Friday, February 15, 2008

The science of lawn darts

To sport rocketeers, lawn darts are not a banned toy, but rather are the end-state of far too many flights.

From EMRR's Rocket Glossary:

Core Sample - What happens when an airframe devoid of nosecone punches into the ground without benefit of recovery system. Named for the tubular sample of sod and dirt stuffed into the body tube on impact. Also known as "drilling for oil." See Lawn Dart

Lawn Dart - Similar to a Core Sample but requires the nosecone to remain in place prior to impact. Named after a lawn game of the sixties in which large darts were thrown into the air to land inside rings placed on the ground about 25’ apart (as in horse shoes).

But lawn darts aren't just for fun anymore. Space scientists like shooting rockets into asteroids, Mars and the Moon.