The recovery system will consist of the deployment of a 60" diameter surplus, tangle-free, pilot parachute at apogee and a Rocketman R14 at 700'. Deployment will be triggered by two altimeters firing a black powder charge located in the nose cone at apogee. The nose cone will separate and the rocket will descend on the drogue/pilot parachute at approximately 55 feet/second until 700'. At 700', an altimeter will fire and free the the payload and main parachute. This event will be backed up by another altimeter at 650'. The pilot parachute will pull the payload module out of the rocket, followed by the main parachute deployment bag. This deployment system has been flight tested and shown to be 100% successful over 3 flights.
The rocket will land in two tethered pieces, the 13 pound nosecone/payload and the 24 pound rocket body and fin unit. The nose cone/high school payload section will land at approximately 19.16ft/sec for a total energy of 98.2 joules, or 72 ft-lbs. The lower section will land at approximately 12.89 ft/sec for a total landing energy of 82.3 joules or 60 ft-lbs of energy. These numbers are calculated using an online parachute descent rate calculator that also closely matches the published values for the Rocketman parachute we are using. Each section will contain a BigRedBee 70cm tracker for location after launch. The larger, lower section will also likely contain a BigRedBee 2m GPS tracker for the same purpose.