Magic Dust: Launch a Rocket

Sir Isaac Newton came up with an idea of how things moved called Laws of Motion. One of these laws says that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

So, when a rocket shoots gases out of its engine (the action), it will lift off the launch pad (the reaction). We can see this in the experiment below.

This video shows the Third Law of Motion.

For this experiment, you will need:

  • Picture of a rocket
  • 1 plastic straw
  • 2 chairs
  • Long party balloons
  • Clear tape
  • 6 – 8 yards of fishing line
  • Scissors
  • 1 clothespin

Directions for the Experiment:

  • Thread the fishing line through the straw.
  • Attach each end of the line with the straw on it to the back of a chair. Stretch the line tightly.
  • Blow up a balloon and keep it tightly closed with fingers or with a clothespin.
  • Tape the picture of the rocket to the balloon.
  • Tape the balloon carefully to the straw while keeping it tightly closed.
  • Place the balloon near one end of the fishing line with the open end closest to the chair.
  • Prepare to launch by starting a countdown, 10,9,8,7,6,5...
  • Carefully remove fingers or the clothespin from the balloon and release the air. The balloon will travel in the opposite direction from which the air escaped. 

Did your rocket launch across the fishing line?

Simple Rocket Science. (2019). NASA. Retrieved 19 February 2019, from https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Simple_Rocket_Science.html

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