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News Link • How To

How To Turn A Match Into A Tiny Rocket

•, By Susan E. Matthews
The swift strike of a match on July 4 typically precedes sky-high spectacles. But matches themselves can be fireworks. When ignited, the bulb of fuel on a match’s tip combusts into space-hogging gases. By containing the gas in aluminum foil and directing it downward, you can create a miniature missile. Follow these steps to become a rocket scientist in your own driveway.
Matches Sewing pin or needle Paper clips Aluminum foil


1. Bend a paper clip into a 45-degree angle. Presto! You have a launch pad.
2. Lay a pin along a matchstick so that the sharp tip touches the match head. Wrap the head with a piece of aluminum foil, and gently crease the foil around the pin (avoid tears and holes).
3. Remove the pin. This leaves a hollow channel that will direct gas downward, so it can act as propellant.
4. Rest the match on the launch pad, hold a small flame under the foil-wrapped match head, and start your countdown.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Price
Entered on:

Wow! Wonder what would happen if you dipped a toothpick into some liquid superglue, and then dipped this into some black powder? Would it explode from the heat generated by the hardening superglue? If it didn't, could you make a toothpick rocket like the match rocket? Would you want to wear safety glasses?

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