rebelling against low expectations

Rocket Endeavors


Aerospace for the Glory of God

We stumbled across this blog the other day and thought it was so cool we had to share it with you. We don’t know anything about the author except that [1] he’s a he (we think), [2] he’s fifteen, and [3] he’s a passionate Christian pursuing rocketry for the glory of God. What’s your passion? Do Hard Things.

DTH Rocket Endeavors started with one individual (me) who looked to the skies. Up in that big, blue expanse the Lord’s wonders were displayed, which put a fascination for it in me. I decided that I wanted to fly, and explore the vast firmament.

I began by building model rockets. The first ones I made were pretty bad: I made them out of duct tape mostly, they didn’t have a recovery device, and almost all of them were unstable and thus spun loop de loops in the sky when ignited.

It wasn’t until I checked out a book at the library called “The Handbook of Model Rocketry” by G. Harry Stine that my rockets began to improve. I learned about static and dynamic stability, how to put a recovery device into a rocket, how to build a good motor mount, about engine selection, and even advanced topics such as multistaging, cluster ignition, and altitude prediction. Then I learned about high-power rocketry (HPR), and that’s when I really decided to pursue rocketry.

Currently I am building large model rockets, which are defined as between 16 and 53 ounces in weight, using no more than 4.4 ounces of propellant, creating no more than 320 N-seconds of Total Impulse. The motor classification ranges from size E to G. Already I am taking on ambitious projects, like breaking the sound barrier, and building high-power rockets (although I can’t fly them until I am 18 and have a certification).

The first large model rocket that I built and flew was for my clay animation short film “The Curious Squirrel from Earth,” and in it I built a cockpit for a small clay squirrel. At the time it was the most successful rocket I had built, and the flight was observed and greatly cheered by several enthusiastic spectators. Here is a video of that amazing flight:

When I get older I plan to major in aerospace engineering, then start a real aerospace company, or work for the US Air Force, or something along those lines. But in the meantime, I’ll keep on learning on my own.

But whatever I do, it’s all about God. I strive to honor him in all I do. What better a place than the heavens to marvel at his magnificence? “…Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • That’s so great… I’d leave a comment on his blog, but I don’t have a blog myself so I can’t. 🙁

  • David: Absolutely! But that’s what I love about this guy. He’s obviously very intelligent — yet he started out with duct tape, borrowed books from the library, and now is probably more knowledgable than 99% of the population.

    NOTE TO EVERYONE: If you read two books on any particular topic and really digest the material, you too will be more knowledgable (on that subject) than 99% of the population. Cool huh?

  • Nicole – October Sky is one of the BEST movies out there. I love the line, “Science fairs are for geeks! No offense, Quentin.”

    Alex & Brett – Along the lines of Do Hard Things, I’m pretty sure you guys are familiar with Elizabeth and Anna Sofia Botkin. I seem to remember something on your blog about their book “So Much More”, but I’m wondering if you’ve seen their recently-released DVD, “Return of the Daughters”? I think it would be a great plug for you guys to give them. They have a great message and it deserves to be broadcasted to all of the Rebelutionaries.
    My sister, dad, and I just returned from the annual Vision Forum Father/Daughter retreat in Georgia this past weekend where the Botkin girls were the featured speakers. I’m telling you, these girls practice what they preach. They’re well-spoken, intelligent, well-read, and beautiful to boot!
    I would encourage you guys to highlight them, their message, and especially their DVD. What a blessing it has been to me as a Rebelutionary! This is a great, specific example of a way we girls can Do Hard Things!

  • Wish me the best guys, my teen years end tomorrow! I have wasted some time, but thanks to Alex and Brett (and God, of course) I will try to do that no more! Blessings!

  • Happy birthday! You are not alone. We have all wasted time. God has definitely used Alex and Brett to affect my outlook on life. It can actually be kind of discouraging. I guess we need to keep that verse in mind~

    Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

    ~Philippians 3:13,14

  • W-w-www–ww WOW! I’m SPEECHLESS!! I just started this blog a few months ago and now I’ve got BRETT HARRIS calling me “more knowledgeable than 99% of the population!” *faint* I’m humbled.

    Thank you for featuring my blog.

    Andrew — I just now found out about five minutes ago. My sisters and mother came down the stairs saying, “Check your emails! Check your emails!” with big grins on their faces.

  • [quote]That’s so great… I’d leave a comment on his blog, but I don’t have a blog myself so I can’t.[/quote]

    I just set who can comment to anyone. It had been registered users (includes open ID), but now anyone from the Rebelution can leave a comment.

    Thanks for all the encouraging comments! I’ve been blown away!

  • I’ve really appreciated your blog and I was able to go to your conference in Hickory. It was challenging, especially for me who, unfortunately, is somewhat of a coaster (not the thing that you put cups on:) I have been trying to implement the “Do Hard Things” message in my life and- surprise, surprise, it is hard! I was wondering, and I hope this is not a waste of your time, but if you could provide a few memory verses that would help remind me of why I’m doing these hard things that would be awesome. I love God so much but it is when I’m in the world that I start to forget. The world does a very good job of making me feel like an idiot:)
    Thanks for your time!
    I’ll continue keeping you guys in my prayers.
    In the love of Christ,
    Oh yeah, I would have written this in a email but the addresses weren’t working for me:O

  • Could I ask a quick question? 🙂 My mom was wondering if you guys did the layout and design for the cover of your book, or if not, who did? Thanks!

  • Thanks Ben & Daniel for the information. 🙂 The Lord so good to use us to be lights in this dark world! God bless you both tremendously!

    Your sister in Christ,

  • Adrienne Gilbert: Happy Birthday, little sister!!!!! Welcome to the twenties! You’re in for some great adventures (and surprises!) in continuing to pursue God. Please keep your arms inside the vehicle at all times. Have a great day!

  • Sometimes, it does take a rocket scientist! That is a cool blog, thanks for sharing. Its so neat that you would give a link to a “rival” site. Science is a hard thing for many of us (and there it goes onto the list of hard things: to DO).

    LIZ: 2 Tim. 2:22, 1 Tim. 4:12, 1 Samuel chapter 1 (the whole thing is inspiring, to see how G_d planned Samuel’s life with the faithfulness of five generations before him, and Hannah’s prayer of thankfulness is enough to motivate any teen), 2 Samuel 22:30, in case you ever wonder why we aren’t doing the culturally satisfactory rebellion thing remember 1 Samuel 15:23.

    BRETT: what an inspiring statistic! 2 books, huh? Great, now all I have to do is find two books on doing hard things without wasting my life and… oh. I bet I know of two books that would help! And guess what? My book bomb copy came in the mail today! Wohoo!

  • That is so cool! It is a pleasant surprise to hear about other young people using their talents for God.
    BTW, I have seen October Sky, and read the book. They are both awesome, but the movie is WAY cleaner….

    Your site inspires me to do hard things all the time!

  • Today I put in a request that our library book club read “Do Hard Things” together. Hopefully it’ll be accepted! And… when we pulled up to our house there was a box on the porch for me!!!!!!!!! I got my books! I’m going to start reading as soon as I can. Tomorrow I’m having a sleepover with a friend: I’m going to give her a copy of the book, and she’s coming to church with me on Sunday morning! Thanks for writing the book! I can’t wait to enjoy it!

  • Boy, I said, “the book” a lot up there. Sorry… I hate it when I’m repetitive. (Maybe no one else even cares) In any case, ‘Thanks for writing Do Hard Things! I can’t wait to enjoy it!’

  • Hey guys. I recently went to the Rebelution in Portland, Oregon. It was the best thing I have ever gone to. I was touched by their words and I was brought to tears when I realized how little I do , when there is so much I could do. I was taught that ” If I do what I’ve always done, I will alway get what I’ve always Got” Its so true. If we keep doing the same things thats insanity, insanity is doing something over and over and expecting different results. Though we are young, Alex and Brett have shown that we can make a difference, it might not be as big as leading thousands to Christ, touching one life is making a difference. Thank You Alex and Brett 🙂

  • Aloha guys!

    I’m a newbie here.

    So i’d like to ask you if someone of you or your frineds was fired because of a financial crisis?

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →