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Model rocketry is a fun hobby that is very safe when done correctly. When building your own model rocket, it is safest and easiest to use a pre-made kit. It is
possible to design a rocket, but for safety NAR, National Association of Rocketry, guidelines should be observed. Building a rocket from a kit is a fun and inexpensive way
to ensure safety.
Estes and Aerotech are two of the main companies that sell model rocket kits. They range in price from $3 or $4 to hundreds of dollars. They also vary greatly in size.
Some rockets are five inches, and some can be as tall as several feet. Rockets can also perform a variety of functions. There is one that can take a picture at the apex of its flight, and there are several that allow you to place a small item in a payload bay. Most rockets,
however, simply go through four phases, launch, flight, ejection, and landing.
To build a model rocket you will need several materials, depending on the kit you select, including a hobby knife, craft glue, model (plastic) glue, sand paper, ruler, pencil, and a paper towel. The pre-made kits will include specific guidelines that explain how to build the model.
There are several important parts to a well-constructed rocket. The rocket must have a launch lug, which is a guide shaped like a thin straw that helps the rocket fly straight up. The rocket will also usually have three or four fins that are spaced evenly around the body. These fins will stabilize the rocket in flight so that it will not spin out of control. It is important to make sure the fins are secured correctly.
The rocket nose cone should be attached to the body by a shock cord, but it should be easily removable from the rocket body. During the ejection phase, the nose cone will fly off the top of the body and will pull a streamer or a parachute out of the body to aid in the recovery of the rocket. Almost all rockets are designed for multiple flights, providing that you do not lose or damage your rocket.
To avoid damaging your rocket make sure that you have the correct engine. The pre-made kit generally lists the engines that are compatible with your rocket. Rocket
engines are filled with solid rocket fuel that is ignited by an electrical impulse from a detonator. After burning all of the rocket fuel, the engine fires a charge into the rocket body that blows the nose cone off and enables the recovery system. The engines are made in many sizes to accommodate the different types of rockets. They have varying levels of power as well. For instance, the lighter the rocket, the less power you want the engine to have. If you use a powerful engine with a light rocket, you will probably lose your rocket.
After having built your rocket, you are now ready to launch. You will need a launch pad and a detonator. To successfully recover the rocket you need to insert several
sheets of recovery wadding into the body tube to protect the recovery device from the ejection charge. After packing the recovery device and replacing the nose cone on the rocket, slip the rocket’s launch lug over the launch pad’s metal guide rod. You must then secure an igniter so that it touches the propellant inside of the rocket engine, and attach the detonator lead clips to the igniter to form a complete circuit. Your detonator should have at least a fifteen foot lead so you will be a safe distance away from the launch pad.
When you launch your rocket make sure you are a safe distance from the pad. Do not launch your rocket on a windy day because not only could you lose your rocket, but
you compromise safety. Make sure your launch site is clear of trees because rockets can be difficult if not impossible to recover from them. It will be easy to recover if you have a friend help watch the course of the rocket flight. Model rocketry is a fun, safe, and inexpensive hobby.