Instructables

Homemade rocket with rocket fuel and engine

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I really like and enjoy estes rocket, and I decided to make one myself. 
I also made the fuel and the engine. All is made from the materials you can easily obtain or even have at your house right now. 

They can go up to 300 meters (1,000 ft) on this fuel. 

Making the fuel involves working with the ammonium nitrate, please before you do it, read this article - http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm
Especially the "What are the immediate health effects of ammonia exposure?" paragraph, so you realize the risks you are taking and I am not responsible for the consequences.
 
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Step 1: Material for the fuel

At first lets make a fuel of our rocket. 
What we will need:
1. Ammonium nitrate (how to get described in the next step)
2. Baking soda
3. Water
4. Sugar
5. Jar/bucket
6. Measuring cup 
7. Newspaper

Step 2: How to get Ammonuim nitrate

Ammonium nitrate is commonly used in agriculture as a high-nitrogen fertilizer. It is also used in instant cold packs, as hydrating the salt is an endothermic process.
So, the easiest way to get it is to buy a cold pack. Open it and remove water from it. 

I am pretty sure you could also order it online, but for me the cold pack seems the easiest way.

Step 3: Mix

Picture of Mix
IMG_2242.JPG
Use the measuring cup to add 2 cups of ammonium nitrate and 2 cups of baking soda. 
In this step it is important to keep the proportion. 1:1. The size of measuring cup may 
slightly vary, but its important to use the same one for adding everything. My cup was about 200 mL

Step 4: Mix

Picture of Mix
IMG_2246.JPG
Add 17 measuring cups of water into soda and ammonium nitrate. 
Use the same cup you used in step 3. 
Mix everything together. 
dallmanne27 days ago

Im making a rocket and i was wandering how you put the engine in the homemade rocket

Jijo Varghese7 months ago
Weekend project this!!!
Muharib7 months ago
Hey man, I really like your instructable but I had some concerns 1) when I tried it we had a little less ammonium nitrate (1/4 cup: 60ml) and we used 8.5 cups of water with that. but when we boiled the water and ammoniumm nitrate, We accidentally mixed baking powder instead of baking soda, so when we boiled it the solution would just rise up and out again and again little help please :)
Lenwo9 months ago
Wow that looks interesting - can not wait to make it myself! Pretty excited to see the videos! :)
quatzecoatl9 months ago
I could be wrong on this, but I'm pretty sure you need an LEP to make rocket fuel
fishik (author)  quatzecoatl9 months ago
LEP?
ImageMaker fishik9 months ago
I think he means "Low Explosive User Permit" or LEUP. It's certain you need one to store homemade rocket motors or propellant; whether you need one to make propellant is open to a certain level of interpretation, but the commonest reading appears to be that you can make non-detonating materials (like rocket propellant) without a Federal permit as long as they're used the same day they're made, i.e. not stored. State and local restrictions may cause you some heartburn, however.

As noted below, there are also some Federal restrictions on purchase of certain chemicals that are precursors or process ingredients in making methamphetamine -- for instance, I found recently that I can no longer buy "strike anywhere" matches, not because they're hazardous (no more so than they've been for 150 years or so) but because the tiny amount of phosphorus in the heads was being used in making meth. If ammonium nitrate is in that category, American farming is on its way out...
AmmarJ9 months ago
I tried this launching just the engine, and mine started smoking and hissing but did not take off, would you know why?
fishik (author)  AmmarJ9 months ago
I don't really know, but it could've been because the wick wasn't installed correctly. It should be deep inside the engine, so everything ignites at once and it takes off.
TheMrCOOLguy29 months ago
This is cool I think I need to take the chance an create this with my friends
Hospital here I come!!! ;)
my wookie10 months ago
cold pack's probably not just the easiest, but also cheapest and fastest. (some people might not be too exited if you were buying fertilizer for rockets)
jhopkins910 months ago
Another concern is the felony charge of "Possession Of Precursors To Manufacture Methamphetamines". Purchasing those chemicals together here in Mississippi will almost instantly have you flagged for questioning before leaving Walmart. Other states I'm sure are different. However, I could just imagine the look on the cops face when you inform him you are making rocket fuel not meth... I can't help but think of that scene from The Astronaut Farmer...
fishik (author)  jhopkins910 months ago
Well, the only "chemical" you are really buying is an ice pack so I don't think its that suspicious.
thebear1 jhopkins910 months ago
right on here in missouri it is forgot about that thanks
thebear110 months ago
very good   one thing i would do is to put at the top of your instructable  the statement listed below

Please before you do it, read this article - http://www.health.ny.gov/environmental/emergency/chemical_terrorism/ammonia_tech.htm
Especially the "What are the immediate health effects of ammonia exposure?" paragraph, so you realize the risks you are taking and I am not responsible for the consequences.
which you put in after the  boil picture ok outside of that very good job
i have voted for you
fishik (author)  thebear110 months ago
Thanks a lot for the advise and for voting!
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