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Science Project: Rocket Launcher Viewed: 4796
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Rocket Launcher

Launch a rocket by following instructions exactly. You don't want the rocket to go off before you're out of the way!

You need:

  • empty soda bottle with cork to fit
  • 2 oz. lemon juice or vinegar (60 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 ml)
  • a square of paper toweling
  • 2 paper towel strips, 1" x 10"
    (2.5 cm x 25 cm)
  • water
  • tacks or tape

What to do:

Fit a cork to a soda bottle, trimming it or padding it with paper toweling, if necessary. Tack the 2 paper towel streamers to the cork. Put the cork aside: it will be your rocket. Pour a mixture of water and lemon juice into the soda bottle until it is half filled. Wrap the baking soda in a little square of paper toweling. Go outside where your rocket has plenty of space to travel. Then drop the wrapped-up baking soda into the bottle and insert the cork loosely. Put the bottle on the ground and stand back.

What happens:

The cork will eventually shoot up.

Why:
 
As the water and lemon juice soak through the paper towel, the baking soda reacts to produce carbon dioxide. As more gas forms, pressure builds up inside the bottle and sends the cork flying.

Be careful not to get the lemon juice or vinegar in your eyes, it will burn. Stay clear of bottle while the reaction occurs to avoid being hit by the cork