Let's Make A Rocket - Printer Friendly Version

Bottle Rocket Plans-
Click here for Film Canister Plans

Step 1 is fairly simple -

Wrap the 8 1/2" sheet of thick paper around the 3/4" dowel. Tape along the seem to form a paper tube. See illustration below -

Paper around dowel image

Make nose coneMake nose coneMake Nose Cone

Step 3Step 3

Step 4 -

Cut 3 rocket fins from 1/16" pressed cardboard.

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6


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Let's build a Film Canister Rocket!

What you will need:

  • 35 mm film canister with plug type cap
  • 8 1/2" X 11" sheet of paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • 1/2 tablet of alkaselzer
  • teaspoon of water

Guaranteed to make a mess (Cut along heavy lines below. Wrap this part around the film canister to make the body of the rocket. Use tape to secure paper tube to film canister and to hold paper tube itself together)

Rocket Fins

Cut three rocket fins from this piece, like the ones drawn here, fold on dashed line.

Fold this piece to make a cone that looks sort of like the one below, tape, cut to make nose cone of rocket and tape to rocket.

Rocket Nose Cone

Put 1/2 tablet of alkaselzer and one teaspoon of water into film canister, put in plug, stand on plug end with pointy end up and step away smartly.

Main Rocket

The water will dissolve the alkaselzer tablet releasing carbon dioxide gas. When the increasing gas pressure inside the film canister overcomes the resistance of the plug, the gas and plug jet downwards. In reaction the rocket body and fins will move upwards just as when you stand on a skateboard and try to throw a heavy object away from you. This is how a real rocket works whether it is in outer space or in the earth's atmosphere. A typical rocket will lift off in 10 to 30 seconds and go about 10 feet in the air.

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1569 La Rue Lane,  Fairbanks, AK 99709
Email - neal.nbrown@gmail.com