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Deep Space Probe
Special Mention!
(see below)
By: Kevin Cocozzoli

SPECIAL MENTION! While the Deep Space Probe did not win the February DOM event, the judges felt that it deserved special mention, as is our prerogative.   This design didn't win for a variety of reasons that we shan't go into here.   However, the beauty of this design can not be ignored.  It is reminiscent of the retro style designs that us "oldsters" recall from the old "Amazing Story" magazine or even "Mechanics Illustrated" of the 50's and 60's.   With all of the nose cones on this model, this would be incredibly expensive to build, but if you are anything like me, with respect to rocketry, you may have a stockpile of suitable nose cones just laying around looking for a good project.  Well the Deep Space Probe is it.  Thank you Kevin for this very cool look *back* to the days of  yore.

A most interesting design from the mind of Kevin Cocozzoli in the form of the Deep Space Probe.  As Kevin himself acknowledges, the main drawback is the number of nose cones, but MAN what a cool design.  Kevin also did a lot of hard work on the documentation for this design.  Good job.

Kevin had this note included with his entry:


Dear Sir,

Please find attached a PowerPoint file with my design of the month entry: "Deep Space Probe". I realize there are innumerable rocket models out there with 'probe' in the name but please understand that I first drew the design for this when I was 13 years old: in 1969! I never built it but the design always stayed with me. When I discovered you had a "Design of the Month Contest", I decided it was time to build it.

The attached PowerPoint file is a complete set of directions to build this model. I drew up these plans based on plans I've seen over the years. While it may seem rudimentary to most experienced modelers, I decided to draw them up so less experienced modelers could easily duplicate this model. I have a lot of experience teaching and drawing up lesson plans, as well as technical and mechanical drawing, and this is just how I do things. If it's too much, I apologize. The file also contains photographs of the model. I've never sent a PowerPoint file, especially one with embedded photographs, via
e-mail so if there's any problem opening this file please let me know and I can send the PowerPoint without the photos and compress and send the photos separately. I can also send a complete hard copy portfolio and/or a disk if that would be easier.

The only real problem with this design, as you'll see, is the amount of nose cones. I think that's why I never built it as a teenager. It is really too much money for a model this size. But I've dreamed of this model so long I just had to finally build it. As noted, the cones are standard Balsa Machining Service BNC-20As. I'm not particularly pleased with their workmanship but they re-create a lot of the old Estes and Centuri nose cones and, while different cones could be used, these short, parabolic cones are great for that "pod" look I was going for. I intend to upscale this model using a BT-60 for the main body and BT-50s for the pods. However, I haven't yet found a two inch diameter hollow plastic ball!

When I originally designed this model, it had no fins. I calculated CP and CG and reasoned with enough weight it would fly. In fact you'll see the last photograph is of the prototype as originally built: sans fins. It passed the "swing test" and it does, in fact, fly - but it does do a little 'corkscrew' on the way up. I flew it twice and it worked both times but I realized for best stability I needed some fins. So I added these fins to the prototype and it flies straight up now. I haven't tried reducing the nose weight since I've added the fins but if anyone wants to build this model they can adjust the nose weight for optimum performance before permanently gluing the "crew capsule" on. Of course, if someone wants to fly it without fins, be my guest. It looks pretty cool that way.

So please let me know if there's a problem with this file and I'll send the data another way. Also, please let me know if you need further information or you have any questions.

Thank you.

Kevin Cocozzoli

The links below will provide you with instructions and patterns for this design.  These links will open a new window.

  • Deep Space Probe Documents
Instruction Notes (ppt file, 1.4MB)
Color Scheme
Side view
Side view with ruler
On the pad


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