It is always exciting to see when NASA launches a rocket into space as a part of their exploration adventures. The complexity of such projects can be somewhat mind-boggling to novices whose only dream is to launch a rocket of their own.
Well let it be known that you can have your downsized space exploration in an open area or even in your backyard. How……..? Well by building a bottle rocket using materials readily available at your home.
- 2 empty 2-Liter soda bottles
- a 1-inch hose clamp
- rubber cement
- 2 2-inch long nails
- 1 2”x4”x12” piece of wood 1 6”x1/2”x18” Your browser may not support display of this image. piece of wood
- 4 thin sheets balsa wood, 6”x4”
- 1 manila folder
- 1 electrical knockout junction box
- 3” thin steel, 1/8” diameter 12” strong twine or string
- 1 roll duct tape
- 5 wood screws, 1” long
- Test tube stopper, size #4, with a hole in the center
- Copper tubing, 12” in length, diameter small enough to fit into the rubber stopper
- Drill scissors
- Air compressor
- Sand paper
- Permanent marker angle
- Wood Screws
Instructions on building the rocket
- Ensure that the bottles are extremely dry
- Use the duct tape to reinforce the bottle by wrapping it around the bottle (do not apply too much tape because it will make the bottle heavy)
- Identify the location on the bottle where you want to put the fins and decide how much fins you want.
- Take your balsa wood and cut out your fins. Use the sand paper to smooth down the fins in order to make them as aerodynamic as possible.
- Use the rubber cement to attach the fins to the bottle.
- Use a piece of tape to guide the fins and keep them stable while the rubber cement dries.
- Use the compass to draw a circle approximately 5 inches in diameter on the folder.
- Use the scissors to cut out the circle then fold it into the shape of a cone. This will be your nose cone.
- Using the rubber cement and duct tape, attach the nose to the rocket. You can remove the tape after the glue has dried.
Constructing the Launch Pad
- Cut two blocks from your 2 by 4 wood, each of about six inches.
- Cut another piece that is about one and a half feet long, six inches wide, and half an inch thick. Use some wood screws to screw the small pieces into the ends of the large piece so you form a wood table shaped launcher.
- Screw the junction box exactly into the middle of your wooden table.
- Drill a hole all the way through the junction box and the wood table so that you can fit the test tube stopper through it.
- Cut the copper to a workable length and force it through the test tube stopper.
- Secure the tube to your air pump with the hose clamp.
- Bend your steel into a small U-Shaped pin, which is to be used to release the rocket when it is time to launch.
- Tie a string to the U part of your pin and slide the pin into the holes on the side of the junction box.
- Drill holes on both sides of the launch pad hammer the nails through each of the holes and into the ground for extra stability.
- Pour approximately 20 ounces of water into the bottle.
- Place the bottle on top of the launch pad.
- Secure the pin into the notches on the rocket’s bottle neck.
- Dial the Your browser may not support display of this image. air compressor to 50 psi. This will create the pressure considered necessary for a successful launch.
- Pull the string to release the pin to fire your rocket.
- Do not launch your rocket in close proximity to power lines or glass windows.
- Ensure launch is conducted in an open space.
- The higher the psi the greater the flight of the rocket.