, we decided to buy a sibling. We now have twin main parachutes!
Those of you who follow us on Facebook probably recognize this picture. (Those who don’t should go follow us pronto!) The first half of this week, we’ve been busy making sure all of our recovery system will fit in the rocket.
As you can see, here is one more subsystem ready for testing and launch. Everything’s leaning towards a successful summer!