Balloon Rocket

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balloon rocket

Balloon Rocket

Learn about the power of thrust and have fun races at the same time, all right in your living room, with the balloon rocket.

What You Will Need

– one balloon. Long ‘airship’ ones work best but round ones can also work
– one 10-15 foot piece of kite string.
– one plastic straw
– tape

What You Will Do

Tie one end of the string to a chair, door knob, or other form of support. Thread the straw through the string and attach the other end to another support in the room.

Blow up the balloon, leaving the end untied, and tape it to the straw. Brace yourself and then left go- your rocket is ready to launch!

If you’re having difficulty visualizing this experiment then check out this video.

What is Going On?

This experiment demonstrates the power of thrust, or the forward motion that is created when all the air rushes out of the balloon. Real rockets utilize thrust by blasting rocket fuel towards the ground. The force of the fuel being pushed down blasts the rocket up!

Different sizes and shapes of balloons will create different amounts of thrust, so feel free to try this experiment with an assortment of varieties.

Want a kit that makes this even easier? Get it here:

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Oliver Gauss
Oliver has a degree in physics and mathematics and has completed all but his dissertation for a Ph.D. in Physics. He believes actual science should decide scientific disagreements, and that most people who use "science" to defend their emotion-based opinions have no idea what science actually is. Oliver is the editor of WeWantScience.com and has two new sites coming out soon. Stay tuned!