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Optimal model rocketry launch locations in the US

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Wally Ferrer

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I've been meaning to ask for opinions on optimal locations in the US for model rocketry, LPR through HPR. I recently became a remote worker, and all of a sudden can entertain relocating. Is there an ideal state for this hobby based on weather allowing more launches per year? More land/launch sites available for public use? Fewer restrictions on launch ceilings? Less seasonal restrictions? More HPR launches? I may have other restrictions on location based on internet availability etc., but I am truly curious on other's opinions about locations that are more convenient for launches.
 

Wally Ferrer

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We have family in the Kansas and Oklahoma areas, so have thought about that. It would make accessing some of the bigger launches easier. I'm also curious about what might be termed 'back-yard' launches, i.e. availability of launch sites not restricted to club launches. I would still want a nearby club for HPR...
 

CoyoteNumber2

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I recommend Southern California, somewhere between San Diego and Los Angeles. There's Fiesta Island (for low power), Holtville, Lucerne, and FAR within a few hours' drive. A little further away is Jean (Tripoli Vegas), and Black Rock is a day's drive.
 

timbucktoo

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In Florida, we launch year round. Our club field is very unique. No land owner per se. We can launch any day of the week. HP or LP. We hold monthly launches and will support any HP launch by request given ample time to submit NOTAM. Can fly LP any day of week as long as proper fire protection on hand.
 

Wally Ferrer

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I have family in Florida as well, is it the same everywhere or is Cocoa Beach more rocket friendly than elsewhere in the state? 🤔 :cool:
 

Wally Ferrer

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Nice, I also have family in Los Angeles- I worry about fire restrictions in CA though... but also there is In-N-Out...
 

JimByrne

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I live in Kingman Arizona and we have local informal launches at least monthly, all year around at a dry lake 34 miles out of town.
Two hours away the Las Vegas Tripoly club has larger events at another dry lake.
 

teepot

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I'm with Tripoli Vegas. we hold monthly HPR launches and anything else you want to fly. We fly off the Jean dry lake bed, which is very large. We don't fly in July or August, too hot. We hold 2 regional launches a year that are 3 day events. We can call in waivers for 15k. In the spring we go to a different dry lake bed about an hour away and can fly higher. There is plenty of places to fly on your own as well. The last couple of launches we held attracted several people from Ca. No flying in Ca for months. Ca also limits motor size to M. Oh, and no rocket eating trees. Black Rock is in Northern Nevada. 5 minutes from my house is a small lake bed I fly off of sometimes. Mostly I fly across the street from my house. Except for the Las Vegas valley there is lots of empty space here.
 

Wally Ferrer

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I appreciate all the info- Vegas is hot, but they also have In-N-Out. I have family in NC, but western NC- the wife loves the beach, and has family just across the border in SC, so far I see potential in all of these locations. I don't have family in AZ, that might be a good reason to really check into there. 😜 :goodjob:
 

teepot

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yes, it gets hot. But it also gets cold. It was 11 degrees this morning, The high was 46. Vegas is at about 3000" on the valley floor.
 

Wally Ferrer

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I spent a week in Vegas on business several years ago- It snowed, never went above 50 degrees all week. As my plane was taking off to come home Friday morning the pilot announced "we have clear skies, currently 85 degrees outside..."
 

CoyoteNumber2

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I worry about fire restrictions in CA though...
As long as I've lived here, I've never seen launching banned due to fire restrictions. But I have seen campfires banned and camp stove use requiring a permit when fire danger was high.

If launching on your own, you'll need permission from the local fire authority - even if on private land I believe. Not sure how that compares to other states.

Yes, we have In-N-Out...but no Steak 'n Shake. :(
 

hball55

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As long as I've lived here, I've never seen launching banned due to fire restrictions. But I have seen campfires banned and camp stove use requiring a permit when fire danger was high.

If launching on your own, you'll need permission from the local fire authority - even if on private land I believe. Not sure how that compares to other states.

Yes, we have In-N-Out...but no Steak 'n Shake. :(
That’s interesting, with both Northern and Southern California burning down, you have never had launching banned? Must be nice flying in the desert. In Northern California, we are always having to wait for sufficient rain to fall before being allowed to fly, then we’ll get cancelled because it has rained too much, lol.
 

AllDigital

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The deserts of Southern California. No contest. Maybe I am location biased, but not a month goes by where I am not grateful for the weather and the options to launch in Southern California. My son and I launch at a number of clubs and attend Rocstock whenever we can, but most of our launches these days are out at FAR in the Mojave desert. It is an experimental site under Edward’s Air Force controlled air space, so the only place you can launch higher is Black Rock or New Mexico. Top Universities come from around the country every week to test their rockets and static fire motors. In SoCal you also have pro/ams from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, JPL, and other aerospace hanging around launches. #spoiled
 

rklapp

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I hear that Boca Chica, Tx is a great place to fly rockets. :cool:
 

G5flyguy

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In Florida, we launch year round. Our club field is very unique. No land owner per se. We can launch any day of the week. HP or LP. We hold monthly launches and will support any HP launch by request given ample time to submit NOTAM. Can fly LP any day of week as long as proper fire protection on hand.
Location coordinates? Membership requirements?
 

Philip Tiberius D.

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Oklahoma / Kansas... low cost of living, Argonia, KS (Kloudbusters.com) is Phenomenal both places have great clubs (I’m in Tulsa). Easy access to NM, NV, CO, TX
 

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Location coordinates? Membership requirements?
Everything you need to know.
 

Wally Ferrer

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It sounds like there are several locations that are pretty good. SoCal/Mojave I hadn't thought about, nor eastern NC or the Space Coast. Gives me some more areas to consider!
 

Wally Ferrer

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I do have to remain in-country, so not quite globally remote. But now I need to plan a trip to NZ so I can witness this mythical 'high power'...:)
 

Wally Ferrer

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Yes, some... this really is a new thing for me to consider, so thinking about multiple things and reasons for relocating- rocketry being one piece. Getting feedback from the community is helpful to get a feel for different parts of this country as it might relate to our hobby- at least it isn't all assumptions on my part... :)
 
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