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Beginning Rocketry

  1. Mar 1, 2012 #1
    I'm interested in building a model rocket. Someone told me about water rockets and this looks pretty cool but are there any other guides or videos you can refer me to?

    I also have no experience in rocketry
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2012 #2


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    Are you wanting to get a "Build-a-Rocket" kit you can pick up from hobby stores and such, or making it from scratch?
  4. Mar 2, 2012 #3
    the basics of rocketry involve conservation of momentum- if you sit in a shopping cart, and have your friend push you, and then drop a brick out of the cart, you'll pick up speed

    if you throw the brick opposite the way you're heading, you'll pick up more speed

    similarly, if you point the cart upwards, and shoot a billion atoms out the back end, you'll have a rocket engine
  5. Mar 2, 2012 #4
    I used to make water rockets from a plastic PET bottle filled with water and air. The most difficult thing was to properly mount a bicycle tire valve into something resembling a cork. Then simply put the bottle under pressure until the cork gets pushed out. Flying goes better when you mount stabilizers and put a pointy shape at the bottom of the bottle. About 12 years later I became a rocket scientist (MSc in aerospace engineering) :-)
  6. Mar 5, 2012 #5
    Rocketry is much more fun when there is fire.

    I actually took rocketry classes in the mid-70s at the miami museum of science and planetarium.

    This guy was the teacher.

    http://www.starhustler.com/JackHorkheimerRemembered.3.jpg [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  7. Mar 5, 2012 #6
    Do a google search for model rocketry. There are numerous clubs and a few national organizations that teach through the process of building and launching model and amature rockets. You will need a launch platform and controller unless you only launch with a club - most clubs require the use of their launch equipment. I have a six station controller and platform that I use for my grandsons when we want to launch without the club around. You will need to find out what you can launch without permissions and licenses and what needs which permissions and which licenses. The nation orgs have downloads of all that info and much more. Estes rocket web page is another good source for information too. (they also have the best safety record of the two major engine manufacturers)

  8. Mar 5, 2012 #7

    jim hardy

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  9. Mar 5, 2012 #8


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    I second the recommendation to look into Estes. They have been doing this for a LONG time (well over 40 years). And once your have built a kit or two, you'll want to look into buying cardboard tubing, sheet balsa, and other materials to design and build your own. It can be fun. Resist the temptation to use booster-grade engines in small rocket models unless you don't care if you ever see them again (VOE). I'd highly recommend joining a club to get some experience. We had a club at our HS back in the 60's and there were a lot of adults who wanted to get in on the act.
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