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Rocket Assembly: Easy Does It!

Introductions and Getting Started

Welcome to the space for miniature astronautics, also sometimes known as rocketry, model style!  Models + Rocketry combines the elements of model aviation with pyrotechnics, and modern rocket know-how.  It came together in 1957 in the United States, with the likes of Orville H. Carlisle and G. Harry Stine, founders of the National Association of Rocketry.  As much as this guide would like to be about the history and development of Model + Rocketry, it is really about building your own rocket and getting it off the ground, safely...!


Getting Started

For those who are new to the notion of model + rocketry, purchasing a pre-fab kit for assembly at home might seem like the logical starting place.  The rocket kit has many things going for it.  However, its best characteristic is also its worst feature.  The commercially produced rocket kit is designed for success, it is designed to fly and land as intended, when properly assembled and launched. In doing so, it removes all sense of suspense and creativity!  

Why would you want to deprive yourself of the suspense of that first launch?  Up until lift off, when you have gathered all of your friends and family for the big countdown, the questions will still be there.  Will my homemade rocket actually lift off, will it explode, will it turn 180 degrees in mid-air and head straight back into the crowd of spectators?  Think of the stories you could tell!

Building a rocket from scratch puts you in charge of the creative process.  Why should your rocket (pre-fab, that is) conform to the same rocket built by thousands of others?  Building from scratch gives you the freedom to design and assemble every single component.  Even late into the night your mind will continue to ponder and solve the design/build problems you encounter along the way.  Consider this question. Would you rather think about step number 7, or be the author of all of the steps?

If the DIY (Do It Yourself) mantra is the way for you, keep reading!

While it is true that this rocket assembly guide is like a pre-fab kit, (I am reasonably optimistic that the rocket we build together will work.) it is also more about giving you the mindset for building your own model rocket, using materials found around your home, with a few little tips and tricks thrown into the punch bowl.


While it is common for most pre-fab kits and other DIY projects to give you a parts list, or a materials needed run down, I prefer to skip that step, jump right in, and see how it goes.  Undoubtedly, I would miss something, and then there would be some cursing on your part as you head out to the nearest junk yard or thrift shop.  Furthermore, you may want to branch out and use different materials!

Materials: 1 toilet paper roll, used*

*By used, I mean that the toilet paper is all gone and only the thin cardboard roll remains!

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