# What are the things I need to consider when making a rocket that can hit the karman line?

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#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
Hi. I'm a newbie here. I'm just getting started with model rocketry. I'm planning to make a rocket that can hit the Karman line. But the issue is, im lost XD. Since many here are experts on such a topic. I would like to know what are the things I have to factor in when making such kind of a rocket.
For example, material type, calculus, local laws, and regulations etcetera. Your responses are highly appreciated.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
What's the largest motor you've flown? Start there, and double your motor size for each successful recovery.

Join he NAR and/or TRA club nearest you so that when you're ready for certification you've folks to help you. Keep flying & learning.

#### timbucktoo

##### Well-Known Member
Staff member
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OP is resides in Malaysia. probably no chance of NAR or TRA.

#### DAllen

##### Well-Known Member
What dhbarr said. No offense, but we get A LOT of posts like this and you will get A LOT of snarky responses. Just to put it into perspective there's only been one ameture team to successfully launch and recover a rocket that actually went into space back in '04. Hitting the Karman line is no joke. Be ready for years and years of learning and flying before you can even think about doing such a thing. Plus you better start saving up...AP is expensive. Can you set thousands upon thousands of dollars on fire each flight and walk away without starving in the dark in the following months?

Edit: Mods - would it be reasonable to put a sticky on this forum for all these "I wanna goto space" threads on the top of the Watering Hole? Just make a single post of things to consider BEFORE starting yet another thread on this topic? That way when we can just post a link to that sticky every time a newb starts a "I wanna goto space" thread we can post a link to that sticky and immediately close the thread? I'd be happy to write the post for this sticky.

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#### Mushtang

TRF Supporter
Mods - would it be reasonable to put a sticky on this forum for all these "I wanna goto space" threads on the top of the Watering Hole? Just make a single post of things to consider BEFORE starting yet another thread on this topic? That way when we can just post a link to that sticky every time a newb starts a "I wanna goto space" thread we can post a link to that sticky and immediately close the thread?

How about just bookmark a post and link to it when you want to shut someone up when they ask an honest question? It won't matter if the thread you link to makes it to the 14th page, the link should still work.

#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
OP is resides in Malaysia. probably no chance of NAR or TRA.
yeah true tho. Sadly no NAR here. But that is not an issue, well for now. It can be figured out.

#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
What dhbarr said. No offense, but we get A LOT of posts like this and you will get A LOT of snarky responses. Just to put it into perspective there's only been one ameture team to successfully launch and recover a rocket that actually went into space back in '04. Hitting the Karman line is no joke. Be ready for years and years of learning and flying before you can even think about doing such a thing. Plus you better start saving up...AP is expensive. Can you set thousands upon thousands of dollars on fire each flight and walk away without starving in the dark in the following months?

Edit: Mods - would it be reasonable to put a sticky on this forum for all these "I wanna goto space" threads on the top of the Watering Hole? Just make a single post of things to consider BEFORE starting yet another thread on this topic? That way when we can just post a link to that sticky every time a newb starts a "I wanna goto space" thread we can post a link to that sticky and immediately close the thread? I'd be happy to write the post for this sticky.
What dhbarr said. No offense, but we get A LOT of posts like this and you will get A LOT of snarky responses. Just to put it into perspective there's only been one ameture team to successfully launch and recover a rocket that actually went into space back in '04. Hitting the Karman line is no joke. Be ready for years and years of learning and flying before you can even think about doing such a thing. Plus you better start saving up...AP is expensive. Can you set thousands upon thousands of dollars on fire each flight and walk away without starving in the dark in the following months?

Edit: Mods - would it be reasonable to put a sticky on this forum for all these "I wanna goto space" threads on the top of the Watering Hole? Just make a single post of things to consider BEFORE starting yet another thread on this topic? That way when we can just post a link to that sticky every time a newb starts a "I wanna goto space" thread we can post a link to that sticky and immediately close the thread? I'd be happy to write the post for this sticky.
Regarding that "years and years of learning". Do you know the topics regarding that? I mean, exact topics, I know it must have calculus and all that jazz. But don't know the topics. And just an extra question. Any idea on how much the rocket cost that went up into the Karman line back in 2004?

#### jderimig

Did everyone here get up on the wrong side of the bed. If you are going to take the effort to respond why not have a positive helpful one? geez.

To the op. Karman line flights are very challenging indeed, at least the way amatuers try it. There is slot of public info on sounding rocket design. Start there for what is required for high reliability.

Alot a fuel, metal airframes and spin stabilization is the tried and true formula.

#### DAllen

##### Well-Known Member

How about just bookmark a post and link to it when you want to shut someone up when they ask an honest question? It won't matter if the thread you link to makes it to the 14th page, the link should still work.
Seriously? I'm not looking to shut anyone up. Just seems like we're answering the same questions over and over...I apologize for making what I thought was a helpful suggestion.

Regarding that "years and years of learning". Do you know the topics regarding that? I mean, exact topics, I know it must have calculus and all that jazz. But don't know the topics. And just an extra question. Any idea on how much the rocket cost that went up into the Karman line back in 2004?
Before you even venture down this long road I strongly recommend trying to figure out if you can even do this legally where you are. I often hear that the biggest hurdle to these sorts of flights is the red tape. It would be a real bummer to do all that R&D where you are only to find out you can't even fly it in the first place.

https://www.amazon.com/Modern-High-...s=high+powered+rocketry&qid=1572357562&sr=8-2

I just did a very quick and dirty look at some high end CTI reloads to get a "typical" value of the "price of impulse" in USD/Ns. (Ceseroni Technology Inc., or CTI, is one of the major commercial manufacturers of reloadable high power rocket motors and the propellant loads for them.) Extending what I found out to a mid-range S motor I get about $30,000. (There are no commercial manufacturers of motors for amateur use beyond O motors, and the motor you'll ultimately need will be about 16 time larger.) And remember,it's not just the cost of the motor for the space shot. It's also the many, many flights building up to it. I'd have to agree with the previous rough estimate of a couple of hundred thousand dollars for propellant alone. The many rockets you'll build (and probably destroy) on the way will cost several tens of thousands more. None of this is meant to say that you should not go for it. Your first question was "What are the things I need to consider when making a rocket that can hit the Karman line?" and what I'm saying, what most of us are saying, is that the very first thing to consider is that it's really, really hard, really, really expensive, and will take a really, really long time. The CSX team was founded in 1995, had about 30 members, built at least four big, expensive high altitude rockets before the one that successfully passed the Karman line nine years later, and did it with corporate sponsorship. If, in light of all that, you still want to make the attempt, I wish you success. The next thing you need to consider is that your initial question was too general to elicit any more helpful answers. So instead of answers, I'll offer advice: read, build, read more, build more, read a lot more, build bigger and more, and repeat as necessary. Along the way, ask many, many questions, and make the questions as specific as you can manage so that you can receive specific answers. #### wrad ##### Well-Known Member We don’t like to mention the cost of our rockets, just in case our better halves find out. #### jqavins ##### Gone beardless since then TRF Supporter On the contrary, if my better half finds out that I've made four of five figures go up in figurative smoke, I'd rather she understand that at least I had fun making it go up in literal smoke. Dozens of dollars, or maybe even a hundred or two I could sneak off with, but not thousands. #### boatgeek ##### Well-Known Member Here's a few things you'll need to master: Safety practices for large and complex projects Building tough and lightweight rocket structures in carbon fiber or aluminum Budgeting, teamwork, and fundraising Design and manufacturing of very large motors (Q-S impulse for staged/single stage, respectively) Tracking and telemetry at very high altitude Recovery from very high altitude, including electronics, parachutes, and ejection charges Limitations and applications of various simulation software programs (this is what saves you from needing lots of calculus and fluid dynamics) Maintaining vertical directional stability through the stratosphere and preventing tumbling at high altitude Thermal protection for very high speed flight (>= Mach 3) If you go with a staged rocket: Construction of a robust interstage coupler Sustainer ignition at high altitude Safe sustainer ignition practices (tilt lockouts, etc.) This is a start--there's surely more stuff that I don't know. The highest I've flown is 13,500 feet, around 1/30th of the Karman Line and in the range where everything is easy. There are probably fewer than 100 amateurs who have successfully flown rockets over 100K feet. You'll also almost certainly need to launch from Black Rock Desert in the US or possibly somewhere in Australia. There are few if any other sites to launch amateur rockets to the Karman Line. #### cerving ##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry TRF Sponsor TRF Supporter Steps to get there... altitudes are debatable but you get the idea that this is a process. Each level has different challenges... the idea is that once you overcome the challenges of a given level, your challenges for the next flight are incremental. Expect the costs to double or possibly triple for each attained flight level... maybe higher. * Single stage flight to 10,000' (not too hard) * Multi-stage flight to 10,000' (harder) * Single-stage flight to 25,000' (somewhat harder) * Multi-stage flight to 25,000' (fairly difficult) * Single-stage flight to 50,000' (difficult) * Multi-stage flight to 50,000' (more difficult) * Multi-stage flight to 100,000' (very difficult) * Multi-stage flight to 200,000' (extremely difficult) * Multi-stage flight to Karman Line (puts you in elite company) #### Chuck Rogers ##### Well-Known Member Something often forgotten is that it takes multiple attempts. The CSXT Team made it past the Karman line in 2004 on the 4th attempt. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Space_eXploration_Team The 4 attempts were spread over 7 years (1997 - 2004). To make it over the Karman line isn't a one-shot rocket launch, it's a sustained launch campaign (multiple launches). A more realistic, attainable goal? Make it over 100,000 ft. And as those here who have done it will note, that will also take multiple attempts. Charles E. (Chuck) Rogers #### Rob702Martinez ##### Zip-Tie Oversight Committee TRF Supporter Welcome. Last edited: #### RocketEnthusiast101 ##### Well-Known Member Did everyone here get up on the wrong side of the bed. If you are going to take the effort to respond why not have a positive helpful one? geez. To the op. Karman line flights are very challenging indeed, at least the way amatuers try it. There is slot of public info on sounding rocket design. Start there for what is required for high reliability. Alot a fuel, metal airframes and spin stabilization is the tried and true formula. thanks for the support man and highly appereciate your feedback. #### RocketEnthusiast101 ##### Well-Known Member Seriously? I'm not looking to shut anyone up. Just seems like we're answering the same questions over and over...I apologize for making what I thought was a helpful suggestion. Before you even venture down this long road I strongly recommend trying to figure out if you can even do this legally where you are. I often hear that the biggest hurdle to these sorts of flights is the red tape. It would be a real bummer to do all that R&D where you are only to find out you can't even fly it in the first place. Edit: Start with this book: https://www.amazon.com/Modern-High-...s=high+powered+rocketry&qid=1572357562&sr=8-2 Cost? I really can't say for sure but I thought I heard the S motor the CSXT team used was in the neighborhood of$30k - maybe? And that's in 2004 dollars so who knows what that would be now...And that's just the propellant. I'm sure someone here knows better than my speculation.
Here in Malaysia sadly it's not allowed, for now, but there is a high chance of it becoming legal in a year or two. So I want to start ahead in this rocketry thingy. Thanks for the book recommendation. Read its reviews. It seems quite good.

#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
In that case, try writing a letter to IDXA at Universiti Teknologi Mara.
wow. Now you are talking about some good stuff. First, whats IDXA? and how do you know such detail? I'm quite impressed. Do you have any friend here in malaysia?

#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
Examples of teams getting above the karman line.

https://www.uscrpl.com/traveler-iv

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Space_eXploration_Team

https://v-serv.com/usr/crr304mm.htm

I would start there. Look into the sounding rockets also.

Staged rockets is another way to go, but adds difficulty.

I learn something from each flight, continue to think and challenge my abilities at the time. I know a few years ago when I became a BAR, I was not ready to even think about HPR, over the last few years I have learned a lot, and come a long way. I have had success and failure. I have had the privilege of meeting Ky, and the other MN rocketboys, I am inspired to see where I can go.

~John
Hi man. Many thanks for those videos. It has greatly helped me as I check out their websites. A question tho. What is that v-serv link for?

#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
Here's a few things you'll need to master:
Safety practices for large and complex projects
Building tough and lightweight rocket structures in carbon fiber or aluminum
Budgeting, teamwork, and fundraising
Design and manufacturing of very large motors (Q-S impulse for staged/single stage, respectively)
Tracking and telemetry at very high altitude
Recovery from very high altitude, including electronics, parachutes, and ejection charges
Limitations and applications of various simulation software programs (this is what saves you from needing lots of calculus and fluid dynamics)
Maintaining vertical directional stability through the stratosphere and preventing tumbling at high altitude
Thermal protection for very high speed flight (>= Mach 3)

If you go with a staged rocket:
Construction of a robust interstage coupler
Sustainer ignition at high altitude
Safe sustainer ignition practices (tilt lockouts, etc.)

This is a start--there's surely more stuff that I don't know. The highest I've flown is 13,500 feet, around 1/30th of the Karman Line and in the range where everything is easy. There are probably fewer than 100 amateurs who have successfully flown rockets over 100K feet. You'll also almost certainly need to launch from Black Rock Desert in the US or possibly somewhere in Australia. There are few if any other sites to launch amateur rockets to the Karman Line.
wow. Thanks for the well-detailed reply. I didn't know that launching a rocket to the Karman line would require me to shoot either from USA or Australia. I thought that as long as one has permission from the aviation authorities. One can do such a thing? Why is it only the USA or Australia?

#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
Steps to get there... altitudes are debatable but you get the idea that this is a process. Each level has different challenges... the idea is that once you overcome the challenges of a given level, your challenges for the next flight are incremental. Expect the costs to double or possibly triple for each attained flight level... maybe higher.

* Single stage flight to 10,000' (not too hard)
* Multi-stage flight to 10,000' (harder)
* Single-stage flight to 25,000' (somewhat harder)
* Multi-stage flight to 25,000' (fairly difficult)
* Single-stage flight to 50,000' (difficult)
* Multi-stage flight to 50,000' (more difficult)
* Multi-stage flight to 100,000' (very difficult)
* Multi-stage flight to 200,000' (extremely difficult)
* Multi-stage flight to Karman Line (puts you in elite company)
Much thanks for the detailed response. Atleast now I can have an estimation of the difficulty level.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
wow. Now you are talking about some good stuff. First, whats IDXA? and how do you know such detail? I'm quite impressed. Do you have any friend here in malaysia?
When people don't have a national organization for civilian amateur rocketry, I simply recommend they look for universities granting aerospace degrees.

IDXA was apparently an effort some years back, so someone there maybe knows someone else who is still launching.

#### RocketEnthusiast101

##### Well-Known Member
When people don't have a national organization for civilian amateur rocketry, I simply recommend they look for universities granting aerospace degrees.

IDXA was apparently an effort some years back, so someone there maybe knows someone else who is still launching.
i see. Will contact them.