Fun Friday Posts

Happy Halloween with NASA pumpkins 2

Rocket scientists and other workers at NASA JPL held their annual pumpkin carving contest.  It was awesome in a way that only rocket scientists can deliver.  Check it out by clicking the image below and enjoy more from the NASA pumpkin carving contest. If you are on Twitter, look for #NASApumpkin.  (Look for me there […]

NASApumpkin NASA pumpkin

xkcd up goer five

How to explain rocket science using only the 1,000 most common English words

Everything that can be explained, can be explained simply. Is that really true?!  It’s a nice hypothesis and goal for us all. Randall Munroe, the comic genius behind xkcd comics (and a former rocket scientist!), has explained the Saturn V rocket in an illustration that uses only the most 1,000 common words in the English […]

PI Day 2015 is especially awesome 1

This Fun Friday post will appeal to all of the math geeks out there.  You will know that every year we have a little fun celebrating PI Day: March 14th.  Do you need to ask why?  Because it’s 3.14! But this year is EXTRA SPECIAL.  Because (as I’m sure you know), the next two digits […]

Finding a way without losing your head

It’s time for another Fun Friday post!  And another anti-successory poster, as I like to call them. To be a successful aerospace professional or rocket scientist, you’ll need to be resourceful, creative, and determined.  You’ll need to be a go-getter.  (This week I just re-read this short and classic book: The Go-Getter: A Story That […]

Use good judgment as a rocket scientist

It’s time for another Fun Friday post!  A few years ago I found a picture of this amazing stunt that some pilots did with their airplanes.  It seems like a really bad idea to me, even though it’s impressive. So I made a poster to hang at my cubicle, to give myself and others a […]

A little humor can inspire a long career trajectory 2

It’s time for another Fun Friday post.  Let’s talk about those motivational posters and billboards…you know what I mean.  I do actually believe that positive motivation (or “brain food” as I call it) is essential to be happy and successful.  For us as individuals and as organizations. But sometimes (too often) these posters for company […]

Play like a rocket scientist with Rugged Rovers

For this Fun Friday post, we have another fun rocket science game to share! And it’s free! Rugged Rovers is a mobile app game that is available for Apple and Android.  Here is the link to Rugged Rovers on the Google Play store where you can see some pictures and description. In the game, you […]

Rocket science can even make a porta potty rocket

It’s Fun Friday!  Enjoy this YouTube video of people who turned a porta potty into a rocket, complete with a parachute decent system.  Very impressive…I’ve never seen a project as weird and wacky as this, which also had to take a lot of work.  The video is just 1 minute long.


For a more accessible and safe rocket project, you can do it yourself with Estes rocket kits found in hobby stores.  But the best program in the U.S. (that I know of) is Team America Rocketry Challenge:

TARC logo

TARC logo

This is a wonderful program to get kids learning, building, and doing rocket science with hands-on activities that design and build their own rockets in a team setting.  We need more rocket scientists!  If you are above the age for this contest then you’re probably perfect to be a volunteer.

Building and launching your own rocket before you’ve left school is a fantastic way to apply Tips 3, 6, 7, and 9 from my book.  Probably more than that…

Just be sure to stay clear of falling porta potties and make a large safety zone (larger than this team!).  Or be careful about your wind thresholds because that was obviously a factor on this launch.

If you’ve got other funny or fascinating things that have been launched like a rocket, please share with me so we can recognize, celebrate, and enjoy other fun ways to apply rocket science.

Flugtag best flights are aviation comedy

For this Fun Friday post, let’s enjoy highlights from Red Bull Flugtag competitions from across the world over the years.


Have you ever been to a Flugtag event?  Or better yet, participated?  Tell us about it!

I’ve really wanted to go to one of these events but it’s never been in a city where I lived.  And making the road trip with small children (or leaving them with the wife) hasn’t been an option.  Not yet anyway.

Flugtag proves that you can have a lot of fun making yourself or other things fly through the air…if you call this flying.  You’ll see the world record (as of this video) had more than some amateur rocket scientist effort involved.

Red Bull has of course been involved as a major sponsor in other (more serious and historic) aerospace events.  Those are worth separate posts in the future.

Happy flying and happy weekend!


Fun Friday: quadrotor laser light dance show

What can you create when you combine 16 quadrotors with theater and multimedia production crew?  Watch and enjoy this performance of “Meet Your Creator” from the 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The number of quadrotor air show videos on the web are starting to overtake the videos from traditional airshows.  When do you think we’ll see this new type of airshow become a regular and official form of attraction?  This night time performance of 49 quadcopters in an Austrian plaza would justify a respectable admission price in my opinion.  I know I would pay to see and hear this in person.

Of course, a money-making venture with quadrotors (or any UAV) in the US is restricted now without approval from the FAA, as you will learn from the “Know before your fly” campaign which I wrote about in my earlier post here.  But other countries have different conditions.  And it’s only a matter of time before we will have a very healthy and vibrant (and income-producing) community of UAV entrepeneurs in the US.  UAVs with outdoor concerts would be a fun and lucractive niche for some future aerospace professionals out there.  Could you be one of them?  Maybe someone in your classroom, school, or family?  Watch and enjoy the shows that have been done by others and then imagine what you would love to do or see.