New to Amateur Rocketry?

Getting started with Amateur Rocketry

  • Amateur rocketry allows you to design, build and launch your own Rockets! 
  • In Australia, Rocket launches are organised and operated by Tripolli Rocketry Association (TRA) Prefectures, also called rocketry groups/associations. 
  • To start your rocketry journey, you need to become a member of the TRA, and your local rocketry group/associations. 
  • If you live in NSW, your local rocketry association is the New South Wales Rocketry Association (NSWRA). You can access the NSWRA website here.
  • If you live in the ACT, your local rocketry group is the Canberra Rocketry Group (CRG). You can access the CRG website here.
  • If you live in Victoria, your local rocketry association is the Victorian Rocketry association. You can access the VRA website here.
  • You can become a member of the TRA here.

Next, it’s time to build your first rocket! 

  • Amateur rockets are usually classified as low, medium or high powered.
  • As your amateur rocketry career progresses, you will move from building and launching low powered to high powered rockets!
  • Because you are a beginner, you will start with a low power rocket (LPR) 

Building your first LPR 

  • Building your first rocket may seem like a daunting task. Here is a link to an educational article that will introduce you to the basics of rocketry and give you a comprehensive foundational knowledge. There are also many other online resources available, including videos, guides and instruction manuals. A simple "beginner amateur rocketry guide" google will set you on the right track!
  • You can build your LPR from scratch, or you can purchase a rocket “kit”. Rocket kits are a great way to start your rocketry journey as they include all the parts you need, and some LPR kits even come ready to fly, meaning you can take the rocket out of the box and launch it without any additional building work required. 
  • We don’t sell Rocket Kits yet, however you can purchase LPR kits from several hobby stores in Sydney. 

Launching your first LPR

  • Once you have your first LPR, you will need a Low-Power rocket motor to fly it! 
  • In Australia, most Low Powered rocket motors are the Estes brand. We don’t currently sell Estes rocket motors, but they are available to buy at several hobby shops in Sydney. You need to be over 18 to buy them, so if you are under 18, make sure to bring a parent or guardian along with you to the store.
  • You need to select a motor that is suitable for your rocket. Most rocket kits will provide a list of suitable rocket motors. If you built your LPR from scratch, you’ll need to use a rocketry simulator like OpenRocket to check which rocket motors are suitable for you. You can find more information about getting started with OpenRocket in the “using OpenRocket” section below. 
  • Once you have your rocket and your motor, it’s time to take your rocket to the next local launch and fly it! 
  • You can check your local rocketry group/associations event calendar to find out when and where the next launch is taking place! 

Starting Medium Power Rocketry

  • Once you have experienced the joy of successful LPR launches, you may want to start launching bigger rockets with more powerful rocket motors!
  • You can build a medium powered rocket from scratch, or you can purchase a kit. These kits may be a little tricky to buy in Australia, so you may need to buy them from the USA. Apogee Components is a US company that sells medium power rocket (MPR) kits and ships to Australia. 
  • Once you have your Medium powered rocket, you’ll need to simulate it’s flight using a simulator like OpenRocket to determine suitable rocket motors to use. See our “Using OpenRocket” section below to get started.
  • Once you have determined a suitable motor, that’s where we come in. We sell Cesaroni Technology Incorporated (CTI) Rocket motors here in Australia. Have a look at our stock pages to find one that works for you! 
  • CTI rocket motors are “reloadable” motor systems. This means that each time you launch, you keep the “motor hardware” to use again on future flights. 
  • To do your first MPR launch with a CTI motor, you’ll need to buy a CTI motor, and the CTI hardware for that sized motor. We sell both the motor and the hardware. 
  • Once you have your rocket, rocket motor, and rocket motor hardware, you are ready to launch! Check your local rocketry group/associations website to find out when and where your next launch is! 
  • Depending on which club you launch with, you may need to become “Medium Power Certified”. You can check your local rocketry group/associations website for details on how to get this certification.

Starting High Power rocketry

  • Once you have experience successfully launching MPR’s, you may wish to take your rocketry to the next level and launch your first High Power Rocket (HPR).
  • There are three levels of HPR’s, L1, L2 and L3. Each level allows you to purchase and use larger rocket motors. 
  • You will start by attempting your HPR L1 certification flight. You can check your local group/associations website for more details on how to achieve this. We sell HPR L1, L2 and L3 motors, and their associated hardware.

Using OpenRocket

  • OpenRocket is a free rocket flight simulation tool for amateur rocketeers. The software is user friendly, but it may take a little while to become familiar with. 
  • Start by downloading and installing OpenRocket. Here is a link to OpenRockets website, where your can download the software and find instructions to install it. 
  • Once you have installed OpenRocket, we recommend using this online tutorial video to become familiar with using it.
  • If you would like to purchase motors from us, be sure to stimulate your flights with a Cesaroni Technology Inc Rocket motor!

Choosing the right motor hardware for your rocket motor

  • CTI Rocket motor hardware is classified by 2 variables. The first is the diameter of the motor. This can be 29mm, 38mm, 54mm, 75mm and 98mm. The second is the length of the motor, this is measured in “grains”. Different motors contain either 1,2,3,4,5,6 or 6XL grains of propellant. 
  • Our motor product pages will tell you both the diameter and number of grains in each motor we sell, so you can be sure of which Hardware kit you need! 

Understanding how Rocket Motors are named

Rocket motor names have three distinct parts that provide you with information about the motor. Lets take a look at the 114-G100-14A as an example. 

  1. 114 - This is the total impulse of the rocket motor measure in newton seconds (Ns).
  2. G100- The "G" is the class of motor, classes start at A (smallest impulse class). The "100" is the average amount of thrust produced in newtons (N). 
  3. 14A- This is the delay time in seconds. This motor will fire its ejection charge approximately 14 seconds after the motor starts burning. Depending on your planned time to apogee this ejection charge can be delayed with a delay drilling tool.

Still have questions? 

No worries! Amateur rocketry is a complex but extremely rewarding and enjoyable hobby. Please feel free to email or call us if you have questions about Amateur Rocketry, or the products we sell! You can find our contact information on the Contact us page.