The first rockets were invented in China during the 13th century. According to NASA, these early rockets were fireworks that used solid fuel. Rockets, by definition, are engines that work without air (unlike jet engines which do need air) and can propel themselves into space. The United States sent up the first men to the moon using a rocket called the Saturn V rocket in 1969. To make an easy paper rocket that flies, craft a rocket that uses air to propel itself into space.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Heavy paper
- Cellophane tape
- Sharpened fat pencil
Cut heavy paper into a rectangle approximately 5-inches long. Wrap it tightly around a pencil and secure it with cellophane tape. The paper should make a cylinder around the pencil. Gently remove the rolled paper from the pencil.
Cut 4 1/2-inch equidistant slits on one end of the paper cylinder. Place the paper cylinder back onto the pencil.
Squeeze the slits together to form a nose cone. Tape the nose together to secure.
Remove the paper rocket from the pencil and blow gently into the open end to check for any leakage. Use tape to seal any leaks if necessary.
Slip a straw that is slightly thinner than your fat pencil into the paper rocket. Point the rocket away from any objects and blow hard.
Tips and warnings
- Add paper fins to your paper rocket by cutting out 3 or 4 equilateral triangles approximately 1-inch tall. Fold together and tape the triangles onto the bottom of your rocket.
- Launch a paper rocket race using rockets with and without fins to see which is faster.
- Adult supervision is needed for this project.
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