Launch your own Flying Rocket into Space with these Canister Rockets.

Calling all space fans, how about launching your own rocket into space using just 2 items from your kitchen! These canister rockets are so much fun to play with & a neat way to explore a little science too, & they can be used over & over again.

We started making our flying creations by printing off our Rocket Templates, which you can find here. There are 2 different sheets, one coloured, & one blank for you to add your own design. We used the blank templates to create our rockets & after adding some colour & smiley astronauts we cut out our designs. 

To complete our rockets we needed small containers that would hold our rocket fuel. We used plastic canisters like these which were just the right size & had the caps/lids which popped on & off easily. (Containers with screw lids won't work for this activity.) We taped the base of each paper rocket to the open end of the plastic containers & we were ready to add our fuel.

To launch our rockets we needed special rocket fuel (cold tap water) & the magic ingredient, the rocket booster (vitamin C tablet). We used these tablets from Sainsbury's which were brilliant & launched the rockets to a good height.

The rocket fuel & rocket boosters were added 2 separate plastic containers along with labels & a plastic pipette, & we were ready for lift off!

Before launching your rockets it's a good idea to find a flat & level area of ground that you can turn into a launchpad. An outdoor space is ideal as there are no restrictions on the height your rocket will fly to! Warning: they do fly high! Once your launchpad is ready, you're good to go!

1. Take your rocket, remove the lid but keep it in your hand (you'll need to add this fairly quickly in the following steps).

2. Add your rocket fuel using the pipette or a teaspoon. We discovered that the less fuel you use, the higher the rocket will fly, & for our rockets we used around about 5ml.

3. For this next step you have to act fairly fast. Pop the Rocket Booster into the rocket (canister) & place the lid on tight. Stand the rocket on the launchpad (cap side down) & stand at least 2 meters back.

You should have around 10-15 seconds or so before the rocket 'pops' up, but it could take longer/slightly shorter to launch depending on how much water has been added.

4. Countdown & wait for lift off!

These mini rockets really do fly high!

If you want to launch your rocket again (& again) just give the container a quick clean & then add your fuel & rocket boosters as before, remembering to stand well back. You could experiment & see what happens if you add more/less water & record your predictions & results. 

How does the rocket work? When the tablet hits the water & starts to dissolve it releases carbon dioxide, & as more of the gas is released the pressure in the container builds until the cap is pushed down & the rocket shoots up. Real space rockets use this system of thrust too, obviously using slightly more powerful rocket fuel!

These mini rockets are sure to provide oodles of fun, & I'm sure however old your space fans are, they'll have a blast with these!

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