Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis


Mechanical Engineering (MECH)

First Advisor

Daniel Larson

Second Advisor

John D. Dionisio


This report describes the analysis, design, and test, and launch of a high power reusable rocket. The design goals were to reach a target altitude of 3000’, deploy a payload module containing an egg that can be safely recovered, and record flight video. The rocket was 62.13 in long fully assembled, had a dry mass of 2.764 kg (3.077 kg wet), and was propelled using an I-class solid fuel rocket motor (Cesaroni I-216-CL). The nose cone and tail cone were fabricated by the team from carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) via wet layup and vacuum bagging. The fins were constructed from a carbon fiber-balsawood sandwich structure and designed to optimize aerodynamic performance (minimize drag and maximize lift). The motor mount consisted of an innovative “tubeless” design utilizing three centering rings and a 3D-printed ABS engine block. In order to ensure reusability, this design includes a dual deployment recovery system that uses a barometric altimeter to trigger flight events. A 15” drogue chute was set to deploy at apogee, which would control the initial descent while minimizing drift, and a 60” parachute deployed at 800’ was used to slow the rocket to a safe ground-hit velocity. At 900’, a self-contained egg module was deployed with its own parachute. The rocket achieved an apogee of 3556’, however a failure in the recovery system resulted in catastrophic fuselage damage on main parachute deployment. Design objectives, analyses, specifications, testing, and results are discussed in detail.