Model rocketry is a hobby similar to building model airplanes, where rocket-shaped models are flown vertically and recovered by a variety of means. The rockets may vary greatly in size and complexity.According to the National Association of Rocketry (NAR) safety code, model rockets are constructed of paper, wood, plastic and other lightweight materials. The code also provides guidelines for motor use, launch site selection, launch methods, launcher placement, recovery system design and deployment and more. Since the early 1960s, a copy of the Model Rocket Safety Code has been provided with most model rocket kits and motors. Model rocketry historically is a very safe hobby and is often credited as the most significant source of inspiration for children who eventually become scientists and engineers.While there were many small rockets produced over the years for research and experimentation, the modern model rocket, and more importantly, the model rocket engine, was designed in 1954 by Orville Carlisle, a licensed pyrotechnics expert, and his brother Robert, a model airplane enthusiast. They originally designed the engine and rocket for Robert to use in lectures on the principles of rocket powered flight. But then Orville read articles written in Popular Mechanics by G. Harry Stine about the safety problems associated with young people trying to make their own rocket engines. With the launch of Sputnik, many young people were trying to build their own rocket engines, often with tragic results. Some of these attempts were dramatized in the fact-based movie October Sky. The Carlisles realized their engine design could be marketed and provide a safe outlet for a new hobby. They sent samples to Mr. Stine in January, 1957. Stine, a range safety officer at White Sands Missile Range, built and flew the models, and then devised a safety handbook for the activity based on his experience at the range.
The National Association of Rocketry was founded in 1957 to help...
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