A new (to me) way to launch household objects into space.... well the 50 foot air space above your back yard.
With care you can convert a used prescription bottle into a rocket. Well at your own risk. Realize we're dealing with the same principals that make dry ice, and bottles a dangerous combination. You've been warned. So gather your supplies and let's have some fun!
What you'll need!
- Pill Bottle*
- Baking Soda
- Some Tape (I used electrical)
- A square of 2 ply toilet paper
What's helpful / fun!
- Measuring utensil
- 3 volt thin button cell battery
- Some LEDs
- The steely will to have fun!
*Make sure the target bottle is similar to the one in the pictures, it's a dual purpose lid. Child safety on one side, and simple shallow thread screw top on the other. We'll be using the non-child safety side of the lid for this rocket. Will other vessels work for this? Sure, maybe, don't know, may not be safe... experiment at your own leisure/risk. It could be theoretically possible to use this for evil, so don't. Might not be a bad idea to have protective goggles, gloves, etc... Also again, seriously, using the wrong kind of bottle for this could cause serious injury. Watch the video to see what a simple pressurized 2 liter soda bottle can do and I think you'll get my point.
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Step 1: High Visibility Nose Cone Assembly for Night Time Shenanigans
So if you want to do some night missions add this to your setup for easy tracking and retrieval. Possibly impress the girlfriend/wife if she appreciates shiny things.
- Take an LED, I find 3mm green to work fantastic with a 3 volt button cell. Extremely bright, just about right voltage for no resistors.
- Slide the + anode (longer leg of the LED) over the side of the battery.
- Repeat as many times as you'd like.
Step 2: Fasten Your Optional High Visibility Nose Cone
Tape that nose cone on.
Yes I know it's not aerodynamically wonderful... but for the speeds we'll be flying... it'll be just fine.
Step 3: Prepare the Catalyst
Measure a small amount of baking soda into the middle of your two-ply toilet paper.
What amount? Feel free to go with your heart. I found no real magic amount. Although be warned you may not be able to withstand the financial hardship that such blatant, flagrant exorbitant use of priceless resources.
Step 4: Fuel Up & Lock N' Load
Fill your pill bottle about half way full. The key is to have enough space that you won't accidentally splash your catalyst package of baking soda before you fully screw the lid on over the toilet paper. Best to do this step outside, or some other place you might need a baking soda vinegar mixture on your ceiling to remove tough to get out stains.
As far as the right amount to screw the lid down?
That's the trickiest part. It's not all the way tight, but it's not too loose either
After a few trial runs you'll find the magic number.
On a level surface quickly, vigorously flip the bottle over and set it down.
The most difficult part is to wait the variable amount of time for it to launch. Sometimes it's a few seconds, sometimes it's a minute or two. It may trick you into thinking it's a dud by hearing hissing and leaking noises. be warned that is no indicator of failure. If all your vinegar has drained out then you're good to reload and try again.
Now go be free with this magnificent knowledge and launch all your hopes and dreams into a very near earth orbit!
Participated in the
Launch It! Contest