Last Tuesday was L-day … as in Launch Day. The kids had been looking forward to this for quite some time. It was the day we would set off the air rocket they built with daddy.

The concept of an air rocket is pretty simple. Rather than having some sort of slow burning onboard fuel, an air rocket is all the initial thrust. You use a cylinder to capture air at high pressure. The pressure comes from a standard bicycle pump. You then release the pressure suddenly, expelling the air straight up and into a rocket made with paper and reinforced with painter’s tape.  NASA has a good description of some of the physics.

We set it up in the park near our house. We wanted plenty of space to launch so we could more easily retrieve our rockets.

So you pump it up …

… and let ‘er rip! Squeal! You would not believe how far these things fly. You can’t see them at the top of their arc and you wait for way longer than you’d think to come down.

Check out the air rushing out of that tube!!!

We got a few launches out of each rocket and we were done. Weather moved in and we headed for home, our first rocket launches a success!!

2 Comment

  1. Ani says:

    That sounds really fun!

    1. jesser says:

      I wished we’d made more rockets. But of course it was a pretty good excuse to head on home when the storms rolled in.

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