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Editorial Articles
This section contains the most recent editorials. Older editorials are located in the Archived Editorial Articles section. Want to sound off? Send your editorial article in email to This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it .

An insider's view of the NASA Student Launch Program
Editorial by John Lyngdal, NAR 69264 L3   
Sunday, May 01, 2011
An insider's view of the NASA Student Launch Program

At most rocket ranges these days, a gathering to fly 40 to 50 high power airframes won't generate much buzz. NASA Student Launch Program flights, however, are a little different.

First, the participants in the Student Launch Program travel to Huntsville, Alabama from all over the country—from North Dakota to South Florida, from as far East as Massachusetts to as far West as Hawaii. And they're a diverse group, with representatives of high schools, community colleges, and four-year engineering schools all sharing in the excitement. In 2010, and again in 2011, the National Association of Rocketry was selected by NASA to gather a team of experienced HPR fliers in Huntsville to support the launch event.

From a Poor Teacher's Workdesk: Subsidizing HPR?
Editorial by MANUEL MEJIA, JR.   
Thursday, March 10, 2011
From a Poor Teacher's Workdesk: Subsidizing HPR?
For�the last several years, longtime National Association of Rocketry (NAR) senior members and former members have talked about the $62 annual membership fee. The discussion about it by postal letter to me has never subsided since the fee was implemented several years back. Many poorer senior NAR m...
Guest Editorial: Northwest Rocketry 2010 Final Results
Editorial by ROBERT KRAUSERT   
Monday, February 21, 2011
Guest Editorial: Northwest Rocketry 2010 Final Results
The Northwest Rocketry launches for 2010 are complete and in the record books. What an amazing year overall. Clubs of Washington, Oregon and Idaho hosted a total of 51 sanctioned launch events. During the year, 56 people completed their Level 1 certification. This sends a big message to our two nat...
In America, we have so many things to be thankful for
Editorial by DARRELL D. MOBLEY   
Thursday, November 25, 2010
In America, we have so many things to be thankful for
Once again, Americans all across our country will gather at the homes of family and friends to indulge in a feast of epic proportions. Granted, everyone won't eat until they hurt, some won't even eat at all—we are still a nation that has a certain percentage of those who are economical...
Editorial: Why rocketry matters to me & inspiring others
Editorial by ROBERT KRAUSERT   
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Editorial: Why rocketry matters to me & inspiring others
My six years with rocketry have been very important to me. Because of what I've learned. But more about what I still need to learn. I fell into this hobby as the result of a coworker/friend. Upon entering I was super hungry for the knowledge. I soon realized that knowledge came by experience, n...
Guest Editorial: One teacher's take on socio-economics
Editorial by MANUEL MEJIA, JR.   
Monday, August 02, 2010
Guest Editorial: One teacher's take on socio-economics
Between January 1, 2010 and July 31, 2010, which was the start of NARAM-52, the National Association of Rocketry conducted its first-ever membership drive, called "52 by 52," with a goal of raising its membership roles to 5200 members by the start of its annual meet in Colorado. So, the National Ass...
Guest Editorial: Re-Thinking NARAM - A Proposal
Editorial by MATT STEELE   
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Guest Editorial: Re-Thinking NARAM - A Proposal
I have been thinking about how to make NARAM more fun and affordable. While I currently enjoy attending NARAM each year, there is no doubt it is an expensive and time consuming proposition. Taking a week's vacation off each year seems to be difficult for many people just to devote to a rocket c...
Guest Editorial: One BAR's passionate path back to rocketry
Editorial by MARK ROSE, TRA #11717, L2   
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Guest Editorial: One BAR's passionate path back to rocketry
Mark Rose wrote this article for Extreme Rocketry before it closed on the subject of becoming a Born Again Rocketeer and his path to achieving his Level 2 high power rocketry certification. After not being printed in the magazine, Mark wondered if there was some use for it here at Rocketry Planet. ...
Inspire your children to become engineers and scientists
Editorial by JOHN HANKS, National Instruments   
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Inspire your children to become engineers and scientists
The�world�has now realized that scientists and engineers will solve the most challenging global problems. As a sign of the times, U.S. President Barack Obama appeared on The Tonight Show and encouraged students to study engineering and science rather than finance. Problems such as water shortages, t...
Apollo 11 - The day we saw "Columbus Set Sail"
Editorial by BILL & DAVE ALEWINE   
Friday, April 24, 2009
Apollo 11 - The day we saw
On Easter Sunday after lunch with my family we talked about driving to a park just to get out of the house. My wife suggested, "You know we talked about this before, why don't we try to find Von Braun's gravesite?" I pulled out my PDA phone and searched The site listed his gr...
Guest Editorial: The FAA rolls the dice...
Editorial by PAT GORDZELIK   
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Guest Editorial: The FAA rolls the dice...
Tripoli�board member Pat Gordzelik recently penned an article that was published in Extreme Rocketry and ROCKETS Magazine regarding the recent changes in the Federal Aviation Administration rules regarding hobby rocketry. While most people in the hobby will be unaffected, those individuals who routi...
Where in the world is Reginald Walton?
Editorial by DARRELL D. MOBLEY   
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Where in the world is Reginald Walton?
IT'S BEEN ALMOST A YEAR since�TRA president Ken Good found himself at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte, North Carolina,�awaiting a plane, when his cell phone rang. Good was en route to Washington, D.C. to meet up with NAR president Mark Bundick. The plan was that the foll...
Student satellites: encouraging trend or a sign of panic?
Editorial by TAYLOR DINERMAN   
Monday, July 14, 2008
Student satellites: encouraging trend or a sign of panic?
Journalist Taylor Dinerman examines�our need to train a new generation of U.S. scientists and engineers,�while tounching on�the fact that the leadership of the nation's educational establishment shows no signs of being ready to change the habits and priorities of a lifetime.

Hot Topics


High Power Rocketry's Top 10 Biggest Regional Launches

I have a friend who has the goal of watching a baseball game in every big league stadium in America. He's been to Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium, to Fenway Park and Chavez Ravine, and a dozen other parks scattered throughout the land. Every year he makes it to a new field, sometimes even two, and returns home with great memories—and enough hats and shirts—to last a lifetime.His most recent journey—to Progressive Field in Cleveland—got me thinking about high power rocketry's biggest venues and how this hobby has continued to grow in the last ten years. Some impressive traditions are alive and well out there at the biggest regional events in America.


Chasing the N record: Pursuing stratospheric dreams

Four years ago, James Dougherty didn't know the difference between a G80 and an M2500. A computer programmer from Northern California, Dougherty spent most of his time in Silicon Valley helping start-up companies and their customers with complex computer systems. In his spare time he liked to drive sports cars, have fun at the beach, or just hang out with his wife and daughter.Today, Dougherty is among a handful of hard core, high-power rocketry enthusiasts — in the United States and abroad — who are quickly moving toward a new altitude record for a commercial N motor. These fliers, taking advantage of technologic advancements in rocket motors and recovery systems — and their own hard work — believe they can clear 50,000 feet, or higher, on a single N. That's an altitude nearly two miles higher than commercial jetliners typically fly, and close to four miles higher than the peak of Mt. Everest. This is the realm of the stratosphere, where thunderstorms are born and the air density is nearly one-eighth that found at sea level.


One man's quest to honor America's Saturn V rocket

On April 25, 2009, history will be made.  At Higgs Farm in Price, Maryland, Steve Eves will enter the history books as the person who flew the largest scale model rocket in history. The rocket will weigh over 1,600 pounds, it will stand over 36 feet tall and it will be powered by a massive array of nine motors: eight 13,000ns N-Class motors and a 77,000ns P-Class motor. The estimated altitude of this single stage effort will be between 3,000 and 4,000 feet and the project will be recovered at apogee. In a special to Rocketry Planet, author Mark B. Canepa and ROCKETS Magazine wish to share Steve Eve's story with the readers here.


The Jarvis Illustrated Guide to Carbon Fiber Construction

Over the last few years, many people have asked Jim Jarvis of Austin, Texas, how he makes his carbon fiber rockets. So when he had an opportunity to make a new fin can, he decided to document the process in detail.The result of the build was the TooCarbYen Tutorial presented in this article. Actually, tutorial isn't a particularly accurate name for the build since it implies instruction on the proper way to do something. This article isn't about the best way to build carbon fiber rockets, it's about how Jim builds carbon fiber rockets, presented in enough detail to allow others to execute the process if they so choose.


HJ101: Turbocharging the Estes Maxi Brute Honest John

This edition of the Rocketry Planet How-To Classroom is based on the Estes Maxi Brute Honest John, a 1/9 scale model of the venerable ballistic missile used by the United States Army. This class covers the Estes first edition Maxi Brute kit #1269 released in 1975, the Estes second edition Collector Series kit #1269 released in 1993 or the third edition Maxi Brute kit #2166 released in 2000.This kit is approaching collector status, if it hasn't already, and you can still find them occassionally on eBay for reasonable prices. This class project features dual deployment with an altimeter bay, fiberglass airframe reinforcing and fiberglass fins to replace the thin styrene shells that come in the standard kit. In fact, of the original kits, we are mainly using the styrene fin canisters and the two-piece styrene nose cones while replacing most everything else — this is imperative to be able to fly these kits on 38mm and 54mm motors.

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