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Simple Rocket Launcher

Summary Status

I finished making the rocket launcher and it works as designed – it puts out about six volts of electricity when I push the launch button. However, it failed to launch a rocket. It could be that the batteries were worn down or it could be that the rocket ignitor needs more power. Also, the LED I installed does not light. Maybe I wired it in backwards. The LED is not required for the launcher to work, so I will consider this part of the project done. I will try to fix the problems in the next project.

[20 September 2013 Update]. I fixed all of the basic design issues with the launcher. I added some posts so I can use any external battery power source. The LED was replaced with a bigger one that works. Finally, the switch was replaced with one that works. Now, everything works as designed and the launcher will actually launch a rocket.

Click here to read the posts on my blog.


For years I have wanted to make a simple rocket launcher. It is a great project to learn about basic electronic circuits and it has a practical purpose – I would have a working rocket launcher to launch model rockets.

The circuit itself is very simple. Its basically some batteries for power, an LED with resistor to act as the “safe” path, a switch to power the circuit, and a button to bypass the resistor and launch the rocket. Here is a link to the schematic.

The parts list is also simple.

  1. Medium project box
  2. LED
  3. 330 ohm resistor
  4. switch
  5. momentary pushbutton, normally open
  6. battery holder
  7. wire connector plugs (4)
  8. speaker wire
  9. alligator clips

I won't get into the step by step instructions to create the launcher. You can see a similar project on instructables that will tell you all you need to know.

Here is a picture of the completed launcher.

Improvement Ideas Here are some things I would like to do to make the launcher even better (meaning that it actually launches a rocket).

  1. Replace the LED with one that works and won't fall through the hole I drilled that was for the original, bigger LED.
  2. Add input plugs to plug in any external power source. This will let me use different configurations of power inputs
  3. Make a solar power array as a power input
  4. Make the advanced launcher shown here.

Members: Ken Becker

projects/simplerocketlauncher.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/21 03:06 by kennethsbecker