Fortuna 4

Fins of Fortuna 4


Fortuna 4 is a single stage rocket with a science bay designed to fly interchangeable experiments, as well as test new shock cord mounts and parachutes.



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Flight Reports

Flight 1

On June 29, 2014, at 7:35 Fortuna 4 was launched, behind the University of Sioux Falls. At 7:33, a T minus 2 minute countdown was started. Fortuna 4 had 8 experiments on board. Before Fortuna 4 was launched, the temperature of the engine was taken, and it was 19.3 degrees celsius. A person with a protractor was standing 30.5 meters away from the launch pad with a protractor, who would take the maximum angle of what the rocket got to in it’s apogee to approximate how high Fortuna 4 traveled. Fortuna 4 got to an angle of 38 degrees. Moments after the launch of Fortuna 4, Fortuna 4 tilted and flew to the South. That was unexpected because the winds were blowing gently to the North. 7 seconds after the engine stopped burning, the parachute deployed, relatively close to the ground. For rockets like this, C6-5 engines should be used instead of C6-7 because they have 2 seconds less of a delay. Immediately after the parachute deployed, the Fortuna 4 slowed its descent significantly, more than normal store bought parachutes. 45 cm. parachutes are going to be the standard size for rockets with science bays about this size. Moments after Fortuna 4 touched down, the temperature read 42.8 degrees celsius. That is a 23.5 degree difference from before the flight. Fortuna 4 had a balsa nose cone and fins.

Test Outcomes

Temperature 42.8 – 19.3 = 23.5 degrees difference
Approximate Height 47.5 meters
Parachute Success
Science Bayliner Success
Balsa Nose Cone Success
Balsa Fins Success
Shock Cord Mounting Success
Shock Cord Success

Mission Outcome: Success


Flight 2

On November 28, 2014, Fortuna 4 was launched for the 2nd time. There was supposed to be project Eos in the science bay of the rocket, but unfortunately, the science experiment was forgotten and not packed during pre launch before we headed out to the launch site. Although, the experiment was saved from damage, because the parachute was deployed, but failed to open. After falling from the apogee, fins #3 and 4 were severely damaged, and were snapped off from the rocket. Fin #3 broke into 3 pieces (vertically). Fin #4 just snapped off from the rocket (vertically). The reason that all of the fins broke vertically was because the grain of the balsa wood was also going vertically. The only reason that they were was because the balsa wood that the Sioux Falls Space Association isn’t wide enough to cut fins out of with the grain going away from the rocket.

Moments after the launch of Fortuna 4, the rocket rapidly accelerated. Fortuna 4 tilted a bit to the Southeast, but not very much. At apogee, it is estimated that Fortuna 4 was at an altitude of 58.1 meters.

Flight Outcome: Partial success

Eos Outcome: N/A


Flight 3

On March 8, 2015, Fortuna 4 was launched for the 3rd time. Fortuna 4 was an important mark in the history of the Sioux Falls Space Association because it was the first rocket to carry a science experiment. That experiment was the Eos Project.

Fortuna 4 had a very successful flight. According to the data that we collected from the flight, the angle from the measurement center (that was 20 meters away) was 75 degrees. This is the math that we did to find the height.

tan75 degrees = 3.73

20*3.73=74.6 meters

This determines that the height of Fortuna 4 was 74.6 meters.

The Eos Project that was in Fortuna 4 at the time also gave us excellent results. We thought that the 2 substances would mix in the flight, and we were correct. There was a more or less even distribution of both the substances, meaning that there is time when there is no gravity affecting the rocket, which was our hypothesis.

Overall Flight Results: Success