National Association of Rocketry Safety Code

National Association of Rocketry (NAR) Safety Code

Great guidance for the safe enjoyment of model rockets.  We strongly suggest you read and heed.
  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.
  2. Motors / Engines — I will use only commercial made NAR certified model rocket engines in the manner recommended by the manufacturer. I will not alter the model rocket engine, its parts, or its ingredients.
  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 required.
  4. Weight and Power Limits — My model rocket will weigh no more that 1,500 grams (53 oz) at lift-off, and its rocket engines will produce no more than 320 Newton-seconds (4.45 Newtons equals 1.0 pound) of total impulse. My model rocket will weight no more than the engine manufacturer’s recommended maximum lift-off weight for the engine used, or I will use an engine recommended by the manufacture for my model rocket.
  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 —  Except for insects, my model rocket will never carry live animals or a payload that’s 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 site will be at least as large as that recommend in the following table:
Total Impulse (Newton•seconds) Equivalent Engine Classification Site Dimension (Minimums)
0.00 1.25 ¼A & ½A 50ft  ¦ 15m
1.26 2.50 A 100ft ¦ 30m
2.51 5.00 B 200ft ¦ 60m
5.01 10.0 C 400ft ¦ 120m
10.01 20.00 D 500ft ¦ 150m
20.01 40.00 E 1,000ft ¦ 300m
40.01 80.00 F 1,000ft ¦ 300m
80.01 160.00 G 1,000ft ¦ 300m
160.01 320.00 Gs# 1,500ft ¦ 450m
  1. Launcher — I will launch my model rocket from a stable launching device that provides rigid guidance until the model rocket has reached a speed adequate to ensure a safe flight. To prevent accidental eye injury, I will always place the launcher so that the end of the rod is above eye level or I will cap the end of the launch 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 engine exhaust from hitting the ground directly. I will always clear the area around my launch device of brown grass, dry weeds and other east-to-burn materials.
  2. Ignition System — The system I use to launch my model rocket will be remote controlled and electronically 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 (5 meters) from the model rocket when I am igniting model rocket engines totaling 30 Newton-seconds or less of total impulse and at least 30 feet (8 meters) from the model rocket when I am igniting model rocket engines totaling more than 30 Newton seconds of total impels. I will use only electrical Igniters recommended by the engine manufacturer that will ignite model rocket engines within one second of actuation of the launching switch.
  3. 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 liftoff before I begin my audible five second countdown. I will not launch a model rocket using it as a weapon. 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.
  4. Flying conditions — I will launch my model rocket only when the wind is less than 20 miles (30 kilometers) an hour. I will not launch my model rocket so it flies into clouds, near aircraft in flight, or in a manner that is hazardous to people or property.
  5. Pre-Launch Test — When conducting research activities with unproved model rocket designs or methods, I will, when possible, determine the reliability of my model rocket by pre-launch tests. I will conduct the launching of an unproved design in complete isolation from persons not participating in the actual launching.
  6. Launch Angle — My launch device will be pointed within 30 degrees of vertical. I will never use model rocket engines to propel any device horizontally.
  7. Recovery Hazards  — If a model rocket becomes entangled in a power line or other dangerous place, I will not attempt to retrieve it.