DIY Friday: Rockets!

It’s hard to believe we haven’t presented this before, given that we are rocket scientists and all.

Nonetheless, it honor of our profession and our blog’s name, we present today’s DIY project: build your very own model rocket!

If you’re like us, your first hand-on experience with rockets probably came through an Estes rocket kit. Sebadoh used to launch these from an empty lot in Scottsdale, Arizona, and lost at least half a dozen of his creations to neighbors’ roofs and trees throughout the neighborhood…. and Rocco’s first D engine, in a Big Bertha, was never found, and is still lying somewhere around Lexington, NY. (If you find it, please drop Rocco a line.) 

Estes is still making rocket kits like this one. (We confess that we assumed they had gone the way of lawn darts, honestly.) And if you’re really into model rockets, the Amateur Rocketry Society of America is the place to be.

But if you’re not into just purchasing your solid fuel engines, why not take rocketry to the elemental DIY level, by building a water-powered rocket? Here’s one that uses jet foaming: 

Check out the Water Bottle Rockets blog for instructions on how to make your own. But be warned: model rocketry isn’t all fun and games. There’s some serious competition out there, as this video of the world-record flight of 1,821 feet demonstrates.

If you’re going to compete, you’d better document your launches. Here’s how to make a rocketcam to prove that you’ve broken the surly bonds of earth by a country mile.

Happy flying!