# Help needed on history of sport rocketry

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#### Joshua F Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Hey folks,

I'm putting together a presentation on sport rocketry for my university physics club. I'd like to include a brief history of the hobby. Can anyone provide useful info? I'm looking mainly for key events and dates.

Thanks!

#### Nytrunner

##### Pop lugs, not drugs
In no way shape or form a complete history:

Space race ignites rocket curiosity, kids try and make rocket motors (often badly)

Commercial motors are developed as a safe reliable means of launching rockets

NAR is formed, interest grows, contest rocketry etc

Bigger motors get produced, many see them as unsafe, dangerous, even fireworks ("who flew the G!?")

Those interested in higher power motors start holding events on their own, the roots of Tripoli are planted. The two organizations dont get along well, the First dark days of rocketry

Time passes, tensions ease. High power gets written into the NFPA

2001, 9/11 happens, BATFE places APCP on the controlled explosives list, you have to have a low ex users permit to hold or use it. 2nd dark days of rocketry. Interest in hybrids rise

NAR and Tripoli join resources and bring a lawsuit against the BATFE and manage to win the case removing APCP from the controlled list in 2009

Modern times: (see rest of forum)

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#### GuyNoir

##### Well-Known Member
2001, 9/11 happens, BATFE places APCP on the controlled explosives list
APCP was on the explosives list since the first list had been published. It was not until the late 1990's that BATFE began enforcement.

#### XrayLizard

##### Well-Known Member
Since it is a Unversity club, please consider including or significant mention re: the works of MIT.
These people along with Mr. Stine and others gave credence to the hobby as more than just boys with toys!

#### jqavins

##### Joseph Avins
TRF Supporter
Bigger motors get produced, many see them as unsafe, dangerous, even fireworks ("who flew the G!?")
I don't remember where I read this; it may have been the Peak of Flight article referred to above.

Even before the larger motors, model rockets were prohibited under fireworks laws in some places. Often the authorities such as fire marshals would see that it was different, and a good thing over all, but the ordinances had to be changed in order to allow them to not stop the activities.

I think that's an important point, because the authorities shouldn't in general be seen as the bad guys. There simply was a need for the laws to catch up.

#### jrap330

##### Retired Engineer, NAR # 76940
TRF Supporter
Hey folks,

I'm putting together a presentation on sport rocketry for my university physics club. I'd like to include a brief history of the hobby. Can anyone provide useful info? I'm looking mainly for key events and dates.

Thanks!
Handbook of model rocketry and contact NAR , a few years ago, they had an article in magazine

#### GlenP

##### Well-Known Member
Hey folks,

I'm putting together a presentation on sport rocketry for my university physics club. I'd like to include a brief history of the hobby. Can anyone provide useful info? I'm looking mainly for key events and dates.

Thanks!
Someone at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA might be able to help you. If you can't arrange a visit in person they might be able to answer some questions or share some info.
"The G. Harry Stine Space History and Model Rocketry Collection consist of the personal papers of rocket scientist and early model rocket pioneer George Harry Stine. The material in the collection is made up of correspondence, technical drawings, manuscripts, research files, photographic and audiovisual materials, and ephemera. The papers document the founding of the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), the growth of the model rocketry industry, and other research and developments on rocketry in the latter half of the twentieth century."

#### rklapp

##### NAR# 109557
TRF Supporter
Someone at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA might be able to help you. If you can't arrange a visit in person they might be able to answer some questions or share some info.
"The G. Harry Stine Space History and Model Rocketry Collection consist of the personal papers of rocket scientist and early model rocket pioneer George Harry Stine. The material in the collection is made up of correspondence, technical drawings, manuscripts, research files, photographic and audiovisual materials, and ephemera. The papers document the founding of the National Association of Rocketry (NAR), the growth of the model rocketry industry, and other research and developments on rocketry in the latter half of the twentieth century."
Since Bill Stine at Estes said he was born with a NAR number, he'll be a good source. Will probably talk your ear off...

#### Joshua F Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Since it is a Unversity club, please consider including or significant mention re: the works of MIT.
These people along with Mr. Stine and others gave credence to the hobby as more than just boys with toys!
Can you provide information or sources?

#### Blast it Tom!

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Wow. I have a copy of "Topics in Advanced Model Rocketry" (MIT Press), by Mandell, Caporaso and Bengen, copyright 1973. Don't know if it was ever formally typeset, most of the math is handwritten... I think some of this made it into Rocksim, if not both Rocksim and Open Rocket. NOt sure how this helps you, but there may be other copies out there...

#### Joshua F Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I'm pretty sure that book is a collector's item now

TRF Supporter
Really?!

#### Joshua F Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Check on ebay. You'll be shocked.

#### Blast it Tom!

TRF Supporter
Wow, that's it, alright! 1 copy at $575?! My dust jacket is long gone (my wife hates dust jackets), but the book itself is immaculate. I'll inform my heirs; for now this thing isn't going anywhere! We'll see how "thecraftshopmom" does with it... nobody says she'll get it. Wonder how she got it, doesn't sound like a rocketeer... but you never know. Last edited: #### dhbarr ##### Amateur Professional Wow, that's it, alright! 1 copy at$575?! My dust jacket is long gone (my wife hates dust jackets), but the book itself is immaculate. I'll inform my heirs; for now this thing isn't going anywhere! We'll see how "thecraftshopmom" does with it... nobody says she'll get it. Wonder how she got it, doesn't sound liek a rocketeer... but you never know.
You might think that, but then again Lots Of Crafts has a long history....

#### ChicagoDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
If it hasn't already been mentioned, the LDRS book (https://www.hpr2space.com/) has a wealth of background and history not just of Tripoli & LDRS but also NAR and even some history pre-dating NAR.

#### jkovac

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
If it hasn't already been mentioned, the LDRS book (https://www.hpr2space.com/) has a wealth of background and history not just of Tripoli & LDRS but also NAR and even some history pre-dating NAR.
I just received my copy of this book today and I’m only just beginning to read it, but would already highly recommend it to the OP and pretty much anyone else interested in rocketry. It is very well written and quite thick!

#### Sooner Boomer

##### Well-Known Member
Didn't the nonpareil Mr. Stine write several articles in the Scientific American's "Amature Scientist" column? I seem to recall at least one article on sulfer/zinc rockets.

Well, after searching, I couldn't find that he wrote any articles. The book I thought he had written was by someone else. Sucks to get old and forget stuff from 50 years ago...

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#### Rocketjunkie

go to Amazon and search for this - a history of high power.

#### samb

The hobby was born when Orville Carlisle began a correspondence with Harry Stine after reading an article Harry wrote about amateur safety in Mechanix Illustrated.

The letters are preserved here: (thanks RoyAtl and Bill Stine)

A little Harry love: (thanks James Duffy)

G. Harry Stine - Paying Forward

#### msjohnso

##### Active Member
Hey folks,

I'm putting together a presentation on sport rocketry for my university physics club. I'd like to include a brief history of the hobby. Can anyone provide useful info? I'm looking mainly for key events and dates.

Thanks!
Harry Stine wrote a series of articles for the old Model Rocketry magazine in the late 1960s/early 1970s, that detailed a lot of the early history...the origins of MMI, the original rocket company, flying rockets at Green Mountain Proving Ground, early NARAMs, and a whole lot more. Contact me privately - I think I have almost everything on file in my 'archive vault.'

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Wow. I have a copy of "Topics in Advanced Model Rocketry" (MIT Press), by Mandell, Caporaso and Bengen, copyright 1973. Don't know if it was ever formally typeset, most of the math is handwritten... I think some of this made it into Rocksim, if not both Rocksim and Open Rocket. NOt sure how this helps you, but there may be other copies out there...
I'm pretty sure that book is a collector's item now
Check on ebay. You'll be shocked.
Wow, that's it, alright! 1 copy at \$575?! My dust jacket is long gone (my wife hates dust jackets), but the book itself is immaculate. I'll inform my heirs; for now this thing isn't going anywhere! We'll see how "thecraftshopmom" does with it... nobody says she'll get it. Wonder how she got it, doesn't sound like a rocketeer... but you never know.

I have a hardback copy of "Topics In Advanced Model Rocketry", with dust jacket.

Keep watching for a "development" regarding it, in the not too distant future !

Dave F.

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#### samb

Model Rocketry Magazine was the first (and only ?) independent hobby magazine. Wiki has a good summary and a link to the PDF archive on ninfinger.

MR (wiki)

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
There are so many great references out there.

Dave F.

#### Blast it Tom!

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I have a hardback copy of "Topics In Advanced Model Rocketry", with dust jacket.

Keep watching for a "development" regarding it, in the not too distant future !

Dave F.
Just curious, Dave, is yours typeset or is it like mine with the math written in by hand? I bought mine at the University of Pittsburgh bookstore when I first went off to college at the tender age of 17...

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Just curious, Dave, is yours typeset or is it like mine with the math written in by hand? I bought mine at the University of Pittsburgh bookstore when I first went off to college at the tender age of 17...

The equations are hand-written.

Dave F.

#### Blast it Tom!

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
The equations are hand-written.
Ah, thanks. I wonder if it was ever actually typeset or if that's the only edition. We're sitting on a pair of gold mines!

#### Ez2cDave

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Ah, thanks. I wonder if it was ever actually typeset or if that's the only edition. We're sitting on a pair of gold mines!

When my "project" comes to be, things will change . . . Stay tuned !

Dave F.