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Iain's Rocket Diary Day 1 2 3

Day One

I’d been preparing myself for the final challenge of the series to be a real tough task, but this appeared too good to be true. Kathy, Mike and Jonathan are to build some rockets to fire off into space, while me and Ellen are to build a payload for it to carry and a parachute to bring it back down to Earth. Admittedly not a hint of rock or geology in sight, but this seemed to be too much fun. This is the kind of things you would do with the kids in the back garden (fire them into space I mean), and after the stress of the earthquake task this seemed to be a breeze. It was funny. When Ellen was quizzed on camera about what was the worst challenge of the series she chose this one “because I know nothing about it”. When I was asked for my best one I chose this “because I know nothing about it”. So, it’s a good team! Dumb and Dumber I hear you cry – maybe. But In Rough Science the fresher the challenges are, the more exciting and fun they should also be. Well, that’s the theory. The next couple of days would certainly sort that out.

Most of our day just seemed to be spent cutting up bin bags, throwing them up into the air and smashing a few eggs. Oh yes, the egg. Well, Kate had decided that the payload that we had to bring back down safely was an egg. A couple of dozed eggs were provided for experimental purposes. Ellen cleverly thought that our early tests should have something with the weight of an egg on it, but not the mess. Anyway, turns out that a small square battery was an equivalent weight so we started using this. That’s when I discovered that too an American, the term ‘battery egg’ is meaningless; still, others tittered. But as the day wore on we had refined our chute size and recognised that a hole in it was much better for its aerodynamics. The only trouble was that often the chute was only starting to open when it was a metre or so from the ground. We had got up about as high as we could at the mine, and with it being early evening already (how time flies when your making aerial omelette) we figured we’d set out for the hills first thing in the morning.


The team with the rocket
Scientists Diaries

It's nearly all over - but will the team be able to complete the final challenge? Follow the task in their diaries: