DIY Water Rocket + Launch Pad

Here's the final version of the DIY Rocket Launch Pad that I made for my nephew yesterday.  The pad is made from a 1X8 with the bottom and back cut into 7.5" squares.  The front lip is 7.5" X 2" tall.  The sides are 7" tall and fill in the gaps between front and back.  I used decking screws because this thing involves water and pre-drilled the holes to avoid splitting.

From there, I painted it white then painted on an orange and blue rocket, added the VASA '12 logo (a space organization named after my nephew, of course!) and even a motto on the back.    I wrapped it up in the typical wrapping paper:  the days newsprint.

Also included in the Rocket package was this custom modified bike pump needle.  All you need to do is grab your needle, lay it next to a cork and then chop it down so the air holes just poke through.

Here's the launch vehicle.  I used a Diet Orange Crush bottle.  But any 2 litre bottle will work fine.

Just fill it up 1/3 of the way with rocket fuel.  Errr.....water.   Then jam the cork into it, then attach to a normal bike pump.  Then...pump.  And pump.  And pump.  And...stay out of the way!

The rocket will soar.  It is also pretty kid safe because (as you can see below), it takes an adult to deliver enough pressure to make it take off.  I didn't get a video of it actually taking off before we had to leave.  Maybe this weekend, I'll go over there to see it launch again!


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