Mass Components Basics

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Component Function

Parachutes: Parachutes are used to return the rocket to the ground at a safe, controlled descent rate. Although the OpenRocket parts list contains a variety of the most common parachutes, high power rockets often require specialized parachutes that must be manually entered. With these types of parachutes, you should always verify the Cd value with the manufacturer.



Streamers: Unlike parachutes that have a canopy (like an umbrella), streamers are simply a very long, thin and narrow material such as vinyl or mylar. Like parachutes, streamers are used to return the rocket to the ground at a safe, controlled descent rate, but only with low power rockets (higher power rockets are generally too heavy for streamers). OpenRocket allows you to select a variety of materials and virtually any width and length combination.


Components.04.03.Mass.Shock cord..png

Shock Cords: A shock cord is what attaches to the two halves of the rocket on descent after the ejection charge separates them. A shock cord also helps dissipate the ejection charge energy, either by stretching itself or simply being long enough that the air friction has sufficiently slowed the two parts. In addition, many designs have the recovery device attached to the shock cord as well..

04.03.Rocket.Recovery.Shock Cord.png


Mass Components: Simply put, if it hasn’t already been talked about, then it’s a mass component. As shown below, OpenRocket has several standard selections. And, if it’s not listed, OpenRocket allows you to create one and display in a changeable outline.

01.01.Rocket.Mass Object.png

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