Introduction: Water Rocket Challenge (for Instructable Members!)

Picture of Water Rocket Challenge (for Instructable Members!)


In memory with the 40th anniversary of the Apollo missions

I want you.....Instructable members... and I to create Instructables so i scaled maned mission to mars with water rockets is possible for me to make.

If you contribute you will have and get all the things below:

your name will be on the side of the rocket
you will be given video footage of the challenge and a certificate send by email.
your name will be in the credits of the movie made
and you will have the honour that you have contributed to this project

Of course were NOT going to mars and its not about the moon but a water rocket lem (Lunar Excursion Module)would be a bit hard

I will show you what i am hoping to do in the next few steps

Step 1: Launch

Picture of Launch

The first stage is to launch a rocket (of Course)...

But not just a normal water rocket a scale model of the delta II.

The picture I made will explain

If you have any ideas for this please leave a comment on the intro. If you have a rocket that could do a task described in the picture like i do please leave a comment or if you want to contribute to the competition make an Instructable on it. and leave a link to it on the into.

If you instructable is used on the challenge your name will be on the side of the rocket

Step 2: Payload Separation

Picture of Payload Separation

The next bit of the challenge is to create a mechanism to separate a payload from the rocket

The picture explains

Please contribute to this challenge...

for those who contribute will be given video footage of the challenge and a certificate send by email.

It will also be a fun thing to do!

Step 3: Re Entry and Delayed Parachutes

Picture of Re Entry and Delayed Parachutes

For this bit of the challenge I need the payload to drop to earth from apogee for about 1-2 second before deploying the parachute.

I want this to happen because it will be a bit of recreation from the mars rover re-entry.

Further more in the movie created your name will be in the credits.

Step 4: Landing!

Picture of Landing!

For this part of the Challenge I need away of landing lego people safely on the ground with out breaking there little plastic bones. or the payload for that matter.

Instructables and comments entered to this challenge must NOT be stupid out unable to build
reverse water rocket thrusters could be an option for me as long as there not stupid or unable to build

Step 5: Docking With Other Vehicles

Picture of Docking With Other Vehicles

Don't worry I have got this sorted out i just thought i would tell you...

Its basically a the rc car docking (air tightly) with the space pad to get back home

Step 6: Bye Mars :( .....well Earth

Picture of Bye Mars :( .....well Earth

For this part of the challenge I only need a design for a rocket to blast of from mars....don't worry it doesn't need to fit in the payload, it just happened to be on mars/earth.

Step 7: Video

Here is the video of the challange (water rocket launch)

If the video doesn't play please tell me as i can sort out a different format of the video for you so you can run it

The video has been shortend for viewing

Step 8: The End

Picture of The End

Please leave your comments on the intro and please contribute to this

the entries entered will no longer be accepted from the 25th august 2009


hedzup456 (author)2011-05-13

i know how you could have a 'bracing system'.

ok, you have two bottles, one smaller, connected by elastic bands., which are taught when normal, but take the shock off impacts ect

hedzup456 (author)hedzup4562011-05-13

oh, wait, nevermind....two years late....oops

Tbirdfisher (author)hedzup4562014-04-27

lol 4 for me

aryan23jain (author)2010-08-05

i did a project on water rocket..made the model and mathematical formulations and simulation using matlab...and i did experiments too with different amount of water and averying was superb ...any chance i can contribute that i can get certificate or something :)

oscarthompson (author)2009-08-26

The contest has ended. I will probably have the certificates and video to you by early to mid September

Any videos of the flights available yet?

Yes, on step seven... I will hope to get an youtube acount in the near future so I can post a lot more there. Thanks for your website, its brilliant. I would also like to thank you for the polaron' series of rockets.. which i have begun to make... on my other instructable 'professional water rocket guide'.



You have uploaded a Windows Movie Maker project instead of an actual video file. I can't view it because the project is looking for the original files. Other than that, awesome project!

sorry, i thought i had done "save to my computer" as an AVI. I will change it now

oscarthompson (author)2009-09-08

I will put the video up on the instructable this afternoon as the email provider won't let me send it... For people in America that might be tomorrow Thanks oscar

Kaiven (author)2009-07-12

I could so do this. I mean.. I have done this before!

oscarthompson (author)Kaiven2009-07-12

Cool if you want to join the group just go to

Kaiven (author)oscarthompson2009-07-14

Ah... but that's the thing. When is the deadline? Idk how soon I will be able to work on this.

oscarthompson (author)Kaiven2009-09-05

I deeply sorry but your email doesn't seem to work? It has worked with the other contributers but there was a failure with yours. Is it that you email provider can't take attachments? thanks Oscar

Kaiven (author)oscarthompson2009-09-05

o.O? I don't know.... I use yahoo. I use attachments all the time... which email did I give you? (PM me, don't reply as a comment so people can't see my email)

oscarthompson (author)Kaiven2009-07-14

25th august

dpr (author)2009-07-13

why dont u just go out and BUY a rocket much more eaiser and less trouble to build and there are ones with payloads that u can put stuff in.

oscarthompson (author)dpr2009-07-13

Because the is instructables were you make things plus it's probaky cheaper to make a water rocket and i dought the rockets that you buy are water rockets

dpr (author)oscarthompson2009-07-14

yea but arn't u a pyromaniac haha no but seriously it only like 20 dollars for a rocketthat does wat ur asking for.

kld435 (author)dpr2009-08-28

dude ur not getting the point. the point of doing all of this is the fun of building and launching it. not buying one in the store.

dpr (author)kld4352009-08-28

Ok watever just shut up about it hes already built it its just the way people prefer thing i personally want a store bought item that is not jerry riged not saying that oscarthompsson's rocket is its just i really dont want a rocket that i have to make outta scrach k got it?

oscarthompson (author)dpr2009-07-14

Not for the payload I'm trying to carry

dpr (author)oscarthompson2009-07-15

wat r u trying to carry

oscarthompson (author)dpr2009-07-15

rc car about 7 cm long 4 cm wide parachute attimeter and a camera

dpr (author)oscarthompson2009-07-15

Y it seems pointless go outside and go mountainbiking.

oscarthompson (author)dpr2009-07-15

It's for fun

dpr (author)oscarthompson2009-07-16

its too much work and no offence it seems lame

oscarthompson (author)dpr2009-07-16

I've all ready got half of the things sorted out

dpr (author)oscarthompson2009-07-17

Oh well then do it idk

shofgh (author)2009-08-06

can you add parachute?

oscarthompson (author)shofgh2009-08-06

What do you mean?

Nicepolicy16 (author)2009-07-23

I have an instructable, with the problem of trying to escape the gravity of Mars after landing Astronauts there, for them to return to Earth after their mission has finished . There is also docking problems etc . I was going to turn water into Hydrogen and Oxygen for Space Flight .Go to this Instructable :

oscarthompson (author)2009-07-19

Genisis II..... on launch pad

Kryptonite (author)2009-07-14

Oh no I missed it! Oh well I hope you have fun any way.

oscarthompson (author)Kryptonite2009-07-14

Well if you have a design I will consider it. And even if it doesn't get used you will still get all the things mentioned in the intro

Kryptonite (author)oscarthompson2009-07-18

Ahh, thank you but I do not have a design but I was thinking something up, but it might take more thought. Thank you for the consideration though.

Dr.Paj (author)2009-07-12

As for a recovery system, there are a few tried methods. My favorite method is the "squashed balloon" method. It is simple and will most likely work.

Here's a link to a site with the method demonstrated

Basically how it works is that the pressure from the rocket holds the end cap on tightly, so tight in fact that the air filled balloon that is placed between the end cap and the rocket is squished and doesnt move the cap off of the top of the rocket. In order for the cap to be pushed off of the rocket, the rocket must expend all of its air and water (becoming less compressed and leaving the rocket with a slightly smaller diameter).

Now this is where the balloon comes in handy. The balloon continues to push with the same force as it did before the launch, but the difference is the pressure between the end cap and the rocket. The balloon (hopefully) will push the end cap off at the time the rocket is at the top of its path.

It's a little difficult to explain, but the site that I have linked has a nice animation showing what happens along with a more in depth explanation. It even shows how to make the rocket (which I doubt will be helpful on instructables). Hope this has helped spark some ideas.

oscarthompson (author)Dr.Paj2009-07-13

Thanks i just read through all of it.... What im confused about is that surely the end cap/nose conewould blow off durig pressurisation. I ether not got it or theres a bit im missing? Thanks Oscar

Dr.Paj (author)oscarthompson2009-07-13

The nose cap is nearly the same size as the rocket, so the balloon wouldn't "pop" it off, it would slowly slide off the top. Also the balloon isn't completely filled so it is extremely easy to smash together (to the point of being unable to break it by stepping on it.

oscarthompson (author)Dr.Paj2009-07-14

I have made a certificate for you do you want you real name on it on your member name on it?

Dr.Paj (author)oscarthompson2009-07-16

It doesn't matter, I would appreciate either.

oscarthompson (author)Dr.Paj2009-07-12

Thank you ,... If you want to look at the introduction this is what you will get even if ur idear doesn't get used. If you want to by a member of the group for this please go to.



nonickname (author)2009-07-14

It sounds to me like you need something for a school project and can't be stuffed doing it yourself.

oscarthompson (author)nonickname2009-07-14

No I'm doing it for the 40 th anniversary of the appolo missions

dombeef (author)2009-07-13

Can i colaborate? i have some nice ideas

oscarthompson (author)dombeef2009-07-13

Year sure... What are they

if you would like to join the group for this please go to

If your idears are valid you will revive all of the things mentioned in the intro



dombeef (author)oscarthompson2009-07-14

Ok thanks! And the wing design is what i want to help with

macgyver603 (author)2009-07-12

Through my experience with water rockets, I have discovered several websites for water rockets.

Air Command Water Rockets
This website has mission logs and instructions on building various things for the rockets, like parachute deployment devices and recovery systems. They have also built their own fleet of rockets.

Dean's Benchtop: Sim Water Rocket
This is an online simulator for 1-bottle rockets. You can input various info, like rocket weight, bottle dimensions, and pressure.

Unfortunately, the Water Rocket Index was permanently shut down last week. :(
This was one of the better water rocket websites.

Lftndbt (author)macgyver6032009-07-14

Air Command Water Rockets
This website has mission logs and instructions on building various things for the rockets, like parachute deployment devices and recovery systems. They have also built their own fleet of rockets.

They also do I'bles here... Don't send ppl away. Their i'ble work is great too.

Thank you... You will also recurve all the things mentioned in the intro of the instructable if you would like to join the group for this please go to


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