Build and set off a rocket
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.
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.
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 is:
- The rocket kit!
- Hobby knife
I know masking tape and sandpaper are also pictured, but we ended up not using them.
Here’s what’s inside the box:
There’s a lot of bags within bags here. In the first one you’ll find:
- A parachute
- 2 Green adaptors
- A retainer ring
- Engine mount tube
- Little packet with more rockets in it
- Launch Lug
- Can’t remember the last thing
The instructions were kind of hard to understand because they were all pictures and hardly any words.
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.
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.
- Rocket Launchers for Independence Day (littleowlnotes.com)