HPR Cover Letter


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HPR Cover Letter

  1. 1. 403 Sunflower RidgeCanton, GA 3011518 April 2012Judges, Senior ProjectCreekview High School1550 Owens Store RoadCanton, GA 30115Dear Judges: My name is Cody Blackwell. I will be entering Georgia Institute of Technologythis fall as a first-year Aerospace Engineering student. I am also an Eagle Scout and acharter member of the Creekview High School Aeronautics Club. As such, I intended forthis project to further my amateur rocketry experiences by achieving NationalAssociation of Rocketry (NAR) Level I certification, I defined the construction andsuccessful launch of a high power rocket as my ultimate goal in full acknowledgment therisks and unforeseen challenges involved in such a task. As stated previously, I personally designed, built, and launched a Level I highpower rocket (HPR). NAR deems an HPR Level I certification necessary for anyone wholaunches rockets 1) flying with engines imparting total impulses (changes in momentum)between 160.01 and 640 Newton-seconds, 2) weighing over 3.3 pounds (1500 grams),and/or 3) using engines not considered “model rocket motors” by the National FireProtection Association. This project seemed most fitting because I endeavor to expandmy intellect whenever possible. My research paper discusses the issues faced by JimLovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert during Apollo XIII and the engineering ingenuitydisplayed with the successful performance of Mission Control’s improvised oxygenvalve. I attempted to emulate this resourcefulness during the design and assembly stagesof my project, although I unintentionally created a problem by excluding an altimetersection from my original rocket designs. I altered the rocket design to accommodate analtimeter compartment, but the weather on launch day proved a much greater concern.Persistent rain at the Southern Area Rocketry launch site in Lilly, GA (four hours southof my home), necessitated a four-and-a-half hour drive northwest to Phoenix MissileWorks’ field near Talladega, AL. The additional travel proved worthwhile, allcomponents remained intact throughout the day, and I had the pleasure of meeting severalGeorgia Tech Ramblin’ Rocket Club members at the Alabama field. Due to my academic undertakings, delving into high power rocketry seemedfitting for a high school “Capstone” project. Aerospace engineers design, build, and testvehicles other than rockets, but my involvement in the Aeronautics Club has inspired meto specialize in propulsion and structures & design. In carrying out this project, I havesolidified my post-secondary educational goals, but I also better comprehend thenecessity of perseverance in everything I do. I now have a frame of reference thatfacilitates my comprehension of the stresses and challenges in design engineering, from
  2. 2. setting and maintaining deadlines to improvising solutions to unforeseen circumstances. Iwas ultimately grateful for the diversion because it allowed Dad and me to spend theentire day together! Reminiscing the past seven months, I do not believe I could have chosen a betterresearch project. It effectively combined a hobby I thoroughly enjoy with my careergoals. As Senator John Calhoun put it, “I have nothing to regret and little to correct.”Sincerely,Cody J. Blackwell