Brant Project will build a 107% scale version of
Brant II and propel it with three "54,600 NS
motors (33% "P" motors), all lit on the pad." It
should reach 14,700 feet (4.48km) and a velocity of
Mach 1.20 (1320 Feet/Second)
They plan to launch the vehicle at BALLS
2004 in Nevada.
Propulsion Society [ERPS] ERPS is a San francisco Bay area group that
concentrates currently on development of liquid fuel
rockets. In particular, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) oxidizers
combined with fuels such as kerosene and jet fuel.
"EMRAA is a attempt to bring science fiction
into reality, to make manned rocketry common place.
EMRAA is a Internet meeting place where engineers,
technicians, aviators, and craftsmen can find each
other to start projects, share ideas and information,
and make friends with people who have liquid rocket
engines, hybrid rocket motors, and manned rocketry
as a common interest. This is a association, there
are no officers or dues. EMRAA is not a pie in the
EMRAA projects will be worked on in spare time by
most people. Capital will be generated by individuals,
advertising sponsors, and by bartering services. Even
though the aerospace giants are working on projects
their is no good reason why individuals and small
companies cannot get together and accomplish a lot
for manned rocketry. Remember what the Germans accomplished
before World War Two. If you know someone who is interested
tell them about this home page.
If you have a manned rocket project of any kind
we would love to hear about it. If you are building
a powerful safe rocket motor or engine let us know."
statement of purpose
The Experimental Sounding Rocket Association is dedicated
to getting students of all ages excited about rocketry
and space exploration through building and launching
experimental sounding rockets and other rocket-related
technology. An "experimental sounding" rocket bridges
the gap between "experimental" or "research" rockets
built by hobbyists and professional/government "sounding"
rockets that reach suborbital space, with potentially
some overlap at each end of the spectrum. Generally,
"experimental sounding rockets" can be a small as
launching a 10-pound payload to 10,000 feet above
the ground, to being able to launch a 50-pound payload
in excess of 100 miles altitude.
ESRA was formed in 2003 in Logan, Utah, as an outgrowth
of the "Unity IV" four-university (Brigham Young University,
University of Utah, Utah State University, and Weber
State University) student hybrid rocket program.
"In 2003 four guys Kevin Baxter an inventor,
Fred Holmes a patent attorney, Mark Holthaus an electrical
engineer, and Ted Rothaupt a mechanical engineer,
came together to form the Friends of Amateur Rocketry,
Inc. (FAR). Their goal was to encourage cooperation
between individuals and groups involved in amateur
rocketry. To this end, they purchased and developed
FAR site, a ten-acre property which is a safe location
to test and launch rockets.
FAR has since become a publicly supported nonprofit
corporation recognized by the IRS. Its mission has
expanded to educate the general public in science,
technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through
the use of amateur rocketry; and to foster rocket
technology by supporting individuals, hobbyists, student
groups, businesses, and other like-minded non-profit
entities. To date, FAR has worked with the Boy Scouts,
hobbyists, university students, aerospace start ups,
and the Mythbusters cable television show.
The FAR site is uniquely located under the R2508
controlled air space umbrella of Edwards Air Force
Base, at the edge of a military supersonic corridor,
many miles from any inhabited area. This allows us
to have a much higher launch altitude than most other
locations in California. Our FAA Wavier allows rockets
up to 9,208-lb. sec. total impulse. Launch altitudes
are up to 18,000-feet Monday through Friday and 50,000-feet
on Saturday and Sunday. We have also received all
the necessary local, state, and federal licenses,
allowing a user to test rocket technologies without
the overhead found at government and military ranges.
In addition, we have pyrotechnic operators licensed
by the California State Fire Marshal and the ATF to
help you safely manufacture, store, set up, test,
and launch rockets. Our facility has a blockhouse,
viewing bunkers, explosive magazines, fire fighting
equipment, propellant storage, static test stands,
and launch rails. Other facilities include: an assembly
building, work shops, storage, sun shade, weather
station, internet, electrical power, street lights
(for night operations), non-potable water, outhouse
(restrooms are under construction), and camping.
We have an assortment of heavy equipment such as:
all-terrain-forklift, skip loader, and boom crane
to help with loading, unloading, and setup. For fabrication
and assembly we have a lathe, mill, drill press, chop
saw, grinder, and welder. For safety, we have first
aid, automatic defibrillator, oxygen, and a helipad
for emergency evacuations.
This program is "run by an avid amateur / experimental
rocketeer, Darren Wright. He has designed and sucessfully
flown the largest motor east of the Misissippi, a 54,000ns
'P' motor. He will also be building the motors for the
second heaviest amateur rocket attempt, the Maryland
/ Delaware Rocketry Association (MDRA) group project,
the Liberty Project. He also runs propellant classes
to introduce rocketeers to the science of propellant
deisgn and manufacturing."
The OPL also works with the JAMSTAR
program at the Florida Institute of Technology mentioned
RRS, founded in 1947, is "...oldest continuously
operating amateur experimental rocket group in the United
States." RRS carries out a full range of rocketry
research including "...designing, building, and
testing solid, hybrid, and liquid fueled rockets."
media - images and videos of rocket flights and
This organization was formed in 2007 to carry out advanced
amateur rocketry and spacecraft (e.g. cubesat) projects.
The founders include Stanford smallsat guru Bob Twiggs
and Rocketman Ky Michaelson, leader of the CSXT
group that launched an amateur rocket to over 120km
They describe the group as follows:
Mavericks is where the most independent, and
most experienced high power rocketeers and civilian
space explorers collaborate, compete and fly experimental
projects that push beyond the hobby, to the next level
of professional civilian rocketry and space exploration.
Mavericks goes beyond sponsoring experimental launch
services, and focuses on the complete needs of the civilian
Rocket Guy Brian Walker planned in the early 2000s to
blast off on his own hydrogen peroxide rocket. Walker
is a successful toy inventor who is now building his
own rocket that he intends to ride to an altitude of
30 miles. Though he made considerable progress, with
other small budget efforts like that of Burt Rutan's
SpaceShipOne and John Carmack's Armadillo Aerospace
finding success, he decided not to pursue his own rocketship
Shot to Space
This team will attempt to launch an amateur rocket to
100km using a sugar based solid propellant rather than
a higher power ammonium perchlorate composite (which
the CSXT team used for its GoFast rocket.)
Poly Space Systems
This AIAA student chapter consists primarily of students
at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis
Obispo. It has made progress on a number of technology
demonstrator projects, some of which were sponsored
by NASA and Starcraft
An earlier project involved scale flight models of
Buzz Aldrin's StarBooster
design. They launched a 10ft model, for example, which
then glided back under ground control until near to
the ground it popped a parachute for a safe landing.
See the media
section for pictures and videos of their StarBooster
As part of the California Launch Vehicle Education
Initiative, the Aerospace
Engineering department at Cal State University at
Long Beach is collaborating with Garvey
Spacecraft Corporation in developing various types
of rockets and rocket technologies. (See, for example,
the picture of their aerospike engine at the top of
this page.) They have particularly focused on reusable
(or, at least, refurbishable) rockets and supporting
technology. The training from this has sent many students
into aerospace careers.
of the collaboration shows them developing the Kimbo
series of rockets from late 1990s to 2003 when they
started the Prospector sereies. A general goal has been
developing low cost reusable technologies. The series
began when John Garvey of Garvey
Spacecraft Corporation sought to continue the progress
made by the DC-X project but on an even lower budget.
A long term goal is the two stage Nanosat
Launch Vehicle (NLS) that would put small payloads
(up to 10kg) into orbit.
The group also works with the Reaction
Rocket Society and uses the Society's facilities
for engine tests and rocket flights.
This project, which currently involves about 35 students
along with faculty support, plans
"to build a reusable, autonomous, rocket powered
vehicle that can lift off under its own power, hover
at a low altitude to display its stability, and land
safely without damage. After the completed testing
of the first generation ALV [Autonomous Launch Vehicle],
a new ALV will be designed and fabricated each year,
building upon prior versions and improving ALV performance.
ASTRO will build and launch its first functional ALV
by the Spring of 2004."
"A group of amateur rocketeers who are donating
their time to assist University and High School Students
in the implementation of Rocketry Projects. The numbers
of involved Amateurs and Students grows every year.
We began with a small project in 2000 with a rocket
using only 360 Pound-seconds of thrust to the 2003 JAMSTAR
booster with 18,000 Pound-seconds of thrust."
The goal is to build a high altitude sounding rockets
to carry scientific payloads such as meterological
experiments. The group has built a P-class motor
- "the largest amateur motor ever built & successfully
fired on the East Coast."
The group launched in April of 2003 a sounding
rocket with a P motor booster and an unpowered second
stage Dart .
at Fredericksburg High School, Texas
The Aeroscience Department - Fredericksburg HS
offers a 2 year high school course, created by teacher
Brett Williams, that has been widely praised for its
successful rocket building efforts. The U.S. Congress
officially recognized their launch in 1998 as the first
high school rocket to break the sound barrier with a
2 meter rocket that was designed and built by the students.
High School Rocket-Building Course Takes Off
in Texas - Space News - April.2.2001
NASA Student Advanced Rocketry
MSFC Student Launch Initiative(SLI) -
Inspired by the success of the Fredericksburg
High School rocketry projects, see above, MSFC began
a program to involve high school students in nearby
Huntsville Alabama in high power rocket projects.
III - This project at Florida
Tech involves "the design and construction
of a rocket, deployable vehicles, and a control and
wireless communications system. The rocket will carry
the vehicles in its internal cargo bay and release
them at a predetermined altitude. The vehicles will
collect data, which then will be transmitted to a
ground station for storage and analysis."
(Embry-Riddle Future Space Explorers' and Developers'
Society) plans to launch a sounding rocket of its
own design to 122km (76 miles ).
MIT Rocket Team - "formed in an effort to
become the first student group to launch a rocket
into space. Begun in 1998, the team has developed
a new type of rocket engine, and is currently in the
process of testing the engine design."
- - ths program at "Spaceport Sheboygan has been
Wisconsin's home of Rockets for Schools since its
inception in 1995. May 14-15, 2004."..."Student
teams construct a rocket equipped with a powerful
motor that lifts it into high altitudes."
These groups fall in the grey area between
advanced amateur and full blown rocket companies. They
make and sell commercial products & services (or plan
to) but they also involve volunteers and students in their
projects and use advanced amateur facilities, such as
the Reaction Research Society's Mojave test site.
Carmack, co-founder of Id
Software and a key programmer for its games such
as Doom and Quake, became an amateur rocketry enthusiast
in the late 1990s and subsequently became highly proficient
at building innovative rockets for very low costs. For
many years his small but highly competent team consisted
mostly volunteers. However, after winning several contracts
with NASA, Air Force, and some private companies, AA
transformed into small business operation.
Armadillo followed an incremental "build a little,
test a little" approach in which trial and error
has given them a strong grip on the practical aspects
of building extremely robust yet low cost rocket engines.
The initial goal was to develop vertical takeoff/vertical
landing (VTVL) vehicles and to pursue the X PRIZE. After
the latter was won by Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne, they
regrouped and started a systematic approach to developing
low cost, fully reusable high altitude VTVLs with the
long term goal of a reusable orbital system.
In the summer of 2013, John Carmack put Armadillo
Aerospace into "hibernation". He wanted
to focus on his software jobs and also try to attract
outside investment. The three Stig high altitude sounding
rocket type projects had not gone very well, i.e. they
didn't reach space as intended and did not have soft
landings, and had been much more expensive than previous
Subsequently, some former members of Armadillo formed
Aerospace to continue the rocket development started
Aerospace web site provides a long series of postings
from Carmack about their activitieis. Carmack's reports
became less and lessfrequent over the years but there
is still many remarkably detailed reports in almost
an open source style for hardware.
This northern California group actively pursues a number
of projects including high altitude record attempts with
balloon launch, low-cost microgravity experiment vehicle,
micro-satellite design, orbital transfer vehicle design,
The group has "small core staff of about four
people and nearly 50 volunteers". John Powell,
the founder and head of the company, wants to include
both paid and volunteer workers in their group to carry
out a wide range of commercial, educational, and technology
The group has had Air Force contracts but generally
pursues its own long term goal of a high altitude station
from which rockets and perhaps even airships could be
sent to orbit.
This group, involving 10 core staff members and another
20 volunteers, is led by Bill Colburn and "started
in 1995 based on the earlier work from 1947 to 1965
of the Rocket Motor Research Society."
They are developing hybrid motor powered rockets with
the initial goal of reaching an altitude of 62 miles
The groups also collaborates with Micro Aerospace Solutions
on a contract from NASA to study Gelled Propellants.
They also have three other contracts from "Stanford
Research Institute for Gas Generators and research on
Aeroscience (eAc) - "manufactures hybrid
rocket motors for scientific, amateur, and hobby applications,
and conducts R&D for governmental applications. We
manufacture our hobby rocket motors under the Hypertek®
trademark." They also work closely with Cesaroni
Technology on these projects:
Association of Experimental Rocketry of the Pacific
- 22 ft model of the Soviet N1 moon rocket, including
42 first stage motors. The successful 3
stage launch on July 21, 2001 reached 1650
ft. Site includes lots of historica info on the
Rocket Launch Assist (ARLA) - Glen Olson and friends
are creating a combination pneumatic tube launcher
and ramjet second stage. The tube launcher would provide
the initial speed of ~1300mph (2200kph) at which the
ramjet could fire. The ramjet
stage would then reach up to 20mi ( 32km) and 3600mph
(5900kph) where it would release a rocket third stage.
Launch Assist concept was developed by
Aerospace Tracking & Recovery Team - "
team of Amateur Radio operators mostly in or near
Silicon Valley who perform or participate in tracking
and recovery operations for amateur rocketry and high-altitude
balloon ("amateur aerospace") flights."
Steve Bennett, a lecturer at Salford University, leads
the Starchaser project that has launched several advanced
rockets. The recent launch of the 11m, 747kg Nova rocket
received considerable media attention sucha as an article
at the BBC.
The project has developed into a commercial company
but still seems to involve students and volunteers.
The group's primary goal was the development of the
Thunderbird rocket for the X-Prize contest but they
did not get a flying vehicle buitl in time. Another
article describes the Thunderbird project.
Starchaser is now also holding a contest for a ride
on the Thunderbird.
REXUS - Sweden/Germany
The REXUS program (Rocket-borne Experiments for University
Students) involves Swedish and German students who put
science payloads on a Orion
rocket supplied by the Swedish
- Swiss Propulsion Laboratory
SPL is a non-profit group in Langenthal, Switzerland that
works with universities and commercial organizations to
further Swiss R&D in rocketry. Their projects include:
X-Bow I - sounding rocket
X-Bow II - 2 stage reusable suborbital with lift-off-mass
of ~1500kg, powered by LOX/kerosene engines on both
X-Bow III - 3 stage reusable vehicle of placing
small payload in LEO
- Australia Space Research Institute is a
not-or-profit organization that has several projects:
- advanced rocket development project at the
Australian Space Research Institute, a non-profit,
volunteer organization. The group also provides
rocket service for small research payloads.