New model rocket for Christmas?

Did you get a new model rocket kit for Christmas? Check out these resources for rocketry beginners or recent returnees to model rockets:

  • Stine’s Handbook of Model Rocketry is the book to read.
  • Apogee Components — There are lots of online and local vendors of model rocket kits, parts, and accessories. See the list mentioned below. I’m singling out apogeerockets.com here because when you make your first order they’ll send you a free DVD showing the whole process of building a rocket.
  • The National Association of Rocketry (NAR). Web site has a good deal of useful stuff, including
    • Model Rocket Building Techniques — topic including: The Best Tools, Building Tips, Filling Seams & Balsa, Parachutes, Kevlar, Masking & Painting, Budget Rocketry.
    • Information on local clubs — If you’re in the US, there may be an NAR section in your area; check it out! Not only can the members give a newcomer some great help and advice, but if they’re running regular launches in your area it’ll save you the trouble of trying to find a good launch site. Don’t shy away. They’ll be glad to have you aboard.
  • Another rocketry organization is the Tripoli Rocketry Association. Their emphasis is more on high power rocketry but even if that’s not your interest, check them out. Local Tripoli clubs do regular launches too, and you’ll probably connect with some model rocket enthusiasts through them. Canadians, check out the Canadian Association of Rocketry. Similar organizations exist in some other countries; Google for them.
  • There are a couple of online forums; I personally have some qualms about rocketryforum.com but it’s popular. oldrocketforum.com is smaller with more of a focus on classic kits; I prefer it.
  • There’s lots of information at rocketreviews.com. It can be a little daunting to navigate but it’s well worth it.
  • I keep a list of rocket kit producers and a spreadsheet of rocketry vendors.
  • Check out some rocketry blogs! Like this very one, Rich’s Rockets, for example. Latest posts are here, and you can get updates via an RSS subscription or by email using the form at the top of the right sidebar. There are lots of links to other blogs and other rocketry sites to explore in the sidebars on this site.

 

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