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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

VIDEO: Make Your Own Rockets this Fourth of July

Posted By on Wed, Jul 4, 2012 at 10:00 AM

This is the rocket you will be building* - NASA
  • NASA
  • This is the rocket you will be building*

*Actual size of rocket may vary.

As you celebrate your love for pyrotechnics patriotism today, try this easy, D.I.Y. way of making some fun, little rockets. All you need is a paperclip, pin, aluminum foil, matches, and some good ol' American ingenuity.

Steve Hoefer at Grathio Labs has put together the nifty tutorial video below on how to make your own mini rockets by harnessing the power of gas. As he put it on his site:

We're harnessing the solid fuel in the match head as propellant for our rocket. When a match is lit the solid fuel in the match head turns into a gas. Gas takes up more space than the same weight of solid so it expands like crazy. That gives us enough power to make a tiny rocket - if we can harness it!

Hoefer also notes that these mini rockets can launch up to 10 feet in the air, which is pretty damn impressive for a match. And odds are these "fireworks" won't cause much actual damage -- like last year when East Bay fireworks spurred a house fire and a man severed his finger.

Have fun out there, kids! And be safe.

For other fun things to do this Fourth of July, read our suggestions.

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About The Author

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome

Matt Saincome is SF Weekly's former music editor.


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