What Is Pressure Rocket
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A pressure rocket is a 25 feet tall structure with air pressure inside it. The participant enters the rocket through a gate and gets harnessed inside. This harness is attached to a rope which propels the person higher as the pressure inside the rocket increases. Within a few seconds, the person reaches the highest point, where a parachute pops open. Then slowly, the person is descended back to the ground. It is an extremely enjoyable activity as one almost experiences flying.
Pressure rockets need no batteries or fuel. Making one does not require expensive materials either. If you have ever built plastic models or paper airplanes, you’ll be right at home. A simple pressure rocket can be easily built out of an empty Coke or lemonade plastic bottle.
Newton’s Third Law
Newton’s Third Law states that “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. In a rocket, burning fuel creates a push on the front of the rocket pushing it forward. This creates an equal and opposite push on the exhaust gas backward.
We all have heard of Newton’s laws of motion. Isaac Newton was the 17th-century British scientist whose ideas about gravity and other forces transformed science. A simple rocket powered by air or water pressure may be used to demonstrate thrust and Newton’s Law’s. The water pressure rocket demonstrates two of his laws.
- Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
- The same amount of force can accelerate a heavy object slowly or a light object more quickly.
The Science Behind The Fun!
The pressure vessel, the engine of the rocket, is usually a used plastic soft drink bottle. The bottle is partially filled with water (typically a third full), and then inverted so the nozzle points towards the ground. The bottle is then pressurized with air and then released.
Water and air are used in combination, with the air providing a means to store potential energy, as it is easily compressed, and the water providing momentum when ejected from the rocket’s nozzle.
This compressed air works like a compressed spring. The compressed air pushes the water out of the rocket. But it’s the water which is heavier than air that gives the rocket the main kick forward.