High power rocketry

This is where things get really fun.

I went into detail in a previous post about rocket motors and their power. In short, each letter (representing a motor class) is twice as powerful as the one before it, so a B motor is twice as powerful as an A, and a C is twice as powerful as a B, or four times as powerful as an A. The basic categories are:

Low power: A, B, C, D, E

Mid power: F, G

High power: H or higher

If you’re doing the math, an H motor is approximately 128 times as powerful as an A motor. These are averages, as performance among motors in the same class can vary according to a range, but it’s in that ballpark.

To purchase a high power rocket motor and fly these types of rockets, you have to be certified by the National Association of Rocketry (“NAR”). The NAR offers a three-tier certification program for high power rockets: level 1, level 2, and level 3. You can buy a single high power motor specifically for purposes of obtaining your certification.

To be certified at level 1 (L1), you need to basically build your own high power rocket and fly it successfully, with one or more other NAR members present (who are also certified) to witness the launch and recovery. If all goes well, they can then officially certify you. You have to be certified as an L1 before you can move on to attempt L2 certification, and so on.

So far, I’ve been building and launching small, low power rockets, and it’s been good practice. But my longer term goal is to build and launch high power rockets. I just ordered my first high power rocket kit. More on that in my next post.

Here goes nothing!

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