Dreams of rocket flights to distant worlds fire the imagination of both children and adults. A rocket in its simplest form is a container filled with gas under pressure. A small opening at one end allows the gas to escape, providing a thrust that propels the rocket. A good example of this is a balloon filled with air. When you let go of an untied but full balloon, air escapes and the balloon is propelled in the opposite direction. Whoosh….

Girl Scouts Blastoff4 stars

Women have played an important role in space exploration. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union became the first woman to travel in space, orbiting the Earth for over 70 hours. Twenty years later, the American physicist Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel in space. She performed experiments while orbiting the earth in the Space Shuttle Challenger. Written for Girl Scouts, this site adds a women's perspective to the history of rocketry. In addition to the history lesson and rocket science basics, this site describes how to launch a hobby- store model rocket with your troop or family.

NASA Rocket Activities5 stars

This is the place for knock-your-socks-off homemade rockets. Make a soda can engine, a pencil and rubber band rocket, or a balloon and Styrofoam cup rocket. You'll find eleven do-it-yourself rocket experiments here, as well as an excellent tutorial on the principles of rocketry and the history of rockets. Educators will like the teacher's guide that contains a cross-reference of subject areas (chemistry, physics, math, history) covered in each activity.

Model Rocket Safety Code3 stars

"1. Material: My model rocket will be made of lightweight materials such as paper, wood, rubber, and plastic suitable for the power used and the performance of my model rocket. I will not use any metal for the nose cone, body, or fins of a model rocket." No discussion of model rockets would be complete without an understanding of the safety guidelines. Here are fourteen rules for model rocket safety written by the National Association of Rocketry.

Space Exploration Merit Badge4 stars

This web site provides all the information you need to complete the Boy Scout Space Exploration Merit Badge, including building and launching a model rocket. The best parts of this site are the behind-the-scenes science explanations such as Newton's Laws and How Orbits Work. Don't miss the Flight of the Rocket for its excellent diagram illustrating the flight path of a model rocket.

Honorable Mentions

The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!

Model and High Powered Rocketry

Seltzer Tablet Rocket

Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "Rocketry." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 25 Mar. 1997. Web. 27 Jan. 2015. < >.

About This Page

By . Originally published March 25, 1997. Last modified March 25, 1997.

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