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Launch Altitude Tracker

Author(s): Deborah A. Shearer, MS, and Gregory L. Vogt, EdD
Launch Altitude Tracker

Courtesy of NASA.

  • Grades:
  • 6-8 9-12

Students construct a launch altitude tracker and use it, along with basic mathematics, to indirectly measure the altitude achieved by rockets.

Determining the altitude reached by a rocket is a relatively simple process using a handheld tracking device. The device is a sighting tube with a marked water level that permits measurement of the inclination of the tube. Using simple mathematics, students will calculate the altitude of the rocket. With two trackers in different locations, accuracy of the estimates can be improved.

The "Launch Altitude Tracker" activity is from the Rockets Educators Guide. Although grade levels are suggested, small modifications will enable more complex activities to be used successfully with other grade levels for observation, demonstration or complete lessons.

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Funded by the following grant(s)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

This publication is by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA Kennedy Space Center, and released into the Public Domain. Permission is not required for duplication.