30 ROCKETS for $5 !!!!!!!

Introduction: 30 ROCKETS for $5 !!!!!!!

Learning objectives:
Physics: Newton's 3rd Law- Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

Aerodynamics: The center of gravity must be forward of the center of pressure, or it wont fly straight. (fins in the back, weight in front)

Economics: Added value. You could spend $10 on a kit, or PENNIES on a homemade rocket which takes more work. 

Materials: Hot Glue, paper clips, clay, paper, glue sticks, cardboard, straws, elmers glue.

Tools: Hot glue gun, scissors, toothpicks, string

Become familiar with rockets by assembling 1 from a kit. The nosecone from this will be your form for a mold. I advise that one's 1st rocket use "A" engines, the smallest ones, especially when experimenting.

Press a factory nosecone between 2 balls of clay. This makes a mold. Leave the original nosecone in it for now. Wrap string around the clay tight enough to leave a mark in the clay. Deepen this groove with a toothpick. Groove allows you to align mold later. Take  mold apart and let it dry a bit. It doesn't need to be very dry, just enough that it doesn't get squashed. Tye the 2 halves of this mold back together, and fill it with hot glue. While glue is hot, press a paper clip into it.  Allow to cool, then remove your new nosecone from the mold. Dozens of nosecones can be cast from 1 mold.

apply gluestick to the paper, a little at a time while wrapping it around 2 engines. Trim the ends neat and square.

Saw a piece off of a spent engine about 1/2 inch long. Glueing this inside the body tube gives the engine something to press against. If there is a rocketry club in the area, you can collect their discards after a launch. It's good to chat with them about appropriate launch sites too.

Cut your first fin from cardboard. Use this as a template to make the other 2. Use a thin paper pad (or a stack of tongue depressors) to draw parallel lines on the body tube. Glue fins to this.

About 1.5 inches of a straw glued to the body tube glides along the launch rod upon launch.

Curl a ribbon by scraping it against back of scissors. Glue 1 end into a folded bit of paper. Glue this inside the top of the body tube, about 1/2 inch down. Tie the other end to the nosecone. This is a streamer recovery, only advisable for small rockets.

Put an engine in the rocket. If it's loose, apply a bit of tape around engine.  Hang rocket from a string such that it balances horizontally when hung from string. Swing rocket over your head and see if it goes nose forward. If not, you need larger fins or more weight in nose.

Follow all safety rules. Launch in an open space away from trees, bushes, and dry grass. This is really fun. When chasing rockets, Newtonian physics becomes aerobic exercise!

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    Tip 4 years ago on Introduction

    Making parachutes is easy too. plastic shopping bags are ideal. Cut a circle from plastic, tape strings to the edge. tie the strings at a central point. protect parachutes or streamers from the eject charge with fire resistant wadding which comes with engines, or separately.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Yup. For those uninitiated to the sport, a low cost kit is about $12. I lost my 1st rocket upon the 1st launch. That's part of the game... losing + breaking em. For teachers who want to figure out a budget, I would count on about $1/rocket ENGINE.

    If I was using this in class of 30 kids,(having each kid build theirs), I would probably count on 3-5 days for completion (1hour/day)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Great directions, everyone can have a bunch of rockets for pennies!