Win this fantastic SkyWatcher 76 Heritage Mini Dobsonian!
Enter our Bottle Rocket Competition for your chance to win this wonderful telescope, provided by our sponsors UK Astro Imaging Forum.
Best Dressed Rocket
The rocket with the best appearance in its flight-ready condition.
- Under 16s: prizes available for first, second and third places
Over 16s: one prize for the best dressed rocket
The bottle rocket that achieves the best combination of height, duration and elegance in flight
- Under 16s: prizes available for first, second and third places. First prize is this superb telescope kindly donated by UK Astro Imaging forum.
- Over 16s: one prize for the best overall performance
- All rockets must be constructed using a single standard fizzy (carbonated) drinks bottle of up to two litres, with a standard screw top. Bottles from non-fizzy drinks have not been pressure tested by the manufacturer and MUST NOT be used as they are likely to explode.
- If you remove the label from the bottle, please bring it with you so the safety officer can confirm it is a fizzy drinks bottle.
- No multi-stage rocket of any kind may be used in this competition.
- It is not permitted to make any adaptation to the pressure vessel that may compromise its strength. This includes sanding the surface to make things stick to it better, using a hot glue, super glue or other glue that reacts with the bottle plastic, puncturing or cutting the bottle in any way and so on. The event organisers will check all bottles before-hand and any bottle that shows signs of bubbling, melting, cutting, sanding, puncturing or any other damage will be disqualified. Any team with a disqualified rocket will be given another bottle (while available) and will be able to re-enter if they can build the new rocket in the time available.
- No rocket may have any sharp points or cones other than at the back of the fins. If on doubt, a standard bottle top will be placed of the suspect area and, if the rocket touches the bottle top on the inside, the rocket will be disqualified.
- All rockets will be launched by a team member and an event marshal using standard Rokit launching equipment, water and air. No other propellant, liquid or gas may be used.
- All marshals and team members involved in the launch shall wear safety spectacles or safety goggles at all times when the bottle rocket is being pressurised.
- All launches shall take place from designated launch areas, with all spectators and team members not directly involved in the launch behind a barrier tape 20m from the launch areas.
- All rockets MUST pass the safety check before they can enter any part of the competition.
- All rockets passing the safety check will be scored for the Best Dressed Rocket competition by a panel of invited judges.
- This scoring is based purely on aesthetic grounds and flight capability will not be included.
- At the end of the competition, rockets will be ranked in each age group to give a single winner for the over-16s and first, second and third places for the under-16s.
- In the event of a tie, the judges may wish to see rockets again.
- After being scored in the Best Dressed Rocket competition, each rocket must be filled to the desired level using water provided by the organisers, then taken to the designated launch area by ONE team member. The team may choose to fill the bottle to any level with water.
- The team member and launch official will prepare the rocket for launch using standard Rokit launch equipment and pumps.
- Each launch will be observed by a panel of invited judges who will assess the height reached and duration of each flight; scores will be awarded for both aspects of the flight by all judges.
- At the end of the competition, the average scores for each rocket will be calculated to give a single winner for the over 16s category and first, second and third places for the under 16s.
- In the event of a tie, a "launch-off" between the tied rockets may be required. This will be subject to the original safety check and any rocket that fails the safety check will score zero in the launch-off.
- This is a special prize that will be awarded to the rocket or team that offered the most entertainment in looks or performance. There is no set criteria for this and all judges will be involved in choosing the winner.
After the main bottle rocket competition, we will invite anybody with an "unlimited" class rocket to launch their rocket. These rockets MUST pass the safety rules regarding the type of bottle, damage to the pressure vessel(s) and propellant, but any size of bottle and multiple stage rockets will be allowed.
Unlimited class rockets will be judged according to the same criteria as the main competition. There will be no formal prizes but the winners will be announced with full bragging rights accorded!