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Useful addresses



  • Virtualdub : a video capture/processing utility 

    Excellent for analysing video recordings of  rocket flights and experiments where you need slow down the film speed to analyse the video image by image.  


  • Design Creativity, 'Brain -Storming' and lateral thinking.

         Using the water rocket project to introduce lateral thinking and creativity.


  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT ).

Many very interesting pages: look for water rocket in their search engine


There are advanced on line courses/tutorials on a range of subjects. That you could use for an introduction . For example fluid dynamics.

You may also go to :

Professor Olivier de Weck and Col. Peter Young



Water Rocket references we have used during our project.

  • G.A Finney. 'Analysis of water propelled rocket. A problem in honours physics.' Am.J Physics March 2000.

  • J.M.Prussa. 'Hydrodynamics of a Water Rocket.' SIAM Review 42 October 2000.

Note: These are to be used strictly for reference reading and not to be used 

for profit.


From a strictly professional view point, there has been a considerable amount written about how water rockets work but little if no research data to substantiate  them.


In general it would appear as though a large part of the available literature on the subject is rests scientifically unproven.

Test repeatability and data to support conclusions are conspicuous by there absence.



 There is a real need to produce repeatable  test data and eliminate some of the commonly accepted oversimplifications.

As an engineer very few of the literature/ computer models available appear to represent what we have recorded.

Consequently our research continues!


Translation of web pages from English into other languages.

Systran free on the internet for texts of blocks of 150 words.


Science Toy Maker

Good site on how to make a simple cable tie launcher with elevated launch collar to pass above the heads of inquisitive pupils. : French Water Rocket association. 

Organiser of the French National Water rocket Championship .


1718th Soyuz Launch marks the Centenary of Korolev birth


2007 Marks the:

  • 50th Anniversary  of the launch 'Sputnik' the first man made satellite placed in orbit around Earth by S7 4th October 1957.



  • 100th Anniversary of the birth of S.P. Korolev.12th January 1907.

  • 150th Anniversay of the birth of Konstantin Tsiolkovski 17th September 1857.

  • The 40th anniversary of the Treaty on the Peaceful Uses of Outer initiative of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS), 

    2007 is also the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the International Geophysical Year, which has provided a very effective mechanism for the development of international scientific collaboration.

Stasem Soyuz launch videos

Message from a 'Zek' In honour to those lost along the way.

It has taken us 50 years to understand what Korolev and his team achieved. 

'Now the way to the stars is open.......'

Thanks to a engineer who suffered six years of repression under the Satlin purges and an unknown teacher from Kaluga. Who worked in isolation for forty years to identify the physics of how to escape from Earth and explore the universe.


esa tribute to Korolev March2007


Message from the ISS  crew. To mark the 50th Anniverasry of the Space Age at The Unesco building in Paris March 2007



First maps of world showing the distribution of methane and cabon dioxde That contribute to the Green house affect.


Latest esa launch



esa Launch Archive Data



27th December 2006 Soyuz 1716 launches the esa Cnes Corot mission satellite from the Baikonour base in Kazakhstan at 3.23pm. 
'Corot' will search other solrar systems outside our own  for exoplanets that might support life.


19th october Met Op satellite Soyouz Fregate launch.


14th October twenty ninth A5 launch .

ECA heavy lift version successfully placed two satellites DIRECTV 9S(USA) and OPTUS D1(Austalia AUS NZ) in  orbit. They where accompanied  by a 'piggy backed'  satellite Japan's LDREX-2 which will test a new light weight antenna system

12th August heavy lift version of Ariane5 successfully launched two satellites the Japanese CSAT-10 and  SYRACUSE 3B for the French military.

11th March 2006 Launch of Ariane 5 V170 ECA carrying a dual payload of SPAINSAT and HOT BIRD™ 7A satellites  successfully launched on Saturday 11 March 2006.

169 16th November 2005 successful launch of esa Arianespace Ariane5 ECA with a record breaking  heavy lift 8000kgs two satellite charge.


168  The launch of Flight 168, an Ariane 5G with a dual payload, will take place  

        on 13 October 2005 from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana

164   12.2.2005

Ariane 5 ECA Heavy lift version of Ariane 5.Launch video


European Space Agency  esa
  • ESA Launchers homepage includes information on the Ariane family of launchers, Europe’s spaceport, past launches, the latest news on present and future projects.


           For the latest  news on esa space exploration projects.



           Ipod format link for esa



            Manufacturers of Russian 'Soyuz' site



            S P Korolev  design Bureau RSC Energia.

           Is the Space design company that orginated as Korolev's Design Bureau.


           Photographs from RSC Energia Museum of  Sputnik series satellites


           Proposal for Clipper shuttle.




esa and Euronews join to provide  a series of space documentaries


     esa Lessons On-line  




         esa multimedia section for images and videos on space  and space exploration.


            Locate the position of the International space station in the sky



           esa Satellite Tracking  Positioning of satellites relative to Earth's surface.





            Satellite positions

            First live web chat from the international space station





 The Water Rocket Workshop
  Real rocket page


History of Astronautics page index.
How does it work
  • esa education.

            Fantastic New esa  site to access satellite images in near real time



European satellite observation images of  Earths climate changes. Educational science project support available in 

English, French, German, Spainish and Italian.


  • Astronomy

New  Sky in Google Earth allows you to voyage across the galaxy and duscover the stars.


The sky at night.

 Log on and identify what is currently in the sky above where you live.



Your guide to the stars..Sky Map


            One of the best sites for an introduction to astronomy and space is that of the bbc

         Make your own Hipparcus star globe


History of astronomy

The Antikythera Mechanism Ancient Greek analogue computer


Did the Romans rewrite history and eliminate the importance of other civilisations in its quest for world dominance?




and Celt where all thought of as barbarian by the Romans.

A classic example is that our current image of the Celts as a backward heathen civilisation is based solely on Roman accounts..

As an antedote to this image watch 'Brainy Barbarians' by Terry Jones

A Celtic calendar found in Celtic Gaul was more advanced than the Roman calendar which followed.

It willmake yoy question what you were taght in history at school.


Images from the Hubble Space telescope.

Image of the Cats eye nebula

Satellite sky maps


Learn more about our planet Earth



Dont miss the BBC World Programme:


BBC World Series  Dont miss the award winning  bbcworld series 

'Space and Time' to be broadcast during  May 2005.

Rough Science :


Be sure to check your regional times


  • Aerospace

          Gives a good introduction to the science of flight

  • To find out more about the history of mans race to the moon


            Then select  Apollo 11 mission to the moon.


' The time of Apollo' documentry 28mins.


            Courtesy Smithsonian Institute.


Apollo 11 The Untold Story  BBC Documentary Apollo 11 a caculated risk!

A documentary that rounds out the Walt Disney image of the Apollo moon missions.

There was and still is a certain risk involved in sending astronauts into space.

How much does the necessity of projecting an image of technical superioirity control what we are told.

Top Gear have done it again...

Reliant three wheeler heads for space launch on the UK space shuttle... Europes second largest launcher.

Tremendous fun You must watch this...

Reasearch in nature.

  • Examples of  water jet propulsion found in nature.

  • The squid provides a very interesting research subject. A short video illustrating squid propulsion can be seen below. The optimised form and evolutionary development of the squid has produced an extremely efficient form of water jet  propulsion in water. That gives a measure of what could be achieved by optimising the aerodynamics and propulsion system of water rockets

        Tip.look at your http bar title address and correct to above by changing sae to sea.


         Tip insert 'nasa' into http address



Suggested references for project support.



Ciel_et_de_IEspace.jpeg (55542 octets)

L'Encyclopedie Gallimard Jeunnes du Ciel et de I'Espace. Explorer et Observer I'Univers.

            ISBN 2-07-055230-0.

Detailed introduction to the conquest of space and a very good introduction to astronomy.

 The English original of this is published by Dorling Kindersley under the title 'Space Encyclopedia'.


L'Aventure Millenaire des Fusé Jacque Villain 1991 

Explora. La Villette, Presse Pocket 12

Small format full of interesting history and technical detail.


'Korolev'  By James Harford 1997. 

Publisher  John Wiley & Sons Inc.

           ISBN 0-471-14853-9.

One of the first English publications to reasearch  the development of the USSR space programme post 'Glasnost'; written by  a US space engineer.

Researching the real achievements of thier engineers and researchers. The Chief Engineering Director of this programme  was S.P.Korolev whose life reads a little like it was scripted by Boris Pasternak ( who wrote Dr.Zhivago ).

          Identifying the strong influence Tsiolkovski's earlier work had on both Korolev and Glushko. Creating the foundation for their  achievements in  conquering space.


 'Gulag' A history of the Soviet Camps. by Anne Applebun.

Published by Penguin Allen Lane 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner

The forbidden name that risked death or the Gulag...  Trotsky

The rewriting of soviet history under Stalin to remove any trace of the importance of Trotsky. The principle leader and strategist of the 1917 revolution..

Most arrests under Stalin were attributed to removing support for Trotsky and the original leaders of the Russian 1917 October revolution. 

 Driven into exile Trotsky was assasinated in Mexico by the soviet secret police in August 1940.,CmC=1715826.html



"The Rockets' Red Glare: Technology, Conflict, and Terror in the Soviet Union" 

by Siddiqi, Asif A. 1966
Technology and Culture - Volume 44, Number 3, July 2003, pp. 470-501
The Johns Hopkins University Press


Know little or nothing about Russian Space History.

Then the address given below is a good starting point. Look up the index of scientists and engineers.


Rockets and People by Boris Chertok

Nasa History Series TL 78985C48132006


Essential reading in that this is written by a contemporary of Korolev's giving a human dimension to the reminisences of Boris Chertok.

'Creating the rocket industry' by Boris Chertok <Click a member of Korolev's engineering team on the Soviet rocket programme. 

Edited into English by Asif Siddiqui


'Space disasters have occurred for the most diverse reasons and on different scales, both in the Soviet Union and the United States. In all the cases I am familiar with the common factor is that those who were truly to blame for the disaster remained alive and faced no censure' 


Boris Chertok (1912-     ) Russian Space Academician.

.Deputy to Korolev at OKB1 Responsible for control systems.

(Rocket guidance, control and communication)


Boris Chertok Rockets and People Book1 <Click Chapter 24 P325 First meeting with Korolev

These are the first English translations of Boris Chertok's four volume history of Soviet rocket development. First published in Russian over the period post 1989 Glasnost from 

1994 to1999.

'Rockets and People' by Boris Chertok Volume1     4th Feb  2005 Nasa SP-2005-4110

'Rockets and People' by Boris Chertok Volume2   21st Sept 2006 Nasa SP-2006-4110

S.P. Korolev. Father. Marking the Centenary: in 3 Books: Book 1: 1907-1938

Volume 1: M.: 2007. 360 p. Hard. ISBN 5-02-034432-Х. 5000 copies.  In Russian

Biography written by Korolev's daughter in Russian

14th April  2007 First viewing of Russian film based on the early life of S P Korolev held at RSC Energia .

"Korolev" feature film directed by Yuri Kara 


Background reading 'The Cold War Experience' by Norman Friedman  Published by Carlton books limited



Science   by  Neil Ardley   An  illustrated dictionary of science.

 Original version  ISBN 0-7513-5112-1 publisher Dorling Kindersley

 French version   ISBN 2-02-019002-8.

  •  References we have used during our project.

  • G.A Finney. 'Analysis of water propelled rocket. A problem in honours physics.' Am.J Physics March 2000.

  • J.M.Prussa. 'Hydrodynamics of a Water Rocket.' SIAM Review 42 October 2000.

Note: These are to be used strictly for reference reading and not to be used for profit.


Eric Weissteins World of Physics A Wolfram Research Site

A good site fordefinitions and introductions to formula  in Physics


An introduction to jet thrust force equations and the basic elements that affect rocket performance.  Assumes adiabatic expansion phase.

Dan Wheelers Thrust Force model PDF


For inspiring a sense of adventure and exploration. Ideal for project groups 7 >12


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220300116X.08.LZZZZZZZ.jpeg (57402 octets)


Exploration of space was reliably predicted by Belgian cartoonist Herge's adventures of Tintin in the two volumes 1953 and 1954. Tintin and his friends leave the Earth's atmosphere in a nuclear powered rocket that takes them to the unexplored surface of the moon. Tintin is the first person to walk on the surface of the moon. 

The famous 'first step for humanity' originates from this adventure.

Meticulously researched at the time by Herge. Who had no access to the secret space programmes being pursued in the USSR and the USA.

To honour  Herge in1982 astrophysicians  named a planet after him.

These popular books have stood the test of time and are still of interest for all ages.


Extracts from these books and videos can be used to introduce rockets to the younger age groups.

Before starting a water rocket project.






'Rocket Boys'  by Homer.H.Hickman Jr.

Published by Delacorte Press 18th February1999

 A story about what can happen when young minds are motivated.

Set in a mining town in the USA during the 1950's.

Where a bunch of young lads discover rocketry and the world opens before them...

Based on the early life of Homer Hickman who later became an engineer for NASA.

Made into a film 'October Sky' Universal Studios




Nemo dans les etoiles.

Nicole Bacharan and Domonique Simonnnet.

Published by Seuil.

Original in French.ISBN 2-02-054309-5.


1865 From the Earth to the moon ( De la Terre a la Lune ) Jules Verne.


"I do not remember how it got into my head to make the first calculations related to rockets," Tsiolkovsky later wrote, "It seems to me the first seeds were planted by the famous science fiction writer, Jules Verne."

 As Tsiolkovski subsequently concluded  the accelerations created by a projectile fired from a  giant cannon featured in the story would have killed any human occupants.

Was this one of the first human tolerance parameters identified for astronautics.

How do you decide what is a reasonable  sustainable acceleration level?



'Autour de la Lune' Jules Verne 1869

 Published by Gallimard Jeunesse October 2004 ISBN 2-07-055987.

Is an excellent version of Jules Vernes second book. With links to relevant scientific discoveries.


Jules Verne and the Heavier than air Societe that encouraged flight development in all its forms 1863


The Jules Verne site


1898 War of the worlds. HG Wells

Documentry about Orson Welles radio transmission of HG Wells book causing panic in USA


1901 The first man on the moon. HG Wells


SMART1  esa satellite moon mission video


JPL History Site

JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory history site covers the history of all the famous space probes and satellites.

Good visually and well presented


In flight Apollo luner lander simulation

BBC Documentary The untold history of Apollo 11



Physics and Astrophysics


 The String Theory

The answer to everything... The possible link between Relativity and the principle forces of gravity, electromagnetic and atomic forces found in Quatum theory may have been identified.

The cord or string hypothesis offers an explaination for the origins of the very basic forces that bind atoms together and can also be used to create  photons or gravitons that are the source of gravitational force.

Read down page and click on 'Elementary particlestable' and look up graviton.


Watch the three part television documentry 3*43mins.

Or read the book 'The Elegant Universe' by Brian Greene

Physics and the search for  understanding how and why things work

The biography of the formula e=mc2

So how did we begin to understand the size of molecules .


BBC Radio 4 programme on graviton research 2005


IEEE Virtual Museum


The Super cord theory explained in French by Thierry Lombry


Super gravity Kaluza-Klien hypothesis 5D


A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking 2005 ISBN  2-08-210519-9

An intruduction to relativity, 'Black Holes' and the concepts of space time.

Stephen Hawking Lectures


Our future survival depends on whether we can colonise distant planets orbiting far-away stars.

1st Dec 2006 After being honoured with the prestigous Royal Society's Copley Medal Stephen Hawking re-emphasised Tsiolkovki's objective of encouraging human exploration of space to discover other planets where human life can be supported, to colonise other worlds and guarantee the survival of life as we know it . The threats to life on Earth from asteroids and long term pollution are real.

Hands up . Who really understood the original 'A Brief History of time'


Personel site of  Aurelein Barrau




Very good site to begin to explore the chemical and physical properties of the basic building bricks of nature and materials.

Reference for Menelev's Periodic table to look up chemical properties




Best book on aerodynamics. Having had a read through the bookshelves at Heffer's

'Fundementals of Aerodynamics',  J.D Anderson Jr.  McGrawhill.


Useful introduction to Aerodynamic compressible fluid flow regimes.

NASA Guide to compressible aerodynamic flow for undergraduates.


Future propulsion systems

Dr. Martin Tajmar is a research scientist and project manager in the Space Propulsion group at ARC Seibersdorf research, Austria's largest research institution,   ..

Interesting Powerpoint resume of rocket propulsion history past and future.

If you know your way around the waterocket  explorer site then there will be a lot of familiar formula and expressions.


esa sponsored research project Important

Minor gravitational changes when  superconductor rings are accelerated and deccelerated.

Gravitomagnetic field created when a superconducting mass is accelerated.


Advanced Propulsion Systems by Martin Tajmar.

ISBN 3-211-83862-7

Low energy interplanetary travel.< Click

 by harnessing the gravitational fields created between  multiple bodies within our universe, References: Edward  Belbruno 1991 Princeton University

2007 'Fly me to the moon' by Edward  Belbruno (Princeton)

ISBN13: 978-0-691-12822-1


2004 Capture Dynamics and Chaotic Motions in Celestial Mechanicsby Edward  Belbruno (Princeton)

ISBN13: 978-0-691-09480-9



Warp Drive, When?  Good Nasa site

Future propulsion requirements to reach the stars.

Identifies the stage of development of possible solutions.

How can science find the answers to problems already solved in the imaginary world of science fiction films and stories.

Jules Verne inspired people to conquer the skies with all manner of flying machines and sent some intrepid adventurers to visit the moon by rocket.

The 20th centuary and two world wars provided the solutions.

So how can we take a further step towards discovering our universe.?

Understanding rocket propulsion force Click this title

Another good site


Gravity The weak force that glues the universe together.

Understanding the weak gravitational force between two masses 1N = 105 dynes (cm/s2)


bbc  Dangerous Knowledge

Fantastic documentry about famous people who had radical thoughts that profoundly changed our society> Even though they were rejected by there own..






J E GordenJ E Gorden Structures
or why things fall down
A good introduction to structures and materials

French Magazines:


Ciel and Espace

Excellent special centenary 1905-2005 edition on Albert Einstein which simply explains his theories and uses good illustrations.



Espace Magazine.

2005 May / June issue includes a esa DVD of images recorded by the Hubble astronomical  telescope overs the last 15 years.



Le Monde

Dossier et Documents  Science Suppliment.( Nos1 and 2 )   June 2004

The odyssey of man in space


         I do not know of the equivalent English publications.


Science and Vie No 1046 Novembre2004

Exploration: Good article about satellite observation of our planet  and its environment.


French Radio Science Programmes

France Culture 

Continent Science

Programme on relativity and the possible existance of black holes that could vary in size from the galtic to the micro.


UK Magazines:

New Scientist


New Scientist Space media images


Space Music

Michael Nymans music from 'Gattaca'  Virigin records 7243 8 45018 2 2



Suitable Sound tracks for backing your rocket flight videos

Link to video and sound track of Cold Play 'Speed of Sound'.




In the Rocket powered boat  by Just Buisson and Alexandru Cuircu  1887

There is only one photograph so i have used a mountage of impressinist paintings  of the area where they lived in Paris

Fantastic book to explore and a good reference on impressioinsm originally published in Italian and translated into French.

Petite encyclopedie de I'impressionnisme by Gabrielle Crepaldi Publisher Solar

ISBN 2-263-04125-7


UK Press :
Scientific articles in the Independent

Courtesy 'The Independent'


Special thanks to our Support and Sponsors
  • SEAB Eaux d’Aix Les Bains. France.

  • Climafroid . Marzy. France

    Our next door neighbour who supplied the  compressor group for our remote launching system.


  • FIDEST Parker-pneumatics . Nevers. France

         Pneumatic fittings, flexible plastic pipe, small pneumatic accuators.

         Simple push fit pneumatic fittings that are ideal for projects.

  • epm technology. UK

     carbon fibre composite components

    rapid prototyping and high precision manuufacturing.


  • esa Education department

  • Fluent Europe Ltd.

         Fluid flow software for CFD modelling.

  • Cranfield University Professor Jason Brown  

    References  and encouragement.


  • Leeds University

    Dr  Johannes Knapp

  • Gerry Gladwell  My first science teacher. Who inspired many of his pupils to pursue an interest in science. With little more than pure enthusiasm , he revealed a magic world waiting to be discovered. We hope that this site will help inspire others to follow in his footsteps.


  • " Great things are done by a series of small things brought together "


    Vincent van Gogh



Dont miss the BBC World Programme:

In the final programme in this series, the challenges are all about rockets.  The scientists - who are in California's Death Valley - are asked to design three different rockets using only basic tools and materials.  Each has to be powered by water rather than any other type of fuel and must be able to carry a "passenger": a raw egg, which has to be returned safely to the ground.  

(Duration:  30 minutes)
These are French European times So for GMT subtract one hour
Friday 14th January 2005 at 2030

Repeated:  Sunday 16th January at 1030 & 2130; Monday 17th January at 1330; Tuesday 18th January at 1630; Wednesday 19th January at 0130#; Wednesday 19th January at 0830

To be sure of your region check:

Based on an original idea for a tv programme by 'The Water Rocket Explorer' October 2002




This site was created on the 15th April 2003

 ©John Gwynn and sons2003 

You're welcome to reproduce any material on this site for educational or other non commercial purposes

 as long as you give us proper credit (by referring to "The Water-Rocket Explorer"