Small flying rockets to make out of paper and propel with air blown through
Roger Storm, NASA Glenn Research Center
- Scrap bond paper
- Cellophane tape
- Sharpened fat
- Milkshake straw
(slightly thinner than pencil)
- Cut a narrow rectangular
strip of paper about 5 inches long and roll it tightly around the fat
pencil. Tape the cylinder and remove it from the pencil.
- Cut crown points
into one end of the cylinder and slip it back onto the pencil.
- Slide the crown
points to the pencil tip and squeeze the points together and tape them
together to seal the end to form a nose cone (the pencil point provides
support for taping). An alternative to the crown points is to just fold
over one end of the tube and seal it with tape.
- Remove the cylinder
from the pencil and gently blow into the open end to check for leaks.
If air easily escapes, use more tape to seal the leaks.
- Cut out two sets
of fins using the pattern and fold according
to instructions. Tape the fins near the open end of the cylinder. The
tabs make taping easy.
FLYING THE PAPER
Slip the straw into
the rocket's opening. Point the rocket towards a safe direction, sharply
blow through the straw. The rocket will shoot away. Be careful not to
aim the rocket towards anyone because the rocket could poke an eye.
Paper rockets demonstrate how rockets fly through the atmosphere and the
importance of having fins for control. For experimental purposes, try
building a rocket with no fins and one with the fins in the front to see
how they will fly. Practice flying the rockets on a ballistic trajectory
towards a target. Also try making a rocket with wings so that it will
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