Seeing a rocket launch is one of the most beautiful things you can witness. The idea that something will be above the Earth’s atmosphere within a few minutes is a marvel. While you might not be donning a spacesuit anytime soon, you can feel a sense of that jubilation with a model rocket. These are the best tips for staying safe when launching a model rocket.
Use Cardboard Components
Stray away from any metal components when constructing your model rocket. The best material for safely launching a rocket is balsa wood, cardboard tubes, nose cones, and plastic fins. Before you set it soaring into the sky, inspect the rocket to ensure there are no loose or missing parts, although you don’t want to tighten things too much because the engine could falter. The last item on your checklist is to verify that the engine is stable when mounted.
Don’t Build the Engine Yourself
It may be fun to build the model rocket engine, but it’s in your best interest to use only pre-assembled versions. Typically, you can find a reasonably priced engine that prioritizes optimal safety.
Before putting the engine in the rocket, examine it to verify it’s in good condition and free from any faults or fractures. You also never want to reuse a rocket engine or try and concoct your own fuel. Doing this is incredibly risky. Too many hobbyists harm themselves when experimenting with their own fuel. Leave the experimentation for the model rocket’s paint job.
Where To Launch
You must find a wide-open field with no obstructions for blastoff. Never put a rocket near a tree line, or else your rocket could crash and go up in flames. And fire and trees aren’t a combination you want to see.
Some other places you should avoid when launching a rocket are areas near freeways or busy roadways. The rocket doesn’t only have a chance to get crumpled when it lands, but it could scare drivers senseless if it zooms by them, leading to potential accidents.
In the same vein as never wanting to start a fire in a tree, you also never want to set your house ablaze due to a mishap. Plus, there are probably electrical lines near the home, which you don’t want your model rocket to hit.
The Final Countdown
Even with a rocket constructed and ready for launch, there are additional precautions you must take to guarantee your safety. Avoid using matches or fuses to ignite the rocket, and use an electrical device instead.
Remove the safety key once you’ve connected the igniter clips and wires. It could launch as you’re holding it. Keep everyone away from your launcher, especially if you’re working on it.
Explore the launching pad to confirm that it isn’t tilting or toppling over as the rocket is about to launch. While at the pad, put something over the launch rail to prevent your eye from getting poked. Lastly, don’t risk flying the rocket in windy or tumultuous weather. It’s nearly impossible to guess where the rocket will touch down.
Once you’ve completed these steps and the launch area is clear, you can start the final countdown. Make sure you let bystanders in the area know there’s about to be a lift-off.
Learning to stay safe when launching model rocket guarantees that it will lift off without a hitch. Keep this information in mind when planning your first or next experience.