How To Ensure Your Model Rocket Lands Safely

father and son working together on a model rocket
image supplied by client

After launching your model rocket, you might wonder if you can use it again. The short answer is yes. It will need a new engine, but the rocket itself should be good to go, especially if you retrieve it in one piece. We can tell you how to ensure your model rocket lands safely so you can prepare it for another launch.

Choose a Vacant Spot

Never choose to launch your model rocket in a location with a lot of trees or cable lines. The skies need to be as clear as possible. What goes up must come down. And once gravity comes into effect, you don’t want your rocket getting tangled in trees or power lines.

Plus, attempting to get it down from these areas is extremely dangerous. You could injure yourself and never see your model again. See if there is a vacant lot close by—you also don’t want a lot of cars or people in the area. Launching a model rocket is relatively safe, but it never hurts to be cautious.

Choose Perfect Weather

The weather needs to be perfect on the day you’re launching a model rocket. That may sound like plenty of sunshine to most people, but it’s different for model rockets. Too much sunshine makes it difficult to track and keep a close eye on the model.

A slightly overcast day is preferable, but there shouldn’t be smoke clouds. A rocket can’t fly into any smoke clouds above the launch pad, so choose a slightly cloudy day instead. The winds on the day need to stay below 30 miles per hour. This includes the winds on the ground and winds 162 feet above the ground.

Choose the Right Parachute

Once it’s time for the rocket to drop, the parachute will handle the bulk of the load. However, it’s crucial you choose the right size parachute for your model rocket. Consider the drag coefficient of the parachute and the rocket’s durability.

There are a few good material options for a parachute, but the most classic is plastic. The design needs to be strong, thin, soft, and flexible. It shouldn’t be extremely heavy because it will force the rocket to land faster than necessary. Your rocket should reach the ground with little to no damage.

Always Double-Check

Never hesitate to double or even triple-check everything. Much goes into building and launching a model rocket. Check every aspect of the model and review your calculations more than once. Be sure every facet is in its correct compartment.

Double-check the launch pad too. Sometimes, when a launch is unsuccessful, it has nothing to do with the engine or the rocket itself. It could be a mishap with the launch pad. It never hurts to check over your work to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Ensure your model rocket lands safely so you can continue to enjoy it for the entire summer.

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Brenda Coles
I'm an elementary school teacher who became a stay-at-home mother when my first child was born. I love to write about lifestyle, education, and news-related topics.