NAR/TRA Safety Codes

NOTE: These codes are not up to date.  Please refer to the links to either the TRA or NAR safety guidelines

The following is a condensed version of the NAR/TRA HIGH POWER ROCKETRY SAFETY CODE. The complete code can be found on the websites of the two parent organization:

TRIPOLI Rocketry Association (TRA)              National Association of Rocketry (NAR)

(This is a combined code for viewing simplicity - Items in RED apply to high powered (HP) rockets)

1.   Materials.  My model rocket will be made of lightweight materials such as paper, wood, rubber, and plastic suitable for the power used and the performance of my model rocket. I will not use any metal for the nose cone, body, or fins of a model rocket.

1a.  (HP)  Materials.  My high power rocket will be made of lightweight materials such as paper, wood, rubber, and plastic, or the minimum amount of ductile metal suitable for the power used and the performance of my rocket.

1b.  (HP)  Certification. I will fly high power rockets only when certified to do so by Tripoli Rocketry Association, Inc., or the National Association of Rocketry.

1c.  (HP)  Operating Clearances. I will fly high power rockets only in compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations Part 101 (Section 307, 72 Statute 749, 49 United States Code 1348, "Airspace Control and Facilities," Federal Aviation Act of 1958) and all other federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, statutes, and ordinances.

2.   Motors.  I will use only commercially-made, NAR/TRA-certified model rocket motors in the manner recommended by the manufacturer. I will not alter the model rocket motor, its parts, or its ingredients in any way.

3.   Recovery.  I will always use a recovery system in my model rocket that will return it safely to the ground so it may be flown again. I will use only flame-resistant recovery wadding if wadding is required by the design of my model rocket.

4.   Weight and Power Limits.  My model rocket will weigh no more than 1,500 grams (53 ounces) at lift-off and its rocket motors will produce no more than 320 Newton-seconds (71.9 pound-seconds) of total impulse. My model rocket will weigh no more than the motor manufacturers recommended maximum lift-off weight for the motors used, or I will use motors recommended by the manufacturer for my model rocket.

4a.  (HP) Weight and Power Limits.  My rocket will weigh no more than the motor manufacturer's recommended maximum liftoff weight for the motors used, or I will use motors recommended by the manufacturer of the rocket kit.  My high power rocket will be propelled by rocket motors that produce no more than 40,960 Newton-seconds (9,204 pound-seconds) of total impulse.

5.   Stability.  I will check the stability of my model rocket before its first flight, except when launching a model rocket of already proven stability.

6.   Payloads.  My model rocket will never carry live animals (except insects) or a payload that is intended to be flammable, explosive, or harmful.

7.   Launch Site.  I will launch my model rocket outdoors in a cleared area, free of tall trees, power lines, buildings, and dry brush and grass.  My launch area will be at least as large as that recommended in the accompanying table.

7a.  (HP)  Launch Site.  I will launch my high power rocket outdoors in a cleared area, free of tall trees, power lines, buildings, and dry brush and grass. My launcher will be located at least 1,500 feet from any occupied building. My launch site will have minimum dimensions at least as great as those in the Launch Site Dimension Table. As an alternative, the site's minimum dimension will be one-half the maximum altitude of any rocket being flown, or 1,500 feet, whichever is greater.  My launcher will be no closer to the edge of the launch site than one-half of the minimum required launch site dimension.

8.   Launcher.  I will launch my model rocket from a stable launch device that provides rigid guidance until the model rocket has reached a speed adequate to ensure a safe flight path. To prevent accidental eye injury, I will always place the launcher so the end of the rod is above eye level or I will cap the end of the rod when approaching it. I will cap or disassemble my launch rod when not in use and I will never store it in an upright position. My launcher will have a jet deflector device to prevent the motor exhaust from hitting the ground directly. I will always clear the area around my launch device of brown grass, dry weeds, or other easy-to-burn materials.

9.   Ignition System.  The system I use to launch my model rocket will be remotely controlled and electrically operated. It will contain a launching switch that will return to "off" when released.  The system will contain a removable safety interlock in series with the launch switch. All persons will remain at least 15 feet from the model rocket when I am igniting model rocket motors totaling 30 Newton-seconds or less of total impulse and at least 20 feet from the model rocket when I am igniting model rocket motors totaling more than 30 Newton-seconds of total impulse. I will use only electrical igniters recommended by the motor manufacturer that will ignite model rocket motors within one second of actuation of the launching switch.

9a.   (HP)  Ignition System.  The system I use to launch my high power rocket will be remotely controlled and electrically operated. It will contain a launching switch that will return to "off" when released. The system will contain a removable safety interlock in series with the launch switch. All persons will remain at a distance from the high power rocket and launcher as determined by the total impulse of the installed rocket motor(s) according to the accompanying Safe Distance Table.

10.     Launch Safety.  I will ensure that people in the launch area are aware of the pending model rocket launch and can see the model rocket's lift-off before I begin my audible five-second countdown. I will not launch my model rocket so its flight path will carry it against a target. If my model rocket suffers a misfire, I will not allow anyone to approach it or the launcher until I have made certain that the safety interlock has been removed or that the battery has been disconnected from the ignition system. I will wait one minute after a misfire before allowing anyone to approach the launcher.

11.     (HP) Flying Conditions.  I will launch my high power rocket only when the wind is no more than 20 miles per hour and under conditions where the rocket will not fly into clouds or when a flight might be hazardous to people, property, or flying aircraft. Prior to launch, I will verify that no aircraft appear to have flight paths over the launch site.

12.     (HP) Pre-Launch Test.  When conducting research activities with unproven designs or methods I will, when possible, determine the reliability of my high power rocket by pre-launch tests. I will conduct the launching of an unproven design in complete isolation from persons not participating in the actual launching.

13.     Launch Angle.  My launch device will be pointed within 30 degrees of vertical. I will never use model rocket motors to propel any device horizontally.

13a.   (HP) Launch Angle.  I will not launch my high power rocket so its flight path will carry it against a target. My launch device will be pointed within 20 degrees of vertical. I will never use rocket motors to propel any device horizontally.

14.     Recovery Hazards.  If a model rocket becomes entangled in a power line or other dangerous place, I will not attempt to retrieve it.

14a.   (HP) Recovery Hazards.  If a high power rocket becomes entangled in a power line or other dangerous place, I will not attempt to retrieve it. I will not attempt to catch my high-power rocket as it approaches the ground.

Rocket Motor Classification

Installed Total Impulse (N-sec)

Equivalent Motor Type

Minimum Site Dimensions

Equivalent

 

 

feet

meters

miles

km

0.00 - 2.50

A / A

50

15

-

-

2.51 - 5.00

B

100

50

-

-

5.01 - 10.00

C

200

61

-

-

10.01 - 20.00

D

400

122

0.1

0.2

20.01 - 40.00

E

500

155

0.1

0.2

40.01 - 80.00

F

1000

305

0.2

0.3

80.01 - 160.00

G

1000

305

0.2

0.3

160.01 - 320.00

H

1,500

457

0.3

0.5

320.01 - 640.00

I

3,000

914

0.5

1.0

640.01 - 1,280.00

J

5,280

1,609

1.0

1.6

1,280.01 - 2,560.00

K

2,580

1,609

1.0

1.6

2,560.01 - 5,120.00

L

10,560

3,219

2.0

3.2

5,120.01 - 10,240.00

M

15,840

4,828

3.0

4.8

10,240.01 - 20,480.00

N

21,120

6,347

4.0

6.4

20,480.01 - 40,960.00

O

26,400

8,047

5.0

8.0

Newton / Pound Comparison

Designation

Impulse - Nwt. / Sec.

Impulse - Lb. / Sec.

A

0.00 - 1.25

0.15 - 0.28

A

1.26 - 2.50

0.29 - 0.56

B

2.51 - 5.00

0.57 - 1.12

C

5.01 - 10.00

1.13 - 2.24

D

10.01 - 20.00

2.25 - 4.49

E

20.01 - 40.00

4.50 - 8.99

F

40.01 - 80.00

9.00 - 17.98

G

80.01 - 160.00

17.99 - 35.95

H

160.01 - 320.00

36.00 - 72.00

I

320.01 - 640.00

72.01 - 144.00

J

640.01 - 1,280.00

144.01 - 288.00

K

1,281.01 - 2,560.00

288.01 - 640.80

L

2,560.01 - 5,120.00

640.81 - 1,152.00

M

5,120.01 - 10,240.00

1,152.01 - 2,304.00

N

10,240.01 - 20,480.00

2,304.01 - 5,128.65

O

20,480.01 - 40,960.00

5,128.66 - 9,216.00

P

40,960.01 - 81,920.00

9,216.01 - 18,408.99

Safe Distance Table

Installed Total Impulse (N-sec)

Equivalent Motor Type

Minimum Safe Distances

Complex Rockets

 

 

feet

meters

feet

meters

0.00 - 2.50

A / A

15

5

30

10

2.51 - 5.00

B

15

5

30

10

5.01 - 10.00

C

15

5

30

10

10.01 - 20.00

D

15

5

30

10

20.01 - 40.00

E

30

10

60

20

40.01 - 80.00

F

35

11

70

22

80.01 - 160.00

G

35

11

70

22

160.01 - 320.00

H

50

15

100

30

320.01 - 640.00

I

100

50

200

61

640.01 - 1,280.00

J

100

50

200

61

1,280.01 - 2,560.00

K

200

61

300

91

2,560.01 - 5,120.00

L

300

91

500

152

5,120.01 - 10,240.00

M

500

152

1,000

305

10,240.01 - 20,480.00

N

1,000

305

1,500

457

20,480.01 - 40,960.00

O

1,500

457

2,000

610

 

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