How can a novice rocket enthusiast get started in the hobby of model rockets? In this brief article, we’ll look at several good ways to safely and effectively become involved in this extremely popular pastime.
The First Step
If you are serious about becoming a rocket model hobbyist, you’ll need to find others like yourself. This is because you are going to have to discover where others meet and fire off the devices in your local area.
Remember that many towns and cities – even in rural areas – forbid a rocket enthusiast from launching anywhere they would like, and it is often best to join a club or group of hobbyists who comes together to get an approved location for their activities.
This means that your very first step in becoming a model rocket expert is to join some sort of local or nearby club or organization. Once you find the club, go ahead and participate in a “launch” or a day of events and activities. When you do that, it will help to move you to the next phase – the purchase of the rocket!
The Second Step
It is only from the experiences of other rocket experts that you’ll know which model to choose as your very first. Most hobbyists will have online vendors and local shops from which they obtain all of their supplies, and they will be able to give you the names and model styles that would be best for you to choose.
Go ahead and do a bit of comparison shopping because a lot of people find that there are starter kits that can save them a tremendous amount of time, money and effort. Consider that your first rocket is not going to ask much of you, and you won’t have to consider how to retrieve various parts or how to attach critical components – that comes later!
The Third Step
Firing your first rocket should be done with a bit of assistance and encouragement, and if you have taken our advice for Step 1, you will have already made some friends who will be more than happy to come out for your maiden voyage.
Be sure to document this launch with videos or photographs because you’ll definitely want to keep track of your progress.
Once you are comfortable with a basic model, ask friends to recommend the next level appropriate to your skills. There are intermediate and advanced beginner’s rocket models available at model stores that would be perfect for someone with only one or two rocket launches under their belt.
Have fun with these designs, because they are likely to be the very first in which you get to experiment with the position of certain pieces and parts. Keep detailed notes about your designs in order to avoid making the same mistakes or choosing the wrong configurations in the future.
After you have done a few launches and designed some rockets on your own, you can begin to participate in more groups and invest in different accessories like computer programs and books about rocket design and flight dynamics. Have fun!