Calling all aspiring astronauts and future space scientists! Strap on your moon boots and prepare for liftoff by building your own rocket with the Astronaut Academy…

The best way to find out how rockets work is to make one! By making a balloon rocket,
you’ll see how rockets move forward using propulsion.

MAKE your own ROCKET
You will need:
a straw
a balloon
sticky tape
about 4 m (13 feet) of string

1. Push the string through the straw.
2. Tie each end of the string to the back of a chair and move the chairs apart so that the string is tight.
3. Blow up the balloon, but do not tie it. Pinch the end so the air does not escape.
4. Tape the balloon to the straw. You might need someone to hold the balloon while you do this.
5. Pull the balloon rocket to one end of the string, let go, and watch as it is propelled.

As the air rushes out of the balloon, it forces the balloon to move forwards.

In a full-size rocket, fuel is burned to create a gas that rushes out of the back of the rocket, forcing it forwards in exactly the same way as your balloon.

What’s it like to be an astronaut on a mission to Mars? Kids will not only find out but can also train for their own missions in this exciting activity book. Once enrolled in the academy, they face a variety of missions and challenges that mimic the real-life task astronauts have to perform in space, like how to deal with weightlessness and doing fiddly things while wearing big gloves! Jam-packed full of goodies including stickers, a poster, board game and a model space shuttle, Astronaut Academy by Steve Martin and illustrated by Jennifer Farley, £9.99, is available in August.

Wendy McCague


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