How to Build a Bottle Rocket

By Caitlin Wayne

Rules

  • No metal parts anywhere on the rocket
  • The Body of the rocket must be made from soda bottles (not water or juice) 2-Liter or less in size
  • Nosecones and fins can be made of cardboard, plastic, styrofoam, or other material
  • No commercial or pre-made parachutes allowed
  • Rockets parts may separate during flight, but must remain attached together
  • Completed rockets must weigh less than 300 g
  • All rockets will be launched with the same air pressure: 75 p.s.i.
  • No supplemental forms of energy for launch will be allowed
  • Rockets will be timed from the moment of launch until it hits the ground, falls out of sight, or becomes stuck in a tree, powerline, etc.

Suplies

  • (2) 2 litter bottle (intended for carbonated drink)
  • cardboard box (cereal box, granola bar box, etc.)
  • electrical tape
  • (1) garbage bag
  • scissors
  • hole puncher
  • fishing wire
  • spray paint (optional)
  • baby powder (optional)

Main Steps

Folding the parachute

First, you fold the parachute in half so it is a semi-circle. Next, fold it in half again so it is a quarter circle. Then, fold it in half again so it looks like a slice of pie, the 1/8 the original size. Now, straighten it up and fold down into thirds. Finally, put the strings to the side and place it inside the modified bottle and the modified bottle on top the main bottle.

Center of mass

To have the rocket have center of mass we took four quarter sized balls and put them in the nose of the modified rocket. We wanted our rocket to be nose heavy so it would fly straighter.

Baby Powder

Apply baby powder to the inside of the modified bottle and on the parachute to ensure that the parachute doesn't stick to the inside of the rocket or itself.

Decorations

This is an optional part. What we did was spray paint our bottle. If you decide to do this just make sure you do not get any paint below where it starts curving for the nozzle. If you want you can also decorate your rocket with duct tape, sharpies, stickers, etc.

Our Finished Result

When Hailey and I were done, this is what our rocket looked like. We did two launches and our flight times were 6.97 and 8.19 seconds. To launch we filled the body of the rocket about 1/3 way full and then the rest with pressurized air.

Our Flight

Caitlin and Hailey's launch

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