NASA Rocket Templates

These templates were designed by our friends at NASA Kennedy Space Center Education Outreach Program. These four templates represent the Delta II, Delta IV and Atlas IV from United Launch Alliance, and also the Falcon 9 from Space X. Special thanks to NASA, ULA and Space X who were all gracious enough to allow us to use their imagery for this purpose. Also, a huge thanks to David Sollberger, NASA Launch Services Program Deputy Chief Engineer, for working with us on this project.


Step 1, download the PDF

Expand the image to the left into a new tab using the pop-out icon in the upper right.

Download and print at 100% on a 8.5" x 11" heavy paper, 80# card stock recommended.

You will also need a roll of clear packing or shipping tape.

You can use the launch tube from the launcher kit as a mandrel to make sure the rocket is formed to the correct size. Alternately, you can get 1/2″ PVC pipe at Lowes or Home Depot, and cut it to 12″ lengths to use as a mandrel. Many mandrels are recommended when working with groups.

Step 2, Cut out the body tube

Choose your rocket and cut out the body tube. Use scissors or a paper cutter as shown on the left. Only make one long cut near the center of the page, leaving the blank margin toward the left or right edge of the sheet.

Step 3, Form the body tube

Form the body tube. Apply 11″ long length of clear tape, 1/2 way along the edge you just cut.

Align the end of the tape with the base of the rocket. Excess at the top is OK. You can stick it right to the table or plastic surface, and peel it up as shown in the image on the left.

Step 4, Align the mandrel

Flip the template over so the printed side is down – sticky side of tape up (hard to see but I'm pointing at it)

Align the mandrel parallel to the length of the template. The mandrel is a 1/2″ piece of PVC pipe (shown) or use the launch tube provided with your kit.

Step 5, Roll the body tube

Lift the blank un-printed edge from the table, and roll it up and over the tube. Tuck it tightly under the mandrel and continue to roll it across the sticky tape. The pressure of the mandrel against the tape will wrap and stick it smoothly over the printed graphics.

Your body tube will now be formed into a tube shape, with half covered in tape and half exposed paper.

Step 6, Complete the body tube

Cut a second length of packing tape at 13-15″ long. Add this piece of packing tape over the exposed paper, leaving the extra material extended over the nose of the rocket. The tape should be even with the bottom edge of the rocket. (don’t tape it to the pipe).

Fold this extra tape over the open nose of the rocket to seal it. Neatly fold in the extra flaps of tape like hospital corners.

Roll the tube on a hard flat surface to smooth out the tape. It is best to work from the center of the tape outward.

Cut an additional 5-7″ long piece of tape and cover the nose in the opposite direction as the last piece of tape. Neatly fold the edges of this piece and roll to smooth out the tape.

This step creates the seal that contains the air pressure at launch. You don't want any leaks.

Step 7, Add the fins

Cut out 4 fins with scissors or paper cutter.

Cut a 3/4″ wide piece of packing tape with scissors, and stick it halfway along the long side of one fin, sticking it to the table. Lift the fin and peel it from the table.

Align the long edge with the dashed line at the base of the rocket, and smooth the tape to the body tube.

Fold the fin in the other direction, and add a second piece of tape to attach the opposite side of the fin to the body tube.

Repeat this procedure for the remaining three fins.

Step 8, Complete!

Your rocket is complete!

Ensure it will slide off the mandrel. Trim any excess tape from the base of the rocket.

Additional Tips and Ideas:

1.) If you wrap the template too tightly around the forming pipe, it will be tough to remove from the forming pipe and tough to fit onto the launch tube. Even if you get it onto the launch tube, it is much more likely to make “Confetti” (blow off the nosecone) when you try to launch it. If it is too loose, it will not fly as high, as the pressure will escape out around the gap. A nice sliding fit is best.

2.) Experiment with the weight and balance of the rocket. Can you make the rocket launch higher? Travel farther? Try adding nose weight (Never use metal objects), try a lump of clay taped on top, a wine bottle cork, a super-ball, or super glue in one of our foam noses from our store (or the spare foam nose that came with your launcher).

Please give it a try and let us know what you think.

Now go launch something!