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Compressed air rocket

Rating (?)
Difficulty (?)
Duration (?)0h 15 min.
Cost (?)~1 CHF
Languagefrançais english
Licence (?)

This project presents a way of building a small compressed air rocket with very simple materials.


The air inside the bottle is compressed, creating pressure. The air under pressure is expelled through the straw of the bottle and comes to a stop in the rocket which is thus set in motion. The phenomenon stops when the air pressure in the rocket is equal to that of the ambient air.


This experiment uses Newton's 3rd law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction: the action is always equal to the reaction; in this case the action of the air expelled at the back of the rocket is equal to the reaction of the rocket moving in the opposite direction.


This project was developped for the magazine 'Campus Junior' of the University of Geneva.

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Launch base

With awl, drill a hole of the diameter of the straw in the center of the PET bottle cap.   Cut ...
Inside view.
Screw the cap back onto the bottle.   The launch base is completed.

The rocket

With a pair of scissors, cut two 6 cm sections from a straw.
Split the two straw sections lengthwise.
Slide a split section onto a pencil.
Slide a second split section on the other side of the pencil, making sure that it slightly overl ...
Tape the two sections lengthwise together to form a sealed tube.
    Remove the tube from the pencil (fuselage of the rocket) and cover one of its openings wit ...
Build different models of rockets, for example, by adding fins formed from aluminum foil, scotch ...

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