From a recent incident at a NAR launch.

Please ensure your teams are extra safe while working on rockets away from the Vertical Launch Area (VLA).

Here's the message from Dr. Hochheimer:

Safety Minute:

I would like to bring up a safety issue that occurred over the weekend. This is intended to be a reminder to all about the importance of ensuring that onboard or component electronic systems should be operated and secured in a safe manner, on and off the flying field.

An incident happened at one of the hotels in town where some of the National Sport Launch attendees were staying. Please note, while the incident is still being investigated, I will not provide specific information about what happened. In brief, a high-power rocket motor accidently ignited in a hotel room. There were no serious injuries, but the room was damaged and guests at the hotel had to leave their rooms while the fire department controlled the situation and cleared the smoke. Let me remind all of important safety considerations:

  • Please avoid bringing high-power motors into hotel rooms, especially with ignitors inserted into the motors.
  • Do not assemble ejection charges in hotel rooms.
  • Do not assemble complex rockets in hotel rooms.
  • Treat assembled rocket motors, igniters, and ejection charges with care and high levels of safety.
  • Please, make sure that all electronics are turned off and disconnected from any igniters or ejection charges when not in a safe location.
  • Please understand the safe operation of all electronics you use.
  • Please ensure there are no igniters in any rocket motors, particularly high-power motors, unless on the pad or otherwise deemed safe at an outdoor location.
  • Please follow the NAR Model Rocket and High-Power Safety Codes on and off the flying field.