3.. 2.. 1.. Blast Off, Aerial Photos That Rock(et)





Introduction: 3.. 2.. 1.. Blast Off, Aerial Photos That Rock(et)

Aerial Photography for Kids

Kids love rockets and they love the idea of shooting things up on those rockets. Add a small camera and they'll have tons of fun documenting their launches and taking some amazing aerial photos.

Step 1: Material Required

  • Model rocket (I recommend one with a parachute and not a streamer in order to provide for a softer landing)
  • Model rocket launch system
    • Rocket motor, igniter, and plug (I recommend a rocket that takes a B6-4 motor)
    • Recovery wading
    • Launch stand and launch controller
    • Tape to attach the camera to the rocket
  • Small USB stick video camera (I got the Mini U8 USB Camera for under $10)
    • Depending on the camera, you may need a microSD card
  • Computer for still picture capture from video

Step 2: Prep the Rocket

  1. Assemble the rocket
  2. Pack the recovery wading
  3. Pack the recovery system parachute
  4. Attach the USB stick video camera very near the nose cone of the rocket


  • Make sure to mount the camera lens toward the rocket motor because if you mount it pointing at the nose of the rocket, all you will video is the open sky.
  • Mount the top of the camera next to the rocket (and the bottom of the camera away from the rocket) because the rocket will roll over at the highest point so the camera is slung underneath the rocket.


Step 3: Prep for Launch

  1. Find a safe launch area as instructed in the kit
  2. Load the rocket motor
  3. Insert the igniter and secure it to the motor with the plug
  4. Slide the rocket onto the launch rod of the launch stand
  5. Attach the launch controller connectors, one to each side of the igniter
  6. Turn on the camera and start recording

Step 4: 3.. 2.. 1.. Blast Off

Lots of pictures!!!

Don't forget to turn off the camera as soon as you recover the rocket.

Step 5: Capture the Pictures

Detach the camera from the rocket.

Plug the USB camera into the USB port of a computer.

Play the video of the launch.

Use the pause button and scroll bar to pause the video at the best parts of the video.

Use the Snipping Tool to do a screen capture and save the picture.

Use Photo Viewer to rotate the picture as needed (some of mine needed to be rotated 180°).

Now you have some awesome aerial photos and some great memories with the kids!



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    6 Discussions

    BIG thanks for sharing this as it is so cool. Where was this back when I was a kid, anyway?

    Great model rocketry project! This makes me wish I had a GoPro!

    2 replies

    GoPro! at $100+ and 200g vs. mini USB camera at $10 and 50g.

    You'll definitely get much better video and pictures from a GoPro!, but 4x the weight means a bigger more expensive rocket. Your choice.


    2 years ago

    Link to a source for the usb stick movie camera? Those things look cool!

    1 reply