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COLL 100. Rocketry

"Rocket science" is proverbially held out as an immensely complex subject, impossible for ordinary persons to understand. However, its basic principles are entirely accessible to anyone with a willingness to build upon high school science and mathematics. This course will explore the basic concepts of rocket propulsion and spaceflight, including Newton's laws of motion, ballistics, orbital mechanics, aerodynamics, the physics and chemistry of rocket motors and beyond. Simple algebra, numerical calculations and data analysis help us apply the principles to real situations. We will delve into the fascinating history of astronautics, from the pioneers Tsiolkovsky, Oberth and Goddard to the missiles and space vehicles of today. Finally, we take a look at some of the developments in technology and space exploration that may lie just around the corner. In addition to the regular class meeting, there will be unscheduled makerspace sessions, during which you will design, build, test and fly model rockets powered by commercial solid-fuel engines.

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