I successfully launched and recovered a high-power rocket yesterday for my Tripoli "Level 1" certification at the Utah Rocket Club sport launch. I was hoping to have a Level 2 rocket ready to fly as well, but it's not finished. To be honest, I was never that interested in hobby/model rockets as a kid, or in high power rockets where you have to use a motor that someone else designed and made. I was woefully ignorant of how the reloadable grain fit into the motor case, which then fit into the motor tube in the kit rocket--I'm used to building my own hybrid motors for scratch-built rockets. That got me thinking that perhaps that's something that ESRA could do in the future--have similar Level 1,2,3 certifications based on the same total impulse classes, but with self-built motors (solid, hybrid, or even liquid). Tripoli has its Research program, but you still need to go through the standard certification process requiring you buy expensive motor reloads and (and cases, if you can't borrow them) which you may never use again if you prefer to build your own motors. Certainly there's a lot to be learned by going through the standard certification process (my first Level 1 attempt a while back had a hard impact with some fin damage because I had packed the parachute incorrectly), but it seems reasonable to allow home-built motors provided sufficient static testing has been accomplished. The Tripoli and NAR high power rules are based on NFPA 1127, and having ESRA rules that allow homebuilt motors would probably need to be worked out with the NFPA. Just a thought, and this would be somewhere down the road...
8/16/2012 09:19:56 am
8/7/2013 08:14:51 am
I taught chemistry and was the advisor for a school rocket club. In over 20 years of doing rocketry we never had so much as a scratch. At a Safety/Risk Management meeting, having my students make their own propellants was brought up; I was later told students could not be involved with propellant manufacturing even though the schools sports program has numerous injuries EVERY YEAR! Rocketry was deemed 'hazardous'.
11/3/2014 10:54:55 am
Are you the same Rick Maschek who taught me to make igloos?
11/4/2014 06:02:30 am
Yes I am. As a science teacher, I've always loved doing lots of things. Besides building igloos in the mountains I also dig dinosaurs and climb on active volcanoes (I'm a geologist by education). I now mentor students groups building rockets and am on two amateur projects to send a rocket into space. This past summer I helped the CSXT Go Fast team launch their rocket into space at Black Rock.
8/7/2013 08:31:22 am
While there is nothing wrong with commercial motor use, an example of the difference in cost for an M impulse motor is $25 for KNO3/sugar vs $200+ for commercial reload.
8/7/2013 12:11:19 pm
1/31/2019 11:15:23 am
Rick, I wasn't quite sure what you meant by level 3 rocket certification (NAR TRA Level certs?) but then it dawned on me, I think you are referring to the State Pyro Operators certifications.
12/26/2013 10:12:49 am
we should learn the principals first of fuselage- fins -payleod in bought moters which were rigousley tested and move up levels slowly and everyone wants to fly big moters, their should be a project at schools for launching 1/2 A eastes moter with scratch built model rockets to 1000 ft now that's a challenge in areodynamics
2/2/2015 03:33:16 pm
I'm quite a bit late to this discussion, but this sounds like a fun idea. The NAR safety code actually specifically disallows homemade rocket motors, for safety and liability reasons (it's difficult to prove that you know what you're doing, and it keeps the hobby legal, safe, and insured). However, there is an annual launch in Nevada, BALLS, where amateur rocketeers come from all over the country to fly their projects that can't be flown at regular launches (in fact, ONLY homemade motors or other disallowed projects can be flown).
1/31/2019 11:25:20 am
1/29/2019 06:07:19 pm
Hello, Paul you keep on making mazing things! Congratulations for the recent launching of the rockets you did. It was also a good thing that Utah Rocket Club sport launch have supported your cause and made everything possible. As a kid, I never had the interest about rockets too. But I am quite amazed with your recent achievement and how I wish there is still time to develop time and passion for rocket launching. There are lots of things I need to know about this matter, and I would love to hear from you!
11/4/2022 12:37:04 am
Best event your member expect.
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