Message from the President—eRocketeer 3.2023
Fellow NAR Member,
Congratulations to NASA astronaut and fellow rocketeer Woody Hoburg, the pilot on the SpaceX Crew 6 mission to the International Space Station that launched on March 2, 2023. Woody flew rockets before he started riding them! He was a TARC competitor from North Allegheny High School in PA in the first year of the TARC program (2002-2003) and went on from there to larger high power rockets and to MIT, first as a student then as a professor, before his selection as an astronaut.
As an organization, the NAR is doing so much to help young rocketeers succeed in academics, go on to STEM careers, and now even go to space. That’s right, when you, our members, help a young child fly their first rocket, do build sessions with scout and school groups, volunteer to mentor TARC, NASA Student Launch, Spaceport America, and ARLISS teams, your contributions are enriching the lives of these children and young adults.
What else can you do to encourage rocketry? Did you know members ages 14-17 are eligible to participate in our Junior HPR Level 1 program. This program offers a great opportunity to mentor younger members who are interested in high power rocketry. When we start our younger members off on a path of good building skills and a solid understanding of the nuances of building rockets to withstand the power of more powerful motors, you are giving these rocketeers a solid base to grow. For more information, go to our website.
Our flying season is getting started for the year. I am looking for some free time to check out my fleet for safety and repair needs. You can make your first launch of the year a safe and successful one by checking out your rockets, cleaning them up, and making sure they are flight worthy. Pay extra attention to those rockets that have been retired for a while; some of our building materials don’t always age well.
NAR Sections should also remember to do an annual safety stand-down. Section leaders should take some time at the beginning of your next launch or during an upcoming meeting to review procedures, make improvements to outdated safety operations, and clean up that safety gear to be ready for the season.
I’ll conclude with a plea to all of our members to fly safely and ensure our excellent safety record remains intact. The NAR recently paid our annual insurance payment — $107,000 this year. A significant contributor to the premium is our membership numbers (not a bad problem). I can’t imagine what the bill would be if we did not have the excellent record of safety we have. I also want to remind all that our insurance is not an excuse to fly unsafely. Please follow the safety codes, use common sense, don’t fly under marginally safe conditions, and help us promote our safety culture. NAR insurance is a safety net for good safe culture, not risky behavior.
Until next month, please be safe, pay it forward, and have fun!
John N. Hochheimer
NAR 74537 L3