The centre of mass is a point directly above your finger. Would you like to take a short survey? The study of rockets is an excellent way for students to learn the basics of forces and the response of an object to external forces.

Lift occurs when a flow of gas is turned by a solid object.

Rocket Stability Source: The speed of a rocket through the air similarly increases drag. Rockets with a larger diameter have more drag because there is more air being pushed out of the way. For an object with a simple mathematical shape, it can be found with a simple integral.

Rocket Rotation Axis Source: To understand how stability works on a rocket, let us first consider a wind vane.

Engineers still use Newton's laws to design and predict the flight of full scale rockets. So outside the atmosphere there is no lift and no drag.

Since pressure is a measure of the momentum of the gas molecules and a change in momentum produces a force , a varying pressure distribution will produce a force on the body. Forces are vector quantities having both a magnitude and a direction.

Aerodynamic forces are used differently on a rocket than on an airplane. Although the same four forces act on a rocket as on an airplane, there are some important differences in the application of the forces:. We can determine the magnitude of the force by integrating, or adding up the local pressure times the surface area around the entire body. It works in the same way as placing feathers at the tail of an arrow.

Note that until now, we have only used three degrees of freedom. Drag is most often determined by wind tunnel testing a model of the rocket. Forces on a Rocket: This source of drag depends on the shape of the rocket and is called form drag.

The size of the drag changes depending on the thrust setting and the flow of gases at the base of the rocket.

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