What is a research launch?

Part of the challenge of any hobby is going beyond what can be purchased off the shelf. Like many hobbies, a rocketeer can start by using pre-assembled parts and invest little time in the construction and preparation of basic rockets. However, many continue past that initial stage and enjoy the challenge of designing and building the components themselves.

Making a solid rocket motor provides challenges among several disciplines and can be very rewarding. There is nothing like watching a rocket take to the sky on a motor you designed, mixed, and assembled. Tripoli supports this effort by providing a set of safety rules and insurance for those who make and fly their own motors using approved materials. The flights take place at research launches.

Due to the complex nature of most of these rockets, a flyer must be a Tripoli member, have a Level 2 certification and meet other criteria to be able to launch a research motor. Tripoli members of any certification level can fly commercial motors at research launches.  Non-Tripoli members are unable to fly at a research launch.

Additionally, some clubs may require the flyer to prove the motor design by requiring members to attend motor safety classes and at times having a sample motor static burned in a test stand.  This is done to protect not only the club and TRA, but to protect the land owner and his property as well.