This week uncle Tweed has got a confession to make. He has always been interested in the art of Rocket Science,

To become an amateur Rocket Scientist, Uncle Tweed believes one has to start at a young and tender age, To back this theory up, we have the people at an Alaskan Hands-On-Science centre whose webpage, by the way, mysteriously has been unavailable lately .

The Alaskans tell us many things about Rockets, including how to make 35-mm film cannisters go soaring through the air:

“These activities are great for ages 8 and up. Younger children will find them fun, too, but will need more help from grownups.”

Uncle Tweed can’t figure out why so many of the pages telling us how to build our own Rockets seem to dissapear from the public view.

Maybe it is a safety precaution. As Chris Krstanovic from BlueSky Rocket Science puts it,

“this hobby is most definitively a HAZARDOUS pass time. Rocket motors are in essence just very well controlled pipe bombs… [so if you] intend to mix propellant much like when cooking a dinner and then stuff it down a pipe - DON’T!!!”.

Uncle Tweed agrees, and thinks that you should avoid experimenting with these recipies found at the BanzaiNet FAQ page:

Q: What’s the best formula for rocket fuel?

A: We’ve used the following formulas for years and found they work very well:

Traditional black powder fuel:

  • 75% Potassium Nitrate
  • 15% Sulfur
  • 10%Charcoal

Another formula is:

  • 60% Potassium Nitrate
  • 40% Granulated Sugar

Uncle Tweed will not divulge his secret recipy, as he has not given up his aspirations that one day, he will be counted among the illustrious amateur rocket scientists.

“The foundations of modern rocket science were built by ‘amateurs.’ […] Illustrious ‘amateur’ rocket scientists in history perhaps date back to Roger Bacon (c 1248), when that monk was credited with first publishing black powder propellant formulae in Europe […] All of these gentlemen were genuine amateurs when they entered experimental rocket science.”

Uncle Tweed will leave you with some latin, and, when cooking Rocket Fuel, please be careful out there.

“Ad Astra Per Aspera To the stars by our own hands!

We believe in one thing: for inexpensive access to space, BUILD MORE ROCKETS! If you want to get to space, and don’t mind doing much of the work yourself, this is a good place to start.”