General Information

Why is it called Spudnik?

NSL West aka “Spudnik” 2024 is being held in one of the nation’s largest potato growing regions. In recognition of the area’s agricultural significance we named the event Spudnik. Look for our special Spudlofting contest during the event.

When is NSL-W?

NSL West is scheduled for three days, Saturday May 25 through Monday May 27. Please check our Schedule Page for more information.

What are the fees and membership requirements?

Registration fees for NSL-W are as follows:

  • Regular participant flyers $49 for all days.
  • Youth 0-17 = free
  • Spectators = free
  • Camping on site is $30.00 for any number of nights.
  • Parking = free

You absolutely, positively, must be a registered member of NAR or TRA in order to access the launch pads. Please come with a current membership card in-hand and present it along with your valid ID at check-in. Local youth (San Luis Valley communities) participating with a registered group are exempt from the membership requirement.

If you do not have a valid NAR or TRA card at time of check-in, you will be required to register or renew your NAR membership and pay the annual fee. Bring cash or a checkbook; there’s no credit card service on site.

Where is Alamosa, CO?

Alamosa CO is in south-central Colorado, in the heart of the amazing San Luis Valley. We enjoy 350 days of sunshine per year tucked between the San Juan and Sangre de Cristo Mountain Ranges. We are 4 hours from Denver, 3.5 hours from Albuquerque, 3 hours from Durango, and 7 hours from Lubbock. We are 10 hours or less of drive-time from Las Vegas NV, Salt Lake City UT, Phoenix AZ, Sheridan WY, Lincoln NE, Topeka KS, Oklahoma City OK, El Paso TX, and points between.

What’s the waiver going to be?

We will not have waiver confirmation until the FAA issues our COA in April or May. We are requesting 30k’ agl with call-in windows to 50k’ agl. The base elevation is 7,600’ (yep, that’s seven thousand eight hundred feet above sea level at RSO….) so we STRONGLY recommend that you take a look at your parachute plan. Air density is about 30% lower here, and the rockets come in faster under parachutes sized for denser air.

Motor Requirements?

Motors must be a NAR certified, commercially manufactured rocket propulsion device as specified by the NAR Safety Code. The field is open to O motors. However, Registrants intending to launch motors of N and O impulse must contact the event director through more than 45 days ahead of time to discuss logistics.

What size launch pads will be available?

There will be a variety of pad sizes, with rods and rails. These will range from low power pads with 1/8″ and 3/16″ rods,  mid-power pads with 1/4″ and 3/8″ rods and 1010 rails, up to large high power pads with rods up to 1515 rail. If you need something special, please plan on bringing it and contact us well ahead of time so that we can do our best to accommodate.

Will there be night flying?

We will host a Sunday Night Launch for one hour beginning at 9:00pm. Low Power Only.

Is there camping on site?

Yes! Dry camping, no hookups. It may be close to freezing at night so plan accordingly. When registering, please pick the camping option so we know how many people will be camping. Please set up camp in designated areas.

Can I drop-ship stuff to myself for the event?

Absolutely. Big Valley HobbyTown is our drop-ship location. Send your stuff as follows:

NSL 2023 care of HobbyTown
709 Main St
Alamosa, CO 81101

Hobbytown will receive your packages and store them for free until you come to retrieve them. Make darn sure your name is on the package somewhere and that you have matching ID.

Can a youth group attend?

Absolutely. Youth 0-17 fly free. 18+ must pay the flying fee. All flyers must register through the website regardless of age. Spectator/non-flyers are welcome to come watch for free. If your youth group is looking for a church, gymnasium, or similar space to camp/sleep in, contact the San Luis Valley Rocketeers and we will help you find a place to crash. Erm, sleep. Crash probably isn’t the best word.

Volunteer Perks?

  • All fliers are expected to pay it forward by volunteering for one two-hour shift.
  • If you volunteer for 3 shifts, you may request a reserved space on the flight line.

Can I bring my dog to NSL?

This is not a good idea. The launch site is an extreme environment that is potentially dangerous to dogs (and other living things). The only shade is what you bring with you. A dog, or anyone else, who is not acclimated can overheat and dehydrate very quickly. For a dog, it is difficult to tell anyone about the symptoms in time to get help. Heat illness can become life-threatening in the time it takes you to launch and recover a rocket. We have a very good dog boarding place called All 4 Paws. To board your animal visit:

How can I help Pay It Forward?

  1. Volunteer for Range Duty while registering for NSL.
  2. Donate $20 during registration to buy a youth membership for a local kid.
  3. Slow down and take time to make the kids at the event welcome. Take one (and their parents) under your wing and show them how to enjoy the event.
  4. Be safe and have fun.

How do I become a vendor at NSL-W?

San Luis Valley Rocketeers welcomes all hobby, space and rocketry-centric vendors. Please visit the vendors page for info.