BENGALURU: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on Sunday launched a rocket with a difference. While the premier space agency is used to putting satellites in space, on Sunday, they launched a water rocket in the middle of a school field to mark the launch of a competition which saw participation from several countries. As a part of an outreach event organized by ISRO, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the rocket launch event saw participation by 11 teams from countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Colombia and other south-east Asian and Pacific region countries.
Water rockets are built using two large plastic bottles, the kind used by soft drink companies and other materials like PVC sheets, insulation tapes and model clay. The rockets are filled with a little water and pressurized before being launched. With the right elevation and angle, these can easily travel over 100 metres and clear the height of a five-storeyed building. On Sunday, residents around the K V School in Indiranagar saw the mechanics of science first hand as these rockets soared into the sky and tried to land within the target zone marked. A lot of them even managed to clear the school field and fell into the trees as the students adjusted the angles during a trial run. Organized under the umbrella of Asia Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF), the competition is aimed at teaching rocket science to students. “ISRO has made water rocket launchers an integral part of its student outreach programme,” a statement from ISRO said.