Nothing says getting into the Christmas spirit like Yule logs, hot chocolate, visiting Santa, and decorating the Christmas tree. And the latter part is even better when we can take said tree, get it fully lit up with all of the available twinkling lights, and then launch that sucker up into the atmosphere. That’s just the kind of merriness I’m looking for during the holiday season. And for those who maybe don’t enjoy the yuletide festivities, then you also get to enjoy some representation of it launched into space. So it’s kind of a win-win. That’s the case with this most recent video that shows up just how to make a Christmas tree rocket.
The Christmas tree rocket is brought to by the folks at BPS.Space on their YouTube channel. Their feed has all kinds of cool tutorials about rocket making, experimenting around different parts of the engineering process. But no video is more entertaining than the one they most recently posted that has them getting a bit festive and a bit nerdy in an effort to launch a Christmas tree as high up as possible. Check out the video which does get a bit technical around both the ability to launch the tree, but also just how to decorate it.
Look, this group at BPS.space aren’t a bunch of ragtag holiday enthusiasts, off on Christmas break and looking for some laughs. While they are clearly having fun with the Christmas tree rocket project, they are also professionals from the air and space industry. That much is clear in the technical aspects of the launch which include how to get enough thrust, aerodynamics, launch windows, and much more which are all accounted for ahead of time. They have what amounts to a full-blown workshop for making rockets and have accounted for both the safety and also the success of the launch.
For the Christmas tree rocket, the group made a bespoke base for the launch which housed the seven-foot, fully-decorated tree. Under the title “Season’s Yeetings”, the group led by Joe Barnard (who narrates most of the video) the group headed out to the Mojave Desert to make sure they were free and clear of other holiday revelers. It was an area controlled by the group Friends of Amateur Rocketry, a place for folks to test their rocket creations. With a Yoshi strapped to the top they were ready to launch.
The launch didn’t work on the first three tries with the group clearly troubleshooting and problem-solving in the moment, something Barnard references. But then he says the most profound piece of the whole affair: “What the Christmas spirit is all about I am reminded, it’s about lighting a 1000 Noonan rocket under a seven-foot-tall Christmas tree for a perfect dusk liftoff on the fourth try.” And damn if it isn’t glorious. Some people like to spend the holidays wrapping gifts, singing carols, and gathering around the fireplace. The real heroes like loading up thermite and aerospace design expertise and launching a Christmas tree rocket into the atmosphere.