Launch Date:


  • Build a Soda Bottle Rocket that flies as high as possible.
  • Calculate height and related concepts based on 2 pieces of data: an angle and flight-time.

Design Parameters

The main bottle must be from a soda bottle with a traditional neck. Three (3) Liter bottles typically have a larger neck that will not fit on the launcher. Otherwise, most soda bottles should work. You can bring the bottle to class ahead of time to test it. Bottles that contained water or non-carbonated drinks do not have to meet the same pressure standards, so they should not be used.

You may add extra materials to your bottle to lengthen it's body, but do NOT pierce/cut/melt/modify the main bottle! If your main bottle, the one on the bottom that must attach to the launcher, is altered in any way it will not hold pressure and cannot be launched.

Your fins, nosecone, and extensions may be made of any materials that are not metal. You are allowed to hold parts together as you see fit: tape, glue, epoxy, etc. However, Super Glue, Hot Glue, and Modeling Glue are NOT recommended, since they tend to melt the plastic.

Testing Conditions

  1. As part of the FRR (Flight Readiness Review), the RSO (Range Safety Officer) will monitor you as you measure the dry mass of your rocket.
  2. You will fill the bottle 1/3 full of water.
  3. When given your COFR (Certificate of Flight Readiness) by the Flight Director "Flight", you will have 10 seconds to present your rocket to the LSSs (Launch Services Specialists), and help them mount it to the Flight Stand.
  4. A LSS will count down and launch, while "Flight" manages "The Clock".
  5. The Telemetry team will be gathering data from a remote location. They will measure the angle of your apogee above the horizon (theta) from a specific distance.
  6. "Flight" will collect data to be distributed later (Flight-time and Theta).

Grading (120 points total)

  • Condition after launch: 10 pts
  • Performance (flight): 80 pts
  1. 40 pts for flight-time ... ranked
  2. 40 pts for theta ... ranked
  • Rocket with longest flight-time: +5 pts
  • Rocket with largest theta: +5 pts
  • Rocket wobbles/skates/glides sideways: -5
  • Rocket tumbles: -10 pts
  • Rockets must perform better on second trial or: -5
  • Analysis of data (worksheet): 30 pts