any rocket sciencetists?

Alexia

Est. Contributor
hypothetically speaking, would it be possible to blast a 100kg payload to an altitude of 500ft with one of those homemade sugar rockets?

OldIron

Est. Contributor
Theoretically, yes.
In practice though, in order to have enough thrust, you would be flirting with a lot of regulations due to the amount of propellant involved and the potential consequences of something going wrong.
Out of curiosity, what are you trying to fly to 500ft?

LittleSissieJolie

Est. Contributor
pyrotechnic display? My imaginary friends Stub and Lefty say that a fuel-air cannon (or just CO2, baddest azz BB guns there are) should be the primary stage and would PROBABLY push the 100kg payload a .5m vertically. That would eliminate your black powder scorching the launch pad and potentially your skin or, worse, my skin. Not that I tried it. My experience is second hand at the nearest. I did ask my grandpa who worked with von Braun at Aberdeen, Kwajalein, and White Sands. Long lonnnnnng time ago, he took a puff on his pipe, lowered his glasses, exhaled and said "Jo san, don't be stupid."
http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/math.html as my reference....
Without an open parachute, it takes a little over three minutes and the landing speed is about 110 miles per hour. (Air Force magazine did not specify the weight of this person, but presumably it would be a little less than the weight used in the examples from Emrich below.)

For a 170-pound person wearing two parachutes and using a stable spread position, Emrich calculates that the terminal velocity (i.e, the maximum speed) would be 176 feet per second, or about 120 miles per hour. (Note: In general, the more you weigh, the faster your terminal velocity will be, although your speed will be faster if you fall head down or feet first, because those positions provides the least resistance.)

Emrich notes that this 170-pound person would reach terminal velocity after about 12 seconds and would fall nearly 10,000 feet in one minute.

According to Emrich's calculations, this 12-second fall would cover a little under 1,500 feet, which from a terminal velocity perspective means that it doesn't make much difference whether this 170-pound person fell from 2,000 or 20,000 feet. He or she would still be moving at about 120 miles per hour.

Some living things (ants for example) have terminal velocities that are not fatal, and can survive falls from heights that might be fatal for humans. See more on this in relation to cats and their ability to survive long falls.

Not used to miles per hour? Prefer another metric? We have recently added the Free Fall Research Page Speed Conversion Table to the site. This is a device that allows you to see comparable values in miles per hour, kilometers per hour, feet per minute (or second), or meters per minute (or second).

In his marvelous book, "The Wild, Wonderful World of Parachutes and Parachuting" (Prentice-Hall, 1981), Bud Sellick included a table showing the distance covered by a skydiver in a stable free fall position. We've taken this information and created a graphic that we hope will be useful for anyone wondering how long it takes for someone to fall a given distance. It also shows an approximation of how fast that person was moving.

Readers of the Free Fall Research Page have submitted explanations of the math for two interesting topics: how acceleration works on the moon and the influence of weight on terminal velocity. Enjoy!
So, just a rough estimate, 200 kilos from the target altitude, you won't have much time to deploy a chute, and it would go to terminal velocity before first half of the descent. Splat Calculator

Alexia

Est. Contributor
well, i was just kinda speculating about things. i saw videos of those giant amateur rockets and it made me wonder if i could cook one up myself and use it for science purposes