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Encyclopedia > Amateur rocketry

Amateur rocketry, sometimes known as amateur experimental rocketry or experimental rocketry is a hobby in which participants experiment with fuels and make their own rocket motors, launching a wide variety of types and sizes of rockets. Amateur rocketeers have been responsible for significant research into hybrid rocket motors, and have built and flown a variety of solid, liquid, and hybrid propellant motors. This article is about vehicles powered by rocket engines. ... A hybrid rocket propulsion system comprises propellants of two different states of matter, the most common configuration being a rocket engine composed of a solid propellant lining a combustion chamber into which a liquid or gaseous propellant is injected so as to undergo a strong exothermic reaction to produce hot...

Contents

History

Amateur rocketry was an especially popular hobby in the late 1950s and early 1960s following the launch of Sputnik, as described in the novel Rocket Boys. Interest in the rocketry hobby was spurred to a great extent by the publication of a June, 1957, Scientific American article that decribed the design, propellant formulations, and launching techniques utilized by typical amateur rocketry clubs of the time (including the Reaction Research Society of California). The subsequent publication, in 1960, of a book titled "Rocket Manual for Amateurs" by Bertrand R. Brinley provided even more detailed information regarding the hobby, and further contributed to its burgeoning popularity. However, amateur rockets can be dangerous because noncommercial rocket motors may fail more often than commercial rocket motors if not correctly engineered. An appalling accident rate led individuals such as G. Harry Stine and Vernon Estes to make model rocketry a safe and widespread hobby by developing and publishing the National Association of Rocketry Model Rocket Safety Code, and by commercially producing safe, professionally-designed and manufactured model rocket motors. Model rocketry by definition then became a separate and distinct activity from amateur rocketry. Sputnik 1 The Sputnik program was a series of unmanned space missions launched by the Soviet Union in the late 1950s to demonstrate the viability of artificial satellites. ... Rocket Boys is the first memoir in a series of three, by Homer Hickam, Jr. ... Scientific American is a popular-science magazine, published (first weekly and later monthly) since August 28, 1845, making it the oldest continuously published magazine in the United States. ... Based in the Southern California desert, the Reaction Research Society is the oldest continuously operating amateur experimental rocket group in the United States. ... The Mad Scientists Club is a series of three books plus a manuscript written by Bertrand R. Brinley (1917-?) and illustrated by Charles Geer. ... G. Harry Stine (March 26, 1928 - November 2, 1997) is widely regarded as the father of model rocketry. ... Founder and namesake of Estes Industries, the highly-recognized model rocket production company, headquartered in Penrose, CO. ... A model rocket launching Model rocketry is a hobby similar to building model airplanes, where rocket-shaped models are flown vertically and recovered by a variety of means (see Recovery below). ... The National Association of Rocketry (NAR) is the governing body for the sport/hobby of model rocketry in the United States of America. ...


As knowledge of modern advances in composite propellants became more available to the public, it became possible to develop amateur motors with greater safety. Hobbyists were no longer dependant on dangerous packed powder mixtures which could be delicate and unpredictable in handling and performance. [1]


The Tripoli Rocketry Association sanctions some amateur activities, which they call "research rocketry," provided certain safety guidelines are followed, and provided the motors are of relatively standard design. The Tripoli Rocketry Association is one of the two major organizing bodies for high power rocketry in the USA (See also: National Association of Rocketry). ...


Notable Events

CSXT/GoFast space launch, May 17, 2004. Photo by Ian Kluft

On May 17, 2004 Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT) successfully launched the first amateur high-power rocket into space, achieving an altitude of 72 miles.[1] Image File history File links Size of this preview: 400 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 1536 pixel, file size: 525 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photo by Ian Kluft of the Civilian Space eXploration Team amateur space launch at 11:12AM US Pacific Time on May 17, 2004 at the Black... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 400 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 1536 pixel, file size: 525 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Photo by Ian Kluft of the Civilian Space eXploration Team amateur space launch at 11:12AM US Pacific Time on May 17, 2004 at the Black... is the 137th day of the year (138th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... CSXT/GoFast space launch, May 17, 2004. ...


Prior to that the Reaction Research Society on November 23, 1996 launched a solid fueled rocket, designed by longtime member George Garboden, to an altitude of 50 miles from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Based in the Southern California desert, the Reaction Research Society is the oldest continuously operating amateur experimental rocket group in the United States. ... The Black Rock Desert is a dry lake bed in northwestern Nevada in the United States. ...


See also

A model rocket. ... High power rocketry is a hobby similar to model rocketry, with the major difference that the rockets flown are significantly larger. ... The Portland State Aerospace Society (or PSAS), founded in 1998, is a student group at Portland State University building high powered rockets with the vision of putting nanosatellites into Earth orbit. ... Based in the Southern California desert, the Reaction Research Society is the oldest continuously operating amateur experimental rocket group in the United States. ... CSXT/GoFast space launch, May 17, 2004. ... The Space Frontier Foundation is a small but influential space advocacy organization that promotes increased involvement of the private sector, rather than governments, in the exploration and development of space. ...

External links

  • Reaction Research Society (RRS)
  • Rocketry.org
  • Rocketry Online

References

  1. ^ CSXT web site: http://www.civilianspace.com/about/default.asp

  Results from FactBites:
 
NAVRO - Amateur Rocketry (313 words)
These amateur rockets don't generally use HPR components, mostly they are built using other materials, like PVC drain pipe and aluminium.
Within the NAVRO most amateur rockets are built as a team effort of a group of people, each with his own fields of knowledge.
Most amateur rockets are launched from a six metre long launch rail.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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