Rockets – A Hobby



Rockets have been the pinnacle of human ingenuity and modern engineering. There is no other field of engineering which is more sophisticated and requires a higher level of definitiveness of rocket science except for particle physics and the LHC. Though traditionally only state-owned organisations were able to launch rockets and satellites commercially, there has always been a group of amateur rocketeers who have had a calling towards this modern day marvel. Amateur Rocketry had it’s heyday during the cold war period especially following the launch of Sputnik. Since then the spirit of civilian rocketry has had it’s highs and lows, but nonetheless has managed to survive as the hobby of a few daring hobbits.


First of all what is Amateur rocketry?


Amateur rocketry is a hobby in which participants experiment with fuels and make their own rocket motors, launching a wide variety of types and sizes of rockets. Amateur rocketeers have been responsible for significant research into hybrid rocket motors, and have built and flown a variety of solid, liquid, and hybrid propellant motors.



After the cold war era the amateur rocketry or the improvised form of it, the experimental model rocketry has once again found growing support from hobbyists with the advent of private companies in the space exploration domain. Though India has not seen a lot of exposure towards amateur rocketry, the Indian landscape is seeing a paradigm shift. There are a group of students in Ahmedabad through the Vikram Sarabhai Community Centre pursuing very basic forms of model rocketry. And then are larger organisations like Indian Rocketry association and Rocketeers who are trying to popularise Amateur rocketry in our country.


The main reason why this idea hasn’t taken off in our country is because of the enmeshing bureaucratic paper works which you need consent on from various governmental departments, because launching rockets above 1000 ft above ground level would be an unauthorised infringement of the sovereign airspace of India and would attract legal proceedings and above all making rockets is no child’s play. It is costly and requires complex engineering. But the environment is changing and this has started to catch the attention of more and more youngsters. There is an inkling of plans for a team of amateur rocketeers in our college too.



Technology has been a great driving force in the advancement of human society. There is no reason to believe that this statement is going to be proven wrong in the near future. Rockets are going to launch us into a greater and brighter future.


Cheers. Happy Rocketeering.


If you too share the same fascination towards rockets or Engineering challenges and would like to work on more cool stuff like this, check out the link below.


Written by Karthikeyan.S 3rd Year, Department of Mechanical Engineering.



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