Sunday, October 19, 2008

It's good to be certifiable.

For those not in the know, certifiable means insane. Kinda does describe high-power rocketeers, though...

Okay, I totally stole that punchline from here

But, it also means able to be certified. Those rocketeers that are over 18 can get their NAR (National Association of Rocketry) Level 1 certification. This involves buying 1 H or I motor (161-640 Ns / 36-144 Pound-seconds of total thrust), sucessfully flying a rocket with said motor with several certified witnesses, and sending the paperwork in. Then, you can freely buy and use H and I motors all you want. Cool.

However, you couldn't do that if you were a minor like me. Recently, however, the NAR rolled out the Junior L1 Certification program. It's almost the same as the regular program, but with a few differences:
  • An adult must purchase the motor for you

  • You must use a motor with an ejection charge rather than electronics-controlled blackpowder for recovery.

  • The supervising adult must be present when you insert the motor into the rocket

  • You can't go for level 2 certification (J, K, and L motors) until you turn 18.

I'm planning on going for mine soon. CATO, the rocket club to which I belong, has plenty of members willing to supervise me.

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