National Association of Rocketry

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The National Association of Rocketry (NAR) is a non-profit tax-exempt scientific organization dedicated to consumer safety, youth education, and the advancement of technology in the hobby of sport rocketry in the United States. Founded in 1957, the NAR is the oldest and largest spacemodeling organization in the world with over 5200 members and 125 affiliated clubs across the U.S. It was established in 1957 by Orville Carlisle and G. Harry Stine and is currently headed by Ted Cochran. It supports all aspects of safe consumer sport rocket flying, from small model rockets with youth groups to very large high power rockets flown by adult hobbyists.

The NAR is a recognized national authority for performance and reliability certification of consumer rocket motors and for the certification of high-power rocket fliers in the U.S. The NAR is the author of a model rocket safety code [1] for consumer model rocketry and a high power rocket safety code [2] for high power sport rocketry that are recognized and accepted by manufacturers and public safety officials nationwide. The NAR plays a strong role in the establishment of national rocketry safety standards for public safety officials through its participation in the National Fire Protection Association.

There are four national NAR events each year:

  • NARAM, the NAR's Annual Meet, the national contest culminating the rocket contest year, held at different locations each summer,
  • NARCON, the NAR's national Convention, with speakers and educational programs, held a different locations each winter,
  • NSL, the National Sport Launch, a large fun, or "sport," launch, held a different locations each spring, and
  • Team America Rocketry Challenge, a national rocketry competition for students in 7th through 12th grades that culminates in an National Finals contest for the top 100 teams each May. TARC is co-sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association.

NAR also provides mentoring, launch services, and technical support for NASA's Student Launch Initiative and University Student Launch Initiative, which culminate in a launch of experimental payloads on high power rockets near Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL each April.

There are also hundreds of launches every year hosted by local NAR sections spanning the United States. These launches are conducted in accordance with NAR safety codes and FAA regulations.

The NAR provides its members with low-cost insurance for the sport of model rocketry, maintains a high power rocketry certification program, and publishes a bi-monthly magazine, called Sport Rocketry. It also tests and certifies rocket motors for performance and reliability.

The NAR (along with the Tripoli Rocketry Association, the other major governing body in hobby rocketry) was involved in a nine-year lawsuit against the BATFE regarding the status of Ammonium Perchlorate Composite Propellant (APCP), the most common composite propellant used in hobby rocketry,[citation needed] as an explosive. The NAR and TRA won the lawsuit in 2009, deregulating APCP.[3]

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