Watch an epic Christmas tree launch for the holidays by DIY 'Rocket-tree' makers (videos)

Now here's a rocket launch that's overflowing with Christmas spirit. 

Engineer and YouTuber Xyla Foxlin (opens in new tab) and DIY rocket maker Joe Barnard, who runs the amateur rocketry YouTube channel BPS.space teamed up to launch an 8-foot-tall (2.4 meters) Christmas tree from the California desert this year and you can watch the "Seasons Yeetings 2022" holiday flight in the video above. 

In the 22-minute video (opens in new tab), Foxlin shows how she and a team made what she called a "Christmissile" in three days before taking it out to the Friends of Amateur Rocketry test site in the Mojave Desert for launch. The tree was dressed to the nines, with 300 ornaments designed by Foxlin, lights and a parachute-toting star topper to help it float back to Earth. It was powered by a heavy-duty solid rocket motor that puts my tiny Estes model rockets to shame. 

"The tree was placed into the booster with care, in hopes that the motor would launch it into the air," Foxlin said in her video (opens in new tab), a rocket version of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Related: 10 Christmas space facts for the festive season

In a separate 15-minute video (opens in new tab), Barnard shows how he engineered a camera deployment system to film the launch using Insta360 X3 cameras (opens in new tab), which popped out and had parachutes of their own for recovery. He also oversaw the lighting for the tree, which featured sleek color-changing LED strings.  

The sunset launch itself is spectacular, with the 40-pound (18 kilograms) tree rising up off its launch rail, then tilting over to one side before deploying its parachute and descending back to Earth.

"It really put the missile in mistletoe," Barnard said in his video (opens in new tab).

Related: Christmas night sky 2022: The planets pay a holiday visit

This still image from engineer Xyla Fo (opens in new tab)xlin's YouTube video shows the Seasons Yeetings 2022 Christmas tree launch from an Insta360 X3 camera.  (Image credit: Xyla Foxlin/YouTube)

You'll have to watch both videos to see just how awesome the Christmas tree launch was. Foxlin and Barnard joined up with the Reinvented Magazine (opens in new tab), which aims to inspire interest in science, math and engineering among young women, for the launch. The group's Reinvented Magazine is selling the Season's Yeeting ornaments (including some made from the tree itself) and mission patches to raise funds for Reinvention Inc. projects.

"Engineering is a whole lot of fun, but it's extra fun when everybody is welcome in it," Foxlin said.

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Tariq Malik
Editor-in-Chief

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award (opens in new tab) for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast (opens in new tab) with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network (opens in new tab). To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik (opens in new tab).