How to make your own rocket at home: complete instructions by Mack

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. . . and how to survive the experience, unscathed.

First

Assemble your audience. Because–as everybody knows–an audience makes every experience richer.
Provide snacks. Because–as everybody also knows–it’s easier to retain an audience when there are good snacks.

Second

Set up a Safe Zone for your audience. This is a dangerous stunt. Eye protection and full-length pants and sleeves are a must. Pith helmets or construction helmets, though not required, wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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Third

Gather together the following items.  You probably already have them in your kitchen or pantry.

  • baking soda
  • a plastic soda or water bottle
  • vinegar
  • plastic wrap
  • liquid dish soap
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • additional snacks (just in case)
Probably not everybody buys these products in such absurd quantities (cough): plastic wrap, vinegar, baking soda, a plastic bottle.

Probably not everybody buys these products in such absurd quantities (cough): plastic wrap, vinegar, baking soda, a plastic soda bottle, and (not pictured) a small amount of orange juice and dishwashing liquid.

Fourth

Add your liquids to the soda bottle in this way: (per Mack’s instructions)

Put “a reasonable amount of vinegar” in your soda bottle (about half full); add the dish soap (approximately 1/4 cup) and the orange juice (1/4 cup).

Hold in readiness.

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Fifth

Make your missile-shaped baking soda pellet. This is how you do it:

Pull out a piece of plastic wrap, approximately 1′ x 1′. Dump about 1/4 cup of baking soda onto the plastic wrap and pull the plastic tightly around it, making a cylinder shaped pellet, small enough in diameter to fit into the bottle neck.

Sixth

Assuring that your audience is still paying attention, it’s go time:

Stuff the plug carefully into the soda bottle, quickly screw on the lid very tightly indeed, shake it for all it’s worth, and pitch it—high as you can!–into the air.

If your rocket is successful, you will need to . . .

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Seventh

RUN!!!

Eighth

If the bottle foams up but doesn’t explode and you leave it on the driveway to see what happens instead (you do have an audience) you may need to repeat all steps above. If you have a second bottle handy, which, hopefully, you do.

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Ninth

But before that, it might be fun to threaten your sister, with the “loaded” rocket. 🙂

But you should probably not do this. Although you may really, really want to.

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Tenth

Extra points if you can make her scream.

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Eleventh

If your first rocket didn’t detonate, probably your baking soda pellet didn’t come into contact with the vinegar/juice situation. Tweak the pellet. Shake the bottle harder. Throw it farther up into the air.

Do what you  must.

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Twelfth

Try again.

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The white blur in the right-hand side of the photo is the rocket, taking off! Success!

Boom, baby! When the rocket hits the ground, it will react, and take off!

You did it! With any luck, you’ll have another plastic bottle at the ready, so you can make another rocket, before your audience wanders off.

Have fun making your own rockets, and good luck!

Questions can be addressed to little Mack in the comments below. He’s the rocket expert at our house.

p.s.

Thirteenth

Don’t forget to put all your stuff away so your Mom doesn’t yell at you later. *sigh*

*sigh*

*siiiiiigh*

 

6 thoughts on “How to make your own rocket at home: complete instructions by Mack

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Janet,
      Go ahead and just ask the question in the comments for the old article. I read every comment, and try to answer every question. So fire away!! 🙂

  1. Chef William

    Does the government know that he is building rockets in his back yard. Better not let the Donald hear about this……actually I think it’s great. I remember building a submarine somewhat the same way and putting in the a bathtub to watch it do it’s thing. It was of course much smaller. And now teacher, I believe you owe little Mack an “A” in science for this week and perhaps a little extra ‘recess” Good job Mack, if we had stopped trying after the first failure, we would never have gotten the Mars rover to Mars.

    1. dramamamafive Post author

      Chef,
      oh, please, Shhhhhhh! At first Mack called this a “driveway B–mb” (rhymes with Mom) and I told him that if I was going to write about it (and I WAS) that he’d have to call it something different. It’s more like a rocket than a B–mb and would appear less incendiary to the neighbors, hopefully. I’ll share your comment with him, though you’re not doing me any favors pressing for extra recess . . . we’re already having some “ready for summer” issues!! Thanks, my friend, for your excellent and amusing comments!

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