final set of Rough Science space challenges are all about
rockets. Mike, Jonathan
and Kathy have to make three different
rockets, but there's a catch; they're only allowed to
use one thing as a fuel and that's water! They've also
got to design their rockets to carry a "passenger"
a (raw) egg. And Ellen and Iain
have to find a way of returning the egg safely to Earth.
Each of our 3 rocketeers designs a rocket that fits
their science background. Jonathan's is the most ambitious
his physics background inspires him to build a steam
powered rocket. Kathy also a physicist decides to
use pressurised water, and Mike takes a chemical approach,
using electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and
oxygen gases, and then recombining them to form an explosive
mixture. (Hydrogen and oxygen are what NASA uses to
fuel its rockets but the difference is that NASA uses
a liquid fuel which can compress far more energy into
a much smaller space.) What develops is a Rough Science
space race, as the scientists compete to see who can
get to the launch pad first, and whose rocket will be
the most effective.
Meanwhile, Ellen and Iain have to find a way of putting
an egg on each rocket and returning it to Earth. They
opt for a parachute made out of bin bags, and design
a detachable nosecone for the rockets. However, the
"detachable" part proves harder to achieve
than first thought...