Thursday, April 11, 2013

DIY PVC Pipe Rocket Launcher and File Folder Rockets Part I: Rockets!

I know this is the post that some of you have been waiting for! Thank you for your patience! I don't mean to keep you waiting longer- but due to the length of the videos and the steps involved, I have split this post into two! Today, we are going to learn how to make the rockets! Tomorrow- we will walk through how to create the launchers!

Mr. Allan aka "Astronaut Al" stars in the wonderful silent movie walking you through all of the steps.

If you aren't much for videos- I thought I would describe the steps for you too:

Step 1: Gather your supplies

You will need:

Translucent File Folders
Electrical Tape
Scissors and/or exacto knife
12" long piece of 1/2" PVC pipe

Step 2: Cut Your Pieces

If you trim the folder to cut off the edges that bind the folder together, you will be able to open the folder up, cut it in half along the crease line. This will give you 2 pieces that are approximately 8" x 11"

You will need to cut 1 rectangle that is 9" x 4 " and 2 triangles from the 2" x 4 " rectangle that is left.  From one file folder- you will be able to create 4 rockets. 

If you have different colored folders, you can mix and match them to make multicolored rockets. 

Step 3: Tape Your Rocket Together

Put a piece of electrical tape on the long side of the rectangle- sticky side up where the plastic only covers about 1/2 of the tape's width. 

Use the pvc pipe as a guide to roll the body of the rocket together. Roll it up past the sticky part of the tape and use pressure to make sure that the cylinder stays together. 

Slide the pvc pipe out and you have the base cylinder of your rocket. 

You can either tape the triangles to the base or trim the tip of the rocket next. (The video shows the triangles being taped next, the tutorial photos show the tip of the rocket being done first).  When you trim and tape the top of the rocket, you need to make sure that you create an air tight seal. 

You can add as many fins as you would like to the base of the rocket. If you hope to get 4 rockets from a single folder- you will only have enough plastic to add 2 fins to each. 

Your rocket is now complete- ready to be placed on a launcher and BLAST OFF!

Come back tomorrow to learn how we put together our pvc pipe launchers!


Next week, I'll share how we make our straw rockets :). 

Do you have one you'd like to share? We'd love to hear about it!


Phyllis said...

Thank you for this tutorial!! We plan do study astronomy and rockets this summer.

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Thanks Phyllis! We have been studying rockets and projectiles for quite some time. I'll be posting about a couple of other rockets we have made in the next couple of weeks.

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