The Future of this hobby.....

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3stoogesrocketry

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True, but did you ever see how many special market catalogs Sears once had.
They were fascinating to look through.
There old slogan "Sears has everything" wasn't too far off. Probably also contributed greatly to their demise.
That and K Mart.
The internet killed all the brick and mortar stores IMO.
 

NOLA_BAR

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Also a BAR that I fell back into as a distraction from the pandemic and the election.

I’m hoping to avoid HPR for the cost. I know that if I moved back to Las Vegas, I’d go bankrupt. I lived there for 5 years avoiding the gambling bug but fear the rocket bug in the desert would be too alluring.

I’m trying to improve my build skills. If I measure based on how close to the rocket before I can spot the flaws, I’m about the 4 foot level now.
I’m still trying to get as good as my uncle was. He was a great model builder. He started building model rockets when I started, he built a Estes Farside-X looked great. All hand painted. Perfect staging but lost the sustainer on the first launch. It was the coolest launch I had ever seen!
 

Ez2cDave

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So, how do we keep this hobby going? We keep being parents, scout leaders, and teachers.
It requires the "right kind of parent", which is becoming less & less common, every day. Scout Leaders, nowadays, are often "less than trustworthy" and teachers are only pushing the "indoctrination" of Common Core, rather than Science and Logical Thought.

If Parents want to "be a best friend" to their kids and /or support the "instant gratification" found in Social Media & everywhere, the likelihood of kids wanting to do anything that requires work, skill, or effort is practically zero. Parents need to teach morals, ethics, respect, and "sense of personal satisfaction" from accomplishments, right from the "get-go" !

I think the only answer is for Parents to "lead by example", by getting involved in Rocketry themselves, before having children, so they will be in a position to "train / indoctrinate" their children into the hobby. From the time they are 3 years old, they should be out "helping" Dad and/or Mom flying rockets . . . Let the kids pick colors for rockets, too . . . Start EARLY and be RELENTLESS, before the Public Schools become their "parents" and it's too late !

Dave F.
 

Ez2cDave

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I’m trying to improve my build skills.
That will only be accomplished through practice and repetition . . . Avoid kits with plastic fin units ( Balsa fins, aligned & glued to a tube, not "pre-fab" ).

Dave F.
 

rklapp

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That will only be accomplished through practice and repetition . . . Avoid kits with plastic fin units ( Balsa fins, aligned & glued to a tube, not "pre-fab" ).

Dave F.
I started with the Saturn V RTF last year Christmas and have progressed to about 80 rockets over the year. It's been a distraction from COVID and the election. Check out my Updates thread...
 

shockie

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Here's what I wrote over on YORF back in December:

The Coming End to Model Rocket History as we ALL know it

In 10 years if it takes that long, everybody will be able to afford a combo machine ( a Star Trek replicator) that can basically make whatever they want. Pick a model rocket from a catalog online , and have it 3D Printed/LaserCut/CNC Machined/Hot wire Cut/Laser Engraved/Painted and RTF and then you select the engine and the combo 3D Printer/Laser Cutter/Hot Wire Cutter/CNC Machiner/Laser Engraver will make your engine for you.

IF I was Estes I would create .stl (or 3DMax) files for everything they ever created and sold..... You know somebody somewhere right now is creating a digital .drm for these kind of files so everybody will have to buy them.

People are already creating 3D printer files that you can only buy behind a paywall. I expect that to accelerate over time.
 

shockie

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My other thought is that both the NAR and TRA are going to lose substantial numbers of their memberships to one thing: Old Age and Death.....A majority of both of their memberships is over 60...... Even if everybody stays healthy and lives into their 80's in 20 years time, there's going to be a mass rocket dinosaur extinction event. Technology will advance over these next 20 years( if we don't kill ourselves first from all of this technology) so rapidly, that combustion types of rocketry may not even exist or for that matter be environmentally legal by then. I fully expect the "hobby" to continue to decline until the only rocketry items left will all be in museums and landfills. ...and children will ask their great-grandfathers.....what was a model rocket?
 

Dustin Lobner

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I think the age thing is a concern, but maybe not as much as one would expect. This stuff takes money (esp high power), right now with the economy being jittery for so many people, the only people who can participate are those with solid nest eggs and aren't worrying about where their next meal is coming from. Those are generally older.

Last launch I was at, there were people there from 5 years old to 85, and a pretty uniform spread. I was actually encouraged by how diverse the group was.

How to respond to the perceived threats to the hobby? When you're going to a launch, tell friends! Find that 8th grader going for their L1-Junior and mentor them (you know who you are!). Volunteer to help boy- and girlscouts launch rockets.

It's an esoteric hobby that people generally aren't just going to walk into on their own, we have to reach out and get people interested. The biggest feedback I get is "oh, they still make those rockets? cool, used to launch those with my dad, that was fun....when did you say the next launch is?"
 

samb

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All I can say is the future’s uncertain and the end is always near. 🙃
In the meantime, take a kid to a launch. Show them how to glue something, follow written instructions, have fun without a keyboard (as I type this on my keyboard) ! :)
 

arconhi

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I’ve got one of those that’s been sitting in primer for months now, lol. I’ve been looking for actual photos of one for the paint scheme, but no dice so far. Israel so secretive. I went so far as to ask my cousin’s husband (who’s in the IDF) to find something for me and even he can’t. So my model sits and waits. Every once in a while, I sand and prime it again — and stare forlornly at it.
View attachment 432135
Where did you place the launch lugs? There is no mention of them in the instructions on this rocket.
 

SecondRow

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See the pic. I only have the one. I didn’t split it up into two. For the life of me, I can’t remember why I chose that spot. I think I put it close to the loaded CG. You sure it’s not in the instructions? I don’t have mine handy.
 

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rklapp

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It's an esoteric hobby that people generally aren't just going to walk into on their own, we have to reach out and get people interested. The biggest feedback I get is "oh, they still make those rockets? cool, used to launch those with my dad, that was fun....when did you say the next launch is?"
This happened to us last week at the park. We got out of our car and took out the box of rockets. This guy in his 30s saw us and was amazed. He said he’s been thinking about the rockets he used to launch as a kid. I told him the hobby store is just down the street.
 

arconhi

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See the pic. I only have the one. I didn’t split it up into two. For the life of me, I can’t remember why I chose that spot. I think I put it close to the loaded CG. You sure it’s not in the instructions? I don’t have mine handy.
Thanks for getting back so fast. I looked and looked and no mention of the Launch lug. Its a light rocket and I think where you installed your Lug is a smart location at the rockets CG. There is also the "T" shaped Antenna that gets painted Black and yes they do show location of it. They say to paint it separetly like I did. I think painting the rocket first and epoxying the Painted Antenna last would be good. I will just remove a small area of paint for good adhesion.
 

arconhi

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Thanks for getting back so fast. I looked and looked and no mention of the Launch lug. Its a light rocket and I think where you installed your Lug is a smart location at the rockets CG. There is also the "T" shaped Antenna that gets painted Black and yes they do show location of it. They say to paint it separetly like I did. I think painting the rocket first and epoxying the Painted Antenna last would be good. I will just remove a small area of paint for good adhesion.
I was also thinking of placing the Lug on the 17 inch long balsa Conduit strip. Maybe.
See the pic. I only have the one. I didn’t split it up into two. For the life of me, I can’t remember why I chose that spot. I think I put it close to the loaded CG. You sure it’s not in the instructions? I don’t have mine handy.
 

TALON

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Right now most of my hobbies are being threatened in one way or another:mad: Shooting, where it cost me $9 to shoot off a 30 rd mag, now cost $25😲 R/C flying with new regs😩, I use to be able to go to my local park and fly, but no more. I have been warned that firework prices are going up, and the possible tightening of government regs :mad: So now friends/people will not want to spend more $$$ on this hobby:( My hobbies that is not on a decline is Photography. Rocketry IMHO is declining because of a rampant increase of ADD. People in general today want immediate gratification & results. Back when the 1st microwaves came out and it took 10 minutes (or longer) to cook something, I predicted that when the time was reduced to 5 min. people would still bitch it wasn't fast enough (and I am one of them :rolleyes:). So today's population doesn't want to wait for glue, primer, paint to dry. Or wait for a nice day or a club launch. I am also worried about increased government regs😨 This covid krap isn't helping many hobbies, but another problem is generational. As a child in the 60s, many kids that were into rocketry were also aviation enthusiasts! I would go to the library and wear out the books on US fighter & bombers. I remember talking to friends about the FX program. Boys today do not grow up talking about new aircraft or space craft. The digital era of games and fantasy are taken the lead today. Where as 100 years ago little boys were interested in ships and railroad locomotives. My childhood in the late 50s and 60s was the apex (or apogee) of the Lionel train era. As I grew older it was Rocketry & airplanes. I threw a hissy fix in 1960 because I was going to Florida on a Lockheed Connie & not a 707! If I only knew than what I know now! I hope that with space exploration on the upswing in the US & hopefully with the future of supersonic airline travel, more children in the future will get into rocketry.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Could you also put in a Trap shooting field? Were losing those faster than launch sites:confused:
Well...ok. Since you asked so politely, I will put in a trap shooting field for you as soon as I get that million bucks.

I actually have a trap field very nearby. Closer than any rocket launch sites. But I haven’t been able to go there due to the pandemic. I think they are open, but I’m a novice (as in, never ever done it) trap shooter, and their classes are all canceled. I bought the shotgun last summer and haven’t had a chance to shoot it yet because all the ranges within a reasonable distance are closed to the general public or operating under restrictions that pretty much shut out novices.
 

AHansom

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Well...ok. Since you asked so politely, I will put in a trap shooting field for you as soon as I get that million bucks.

I actually have a trap field very nearby. Closer than any rocket launch sites. But I haven’t been able to go there due to the pandemic. I think they are open, but I’m a novice (as in, never ever done it) trap shooter, and their classes are all canceled. I bought the shotgun last summer and haven’t had a chance to shoot it yet because all the ranges within a reasonable distance are closed to the general public or operating under restrictions that pretty much shut out novices.
Not sure how far north you are. Probably met you at Snow Ranch over the years. Will our new field handle the Thumper? I used to hit up Pleasanton and Martinez for trap tournaments.
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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Not sure how far north you are. Probably met you at Snow Ranch over the years. Will our new field handle the Thumper? I used to hit up Pleasanton and Martinez for trap tournaments.
Hey, I was trying to remember why I recognized your screen name, and now it’s coming back — the Thumper!

We really have not done much on the Thumper since the pandemic started. Tom picked it up right at the beginning, and we have not gotten together since then due to social distancing. But I suspect we will fly it at the earliest opportunity— lots of pent-up rocketry frustration to work through. Snow Ranch will definitely accommodate the Thumper. The regular TCC field at Maddox dairy would too. I’m not sure what you meant by ”new field” — maybe something changed that I missed?

For Trap shooting, the closest range to me that has Trap is the Livermore Rod and Gun Club.
 

AHansom

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Hey, I was trying to remember why I recognized your screen name, and now it’s coming back — the Thumper!

We really have not done much on the Thumper since the pandemic started. Tom picked it up right at the beginning, and we have not gotten together since then due to social distancing. But I suspect we will fly it at the earliest opportunity— lots of pent-up rocketry frustration to work through. Snow Ranch will definitely accommodate the Thumper. The regular TCC field at Maddox dairy would too. I’m not sure what you meant by ”new field” — maybe something changed that I missed?

For Trap shooting, the closest range to me that has Trap is the Livermore Rod and Gun Club.
The new field your buying with the donations:cheers:
 

prfesser

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Last (academic) year I mentored a university team for their senior project on rocketry. When the three kids came out to the launch site they were amazed and excited by what was going on, even with small models (which they built and launched). One gal in particular thought it was seriously interesting. But I'd bet that interest died about three weeks (or days, or hours) after graduation.

Immediate gratification is the norm today, and this hobby won't survive without younger folk getting involved. RTF high-power is pretty much a contradiction in terms, but RTF mid-power might capture some imaginations. An F motor at 30 feet is almost as impressive as an I motor at 200 feet.

The younger generation never knew, never WILL know, the excitement of the space race. But they might be captured by easy-access RTF modroc and mid-power. After they're hooked, maybe move them toward designing and building rockets.

Without a boost from the youth...the hobby will more-or-less disappear in years to come. :-(
 

ThirstyBarbarian

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The new field your buying with the donations:cheers:
Oh, man! I am slow today. Yes, the new field I am buying as soon as I get my million dollars will definitely support the Thumper and a Trap field. I'm also thinking an off-road vehicle area and a goat farm, but we will have to see how far the money goes.
 

Citizen Baslim

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From the time they are 3 years old, they should be out "helping" Dad and/or Mom flying rockets . . . Let the kids pick colors for rockets, too . . . Start
[/QUOTE]
Two years ago my daughter was flying low power while "big" kids were competing in TARC. She became upset as she heard the others advance in "highest", "fastest", etc. with their HP rockets with which she could not compete. A highly competitive young girl, she looks at me and says, "Daddy, can I have another motor?" In less than a minute she has her rocket ready to fly. And another, and another. To help reduce time she had me filling out flight cards as she launched, retrieved, re-packed, and re-launched. By the end of the day when all of the awards had been announced their was one last announcement..."and of note, the most launches in one day, and as far as I can remember in any of our launches, goes to..." I can't tell you how proud I was of her. She couldn't compete in the categories they did so she competed in a different way on her own initiative. We need to find ways to build a sense of achievement into whatever endeavor we embark upon. Now if I can just get her to put the phone down...
 

arconhi

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From the time they are 3 years old, they should be out "helping" Dad and/or Mom flying rockets . . . Let the kids pick colors for rockets, too . . . Start
Two years ago my daughter was flying low power while "big" kids were competing in TARC. She became upset as she heard the others advance in "highest", "fastest", etc. with their HP rockets with which she could not compete. A highly competitive young girl, she looks at me and says, "Daddy, can I have another motor?" In less than a minute she has her rocket ready to fly. And another, and another. To help reduce time she had me filling out flight cards as she launched, retrieved, re-packed, and re-launched. By the end of the day when all of the awards had been announced their was one last announcement..."and of note, the most launches in one day, and as far as I can remember in any of our launches, goes to..." I can't tell you how proud I was of her. She couldn't compete in the categories they did so she competed in a different way on her own initiative. We need to find ways to build a sense of achievement into whatever endeavor we embark upon. Now if I can just get her to put the phone down...
[/QUOTE]
I recently introduced a friends little 9 year old boy to low power and Mid power . He was instantly amazed in the hobby and could not wait to go flying again and learns very fast . If a launch day is cancelled because of weather, he gets very dissapionted. He always cant wait to press the launch button and cant wait to launch the next one. I never seen a child get so excited like him. Its a nice feeling to see this happen.
 

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Antares JS

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I don't have a picture to post right now, but my two year old daughter attends MDRA launches with me and yells excitedly when rockets fly. I have a picture of her holding on to the nose as I prep a high power rocket. I'll post it later.

I also watched Rocket Challenge (2003 Discovery Channel miniseries about LDRS) in front of her and now she just wants to watch it over and over again.
 

Walter Longburn

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It would be interesting to see a graph of how many members of NAR and TRA there are at what age.
 

shockie

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Last (academic) year I mentored a university team for their senior project on rocketry. When the three kids came out to the launch site they were amazed and excited by what was going on, even with small models (which they built and launched). One gal in particular thought it was seriously interesting. But I'd bet that interest died about three weeks (or days, or hours) after graduation.

Immediate gratification is the norm today, and this hobby won't survive without younger folk getting involved. RTF high-power is pretty much a contradiction in terms, but RTF mid-power might capture some imaginations. An F motor at 30 feet is almost as impressive as an I motor at 200 feet.

The younger generation never knew, never WILL know, the excitement of the space race. But they might be captured by easy-access RTF modroc and mid-power. After they're hooked, maybe move them toward designing and building rockets.

Without a boost from the youth...the hobby will more-or-less disappear in years to come. :-(
Maybe if Elon makes it to Mars without Crashing and Burning, that will inspire our youth. But our youth problem is that from kindergarten to graduate school, they are indoctrinated, brainwashed and social engineered to not be inspired by anything other than Socialism and Marxism.
 

Petrokas73

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Two years ago my daughter was flying low power while "big" kids were competing in TARC. She became upset as she heard the others advance in "highest", "fastest", etc. with their HP rockets with which she could not compete. A highly competitive young girl, she looks at me and says, "Daddy, can I have another motor?" In less than a minute she has her rocket ready to fly. And another, and another. To help reduce time she had me filling out flight cards as she launched, retrieved, re-packed, and re-launched. By the end of the day when all of the awards had been announced their was one last announcement..."and of note, the most launches in one day, and as far as I can remember in any of our launches, goes to..." I can't tell you how proud I was of her. She couldn't compete in the categories they did so she competed in a different way on her own initiative. We need to find ways to build a sense of achievement into whatever endeavor we embark upon. Now if I can just get her to put the phone down...
This right here!

Ah many of you are correct that we will never have the space race again. Or trains and ships. Or Cowboys and Indians. Even the car hotrodders have changed. But we will always have a few boys and girls like this who really enjoy rockets. She will undoubtedly turn to other things as she grows up but for sure, one day she will re-visit the rocket and remember one of the things of youth that was pure fun.
We discovered a couple city parks in Gilbert, AZ that allow rocket launches. To be sure it says only 5 launches without a permit. Which is it? Each rocket 5 times? Or 5 launches total? We chose to interpret it as the former and didn't end up in any trouble. In fact the Park Ranger came and watched several launches himself. Lots of people came and went. Many said I remember doing that as a kid where can I get one? It was the question of the day. Anywhere, Amazon, Ebay, Apogee, maybe your best bet is the local HL. It was fairly windy and the kids had to chase down their snap-together Alpha. Only trouble with that one was a tangled parachute and it came down hard popping off a fin. Reinstalled the fin and up it went again! Best launches were with the Big Bertha. It would weathercock so extremely, I was worried. Each flight though it would land within 30' of the pad. It was fun watching all the kids, not just mine go chasing it just to end up back where they started. I'm sure at least one parent is looking for one now.
No, even if we get to the Moon again or even Mars it will not be the same. But there's always something about rockets and fireworks that will capture the imagination!
 

arconhi

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I don't have a picture to post right now, but my two year old daughter attends MDRA launches with me and yells excitedly when rockets fly. I have a picture of her holding on to the nose as I prep a high power rocket. I'll post it later.

I also watched Rocket Challenge (2003 Discovery Channel miniseries about LDRS) in front of her and now she just wants to watch it over and over again.
That is so cool that she goes to the MDRA. Children these days need excitment like we did growing up. We were always out doing something. Good for you John.
 
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