“I aim at the stars” but sometimes I hit a tree

#10: Build and set off a rocket

Screenshot from the video (see below)

Screenshot from the video (see below)

This goal was came into my head out of absolutely nowhere. I was thinking, “What’s something fun that I can do during the summer” and shooting off a rocket in a field was the first thing I came up with. I also had never built or set off a rocket before so I decided to put it on my list.

My dad used to make and set off rockets all the time. I recall seeing an old newspaper article from like, the 80’s, of my dad, the “rocket man” of Northampton, setting off rockets in fields. I decided to ask my dad with help on this one, because I know little about science and nothing of rocket building.

We took a trip to A2Z, a local store in Northampton with all things science. They have astronomy things, geology things, biology things; the list goes on and on. I was shocked where I saw how much “rocket stuff” they had! There was a whole rack of different starter kits, launch pads, remote controls, and just rockets.

Just some of the rocket selection at A2Z.

Just some of the rocket selection at A2Z.

My dad and I decided to go with a starter kit for me. It had basically everything you need to make and rocket. The rocket was called Alpha III and could shoot up to 1150 ft or 351 m. Unlike a lot of the other rockets at A2Z, this one came with a launch pad and controller but, like all the other rockets, you had to get the motor, or engine, at the registers. My dad also picked up his own rocket too.

Me and my rocket!

Me and my rocket!

A few days later, on the 4th of July (today!), we decided to build the rockets! We ventured out into the kitchen (too hot to be outside – 101 degrees!) and got to work.

What you'll need!

What you’ll need!

What you’ll need is:

  • The rocket kit!
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Hobby knife

I know masking tape and sandpaper are also pictured, but we ended up not using them.

The side of the box has a cool diagram of the process on it.

The side of the box has a cool diagram of the process on it.

Here’s what’s inside the box:

IMG_4760

There’s a lot of bags within bags here. In the first one you’ll find:

IMG_4761

Inside is:

  • A parachute
  • 2 Green adaptors
  • A retainer ring
  • Engine mount tube
  • Little packet with more rockets in it
  • Instructions
  • Launch Lug
  • Stickers
  • Top
  • End
  • Can’t remember the last thing

The instructions were kind of hard to understand because they were all pictures and hardly any words.

IMG_4763IMG_4771

I was going to do step-by-step instructors but you can’t really make a rocket like how I did without the kit which, of course, comes with instructions anyway. But here are some highlights from the activity.

After poking a hole in the tube and incerting this metal thing, I glued the green adaptor onto it and then put the retainer around the whole tube. This piece went inside the rocket and the engine went inside this piece.

After poking a hole in the tube and incerting this metal thing, I glued the green adaptor onto it and then put the retainer around the whole tube. This piece went inside the tail of the rocket and the engine went inside this piece.

The white tiny tube was glued onto the black tube. This is how the rocket attaches to the stand later.

The white tiny tube was glued onto the black tube. This is how the rocket attaches to the stand later.

My rocket after I decorated it with stickers!

My rocket after I decorated it with stickers!

The finished rocket (with parachute inside) on the stand.

The finished rocket (with parachute inside) on the stand.

We put in an ignitor and a plug.

We put in an ignitor and a plug.

Me and my rocket and my dad's.

Me and my rocket and my dad’s.

When we were finished, my dad, my mom, and I went to the local middle school to set them off in the football field. We set up the controller and set them off. You can watch in this video!!

Mine ended up landing right in a tree. My dad’s went into the woods, too. It was a little windy, so we weren’t too surprised about that.

Building and setting off the rockets today was a really nice way to spend some time with my family and bond a little with my dad. It was really fun to make but I wouldn’t have been able to make it without him. It was also nice to do it on the 4th of July! Have a great holiday.

Thanks,

Samantha

Advertisements

2 thoughts on ““I aim at the stars” but sometimes I hit a tree

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s