Re: (Junior?) HPR Certification

Mark Joseph

Hi George,

Welcome! Your use of the email group is just fine.

There are many things to say in response to your questions, and my reply certainly won't cover everything. We would love to help you get started in high power rocketry, but not with sugar motors.

Both NAR and Tripoli have some Junior HPR Certification programs. Neither will allow the use of sugar motors, or any non-commercial, non-certified motors for any high power certification flight.

Central Illinois Aerospace is an NAR "section" or club. NAR launches and activities include the use of commercially manufactured, certified motors, only. Amateur, Research, or EXperimental motors are not permitted at NAR launches.

Tripoli does accommodate research motors under certain conditions, and only a *very* specific type of sugar motor. Research motor activity, even under Tripoli, requires a Level 2 certification. When one does start exploring experimental motors, the very best way is to get connected with an experienced mentor.

I know that sugar motors are an attractive route to start, as it appears to be inexpensive and accessible - with a lot of info on the Web. But please, PLEASE beware. The danger to you, your friends, family, and home is very real. Restrictions on sugar motors are in place because they pose several, difficult to control risks in the fabrication process and use. Some of those include melting point very close to flash point (sudden fire), likelihood of large voids in the solid propellant (sudden over-pressure), fragmentation of the most commonly used casting or motor case material (PVC), causing very serious injuries.

Please take a look at the NAR resources on HPR activities and certification at, and perhaps look into a couple of great books, "Make: High Power Rocketry," and "Modern High Power Rocketry 2." Both are great guides to the process of designing, building, and flying high power rockets. The second book is getting a bit old, but still has a lot of great information.

**Ah, I see that Jonathan has replied with lots of good info while I was writing this. I'll stop here, and just say that we look forward to meeting you, working with you, and seeing you at a launch.



From: <> on behalf of George Stevens <geostevens888@...>
Sent: Monday, December 28, 2020 2:09 PM
Subject: [cia-rocketry] (Junior?) HPR Certification

First of all, I apologize if I’m using this incorrectly, I’ve never used an email group like this before.

I’m a high school student and I’ve been launching small model rockets for a couple years now, and recently got started making small sugar rockets with a friend. I’m looking to start working on my HPR certification, but I’m not really sure where I have to start, especially because I’m not 18 so I think I have to get a Junior HPR cert instead of a regular one.

I have two main questions: what should I start doing to work toward an HPR certification, and would it be possible to use sugar rockets to get my certification?

Thank you for any help you can provide!
-George Stevens

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