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Gallup High School

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Our project is in the area of physics. We plan to calculate the amount an object's weight decreases as it is taken farther and farther from the source of its gravitational attraction. Combined with the amount of thrust produced by a liter of fuel in a rocket, we would be able to calculate the amount of fuel needed to put an object into space from any celestial body. A supercomputer is necessary to do this project because of the extremely high number of calculations needed to solve the equations.

We plan to complete this project using Newton's theory of universal gravitation. The equations in this theory allow one to calculate the weight of an object at any given single distance from a source of gravity, such as a plan et or moon. We will also use the Hughes-Hallet, Gleason, et al Calculus book to learn how to use calculus to modify these equations for use with a constantly changing distance. We will research data on the amount of thrust given by a liter of rocket fuel, and the acceleration needed to escape a gravity well. This information will allow us to calculate how much fuel would be needed to propel an object of a given mass from a planetoid with a certain gravity. We will be able to substitute any values taken from the real world and use our program to calculate the real solutions.

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New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge