Monday, June 16, 2008

Match Rocket




I was not able to attend the latest rocketry launch due to several issues (not the least was a huge storm), but my big daddy kit is in the works so the next launch will be one for the record books. (If flying more 24mm motors = some kind of record, which it almost certainly does not.) To pass the time (and keep posting at an interesting rate), I want to share a fun and fairly safe way to make tiny little rockets. I have not done this exact procedure myself, but it appears to work well and is similar to other little rockets. I would suggest someone try a two or even three stage match rocket some time: keep the heads of several rockets close together, with the later stage rockets starting via radiant heat from the previous stage. The upper stage(s) will burn after a slight delay, and will be held in place by a loop below the head, so that they can move forward freely but wont fall off too soon.

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From NASA.GOV:

"MATERIALS:

* 2 match book matches or wooden stick matches
* Small square of aluminum foil
* Paper clip
* Safety pin

PROCEDURE:

1. Take one match and wrap a small piece of aluminum foil around the match-head. Wrap the foil tightly.

2. Make a small opening in the foil wrapped around the match head by inserting the point of a safety pin and bending upward slightly.

3. Bend the paper clip to form a launch pad as shown in the diagrams. Erect the match stick rocket on the pad. Make sure the pad is set up on a surface that will not be damaged by the rocket's exhaust such as a lab table. Several layers of foil on the lab table work well.

4. Ignite the match by holding a second lighted match under the foil until its combustion temperature is reached.

Caution: Be sure the match rocket is pointed away from people or burnable materials. it is recommended to have water or some other fire extinguis[her] available. The foil head of the rocket will be very hot!"

4 comments:

DTH Rocket said...

I was bored so I tried this. The first one I made went 2 inches. The second one I made I put two matches together, and went a considerable 6 inches!

Fun Food Eater said...

this is good stuff!!!

keep em coming!
;-)

Butchie said...

I'm so doing that.

J. T. Drake said...

I used to do this as a kid, about 40 years ago. We found that the thin aluminum foil from a gum wrapper worked best due to the lower weight. Have fun!