Information on model Rocketry
Model Rocket Safety Code
Basic parts of a model rocket
The basic flight path of a model rocket
- Materials. My model rocket will be made of lightweight
materials such as paper, wood, rubber, and plastic suitable for the power used and the
performance of my model rocket. I will not use any metal for the nose cone, body, or fins
of a model rocket.
- Motors. I will use only commercially-made, NAR-certified model rocket motors in the
manner recommended by the manufacturer. I will not alter the model rocket motor, its
parts, or its ingredients in any way.
- Recovery. I will always use a recovery system in my model rocket that will return it
safely to the ground so it may be flown again. I will use only flame-resistant recovery
wadding if wadding is required by the design of my model rocket.
- Weight and Power Limits. My model rocket will weigh no more than 1,500 grams (53
ounces) at lift-off and its rocket motors will produce no more than 320 Newton-seconds
(71.9 pound-seconds) of total impulse. My model rocket will weigh no more than the motor
manufacturerÕs recommended maximum lift-off weight for the motors used, or I will use
motors recommended by the manufacturer for my model rocket.
- Stability. I will check the stability of my model rocket before its first flight,
except when launching a model rocket of already proven stability.
- Payloads. My model rocket will never carry live animals (except insects) or a
payload that is intended to be flammable, explosive, or harmful.
- Launch Site. I will launch my model rocket outdoors in a cleared area, free of tall
trees, power lines, buildings, and dry brush and grass. My launch area will be at least as
large as that recommended in the accompanying table.
- Launcher. I will launch my model rocket from a stable launch device that provides
rigid guidance until the model rocket has reached a speed adequate to ensure a safe flight
path. To prevent accidental eye injury, I will always place the launcher so the end of the
rod is above eye level or I will cap the end of the rod when approaching it. I will cap or
disassemble my launch rod when not in use and I will never store it in an upright
position. My launcher will have a jet deflector device to prevent the motor exhaust from
hitting the ground directly. I will always clear the area around my launch device of brown
grass, dry weeds, or other easy-to-burn materials.
- Ignition System. The system I use to launch my model rocket will be remotely
controlled and electrically operated. It will contain a launching switch that will return
to "off" when released. The system will contain a removable safety interlock in
series with the launch switch. All persons will remain at least 15 feet from the model
rocket when I am igniting model rocket motors totalling 30 Newton-seconds or less of total
impulse and at least 20 feet from the model rocket when I am igniting model rocket motors
totalling more than 30 Newton-seconds of total impulse. I will use only electrical
igniters recommended by the motor manufacturer that will ignite model rocket motors within
one second of actuation of the launching switch.
- Launch Safety. I will ensure that people in the launch area are aware of the pending
model rocket launch and can see the model rocket's lift-off before I begin my audible
five-second countdown. I will not launch my model rocket so its flight path will carry it
against a target. If my model rocket suffers a misfire, I will not allow anyone to
approach it or the launcher until I have made certain that the safety interlock has been
removed or that the battery has been disconnected from the ignition system. I will wait
one minute after a misfire before allowing anyone to approach the launcher.
- Flying Conditions. I will launch my model rocket only when the wind is less than 20
miles per hour. I will not launch my model rocket so it flies into clouds, near aircraft
in flight, or in a manner that is hazardous to people or property.
- Pre-Launch Test. When conducting research activities with unproven model rocket
designs or methods I will, when possible, determine the reliability of my model rocket by
pre-launch tests. I will conduct the launching of an unproven design in complete isolation
from persons not participating in the actual launching.
- Launch Angle. My launch device will be pointed within 30 degrees of vertical. I will
never use model rocket motors to propel any device horizontally.
- Recovery Hazards. If a model rocket becomes entangled in a power line or other
dangerous place, I will not attempt to retrieve it.
- LAUNCH SITE DIMENSIONS
Installed Total Impulse (N-sec)
Equivalent Motor Type
Minimum Site Dimensions (ft.)
The parts of the basic rocket
(from the Estes Alpha Model Rocket Guide)
Basic Flight of a model rocket
(from the Estes Alpha Model Rocket Guide)
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