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Rocket Launch Portfolio

Mr. McAfee

Math 4/Block 1

7 February 2003

By: Ronald K. Ellis III

The Rocket Launch

As the shuttle STS-82 lifted off from the NASA launching pad at Cape Canaveral, Mission Control in Houston was receiving the following data about the vertical velocity of the rocket in feet/sec. We will use this information to give an estimate of the distance the rocket travels in its first 40 seconds.

Time since Launch(s) Velocity (ft/sec)

0

0

2.88

44

5.76

99

8.64

160

11.52

224

14.4

290

17.28

363

20.16

444

23.04

528

25.92

610

28.8

689

31.68

766

34.56

839

37.44

903

40.32

965

43.2

1027

46.08

1087

48.96

1146

a)Use the data to find the altitude of the rocket after 40.32s (assume the rocket is launched from sea level). Describe your steps and justify your conclusion.

The blue area under the curve at a given time value is equal to the altitude at that same time.

Calculate the total altitude after 40.32s (Using trapezoid area approximation method)

Formulas-

Substituting in the rocket launch data to calculate area under curve at time index 40.32s

In this step I used the principle that the area underneath the data points at any given time index is equal to the total altitude at that same time index. This principle is proven when one multiplies the units the seconds unit cancels leaving only distance for an answer.

b) Use a full sheet of graph paper and graph the times up to 40.32 seconds. What is the pattern for the points that you found? Find an equation that matches the data as close as you can. (Assume a y-intercept of 0.)

The trend is an upward one taking...