I was just wondering what the current membership numbers are for the
NAR. All they say on their website is a cryptic note about "in the past
50 years over 80,000 people have joined the NAR" but not a word about
current member numbers. I am a BAR and got around to looking up the NAR
website and just about fainted when I saw the membership price for
'senior' members. Geez when I dropped my NAR membership right after
high school in 89 or 90 membership was only about $20, but hey when your
in school and busier than a bee every $20 counts so that's why I let it
go. Kids were only like $12 or $15 back then. When I saw that kids are
now $25 and adults are charged $62.50 I was shocked! Sure we have more
money now but with a two year old in the house that $62 is like 20-25%
of my hobby fund for the YEAR. When and why did they go up so much?
Also, when did they stop offering subscriptions to "Sport Rocketry"? Is
that to twist your arm into membership? All I can deduce from what I've
read is either 1) the NAR is so big that they figure they can charge
whatever they want and if somebody doesn't have the money to join it's
like "so what" (highly unlikely) or 2) the NAR has dwindled to the point
that to pay the bills they have to charge the remaining 'old-time
membership' an arm and leg to keep going, knowing they'll pay it
Not trying to step on toes here but it's kinda rediculous. The only
reason I looked into the NAR was for the magazine; I fly on my own farm
and don't care about the insurance or competing and I'm not interested
in anything over F power anyway. But as sort of an outsider it really
looks like NAR is shooting itself in the foot. Just wondering:(
Thanks for the replies. I appreciate it. It is interesting (but sad)
to see how things turn out after you've been gone awhile. I've recently
gotten re-interested in model rocketry after about a 15 or so year
hiatus. I have a 4.5 year old nephew and a nearly 2 year old daughter
and realized that it would be a great hobby for them to get involved in.
In cleaning out my stuff from my recently departed Grandmother's attic,
I came across my old collection of "American Spacemodeling" magazines
from high school. I was an NAR member from late 86 until late 90. I've
been re-reading all those old issues because of all the great
information that was in them. It's really interesting to see the goals
and how they panned out though.
In several of the 'President's Corner' articles I was re-reading from
87-88 spoke of soon breaking the all-time membership record of 5,702
members in 1972; that they were at nearly 5,500 and on course to meet
their goal of 10,000 NAR members within another year or so. I don't
know how close they came but I can certainly see why it's far short of
even 5,500 now. Sure is interesting to go back and re-read the
attitudes and ideas and goals that were in mind back then and see how
they turned into or out of reality. In reading the posting on rmr about
'what goes around comes around again' and just having re-read the
excitement and hoopla surrounding the raising of model rocketry's limits
from 1lb rockets to 3.3 pound rockets and up to 62.5 grams of
propellent, even the new 'whiz-bang' composite propellants, to see that
NAR-TRA is duking it out in a huge neverending lawsuit with BATFE over
what was a done deal back then really seems weird. Have I missed
something? Isn't BATFE just saying they're taking jurisdiction over
anything more than 62.5 grams of propellant (IOW high power motors)
which is what they said and did back in 87-88 when the weight and
propellant limits were increased anyway? So what gives? The new rules
everybody was overjoyed with in 88 are now suddenly totally unacceptable
and trampling our rights?? Have I missed something??
It's also interesting to note what G. Harry Stine said in the article
about the Pearl River Seminar in the Aug. 88 "American Spacemodeling".
He said we were teetering on disaster and that high power could hurt us
(the hobby). Sure seems that way from what I've been reading lately.
Not that I'm anti-HPR but I can see where a line has to be drawn
somewhere. So why is the NAR involved in a huge neverending lawsuit
over the very limits we wanted in 87? With the ever increasing power
and size of HPR rockets it's pretty hard to distinguish between what's
considered HPR and Amateur rocketry today, or even commercial space
company activities. Some HPR rockets are as big as sounding rockets for
pity's sake. So, the gov't decides to regulate them. How does this
affect me when I'm perfectly happy on my 453 gm/62.5 gm side of the
Well, having been a cotton farmer and being a cattle rancher, I can tell
you that the gov't is in the regulating business. There is nothing they
like better, and it's only going to get worse not better. It started
out in agriculture with having to get pesticide licenses. "Here, come
sit in this seminar for 2 hours and we'll give you a certificate." A
few years later it's "you have to have a license, but certificate
holders are grandfathered in". Couple years later it's "everybody's
gotta have a license, come take this 8 hour class and pay $50 for it and
another $50 for the license and then go get 15 more hours of training
before you can renew." Then here comes boll weevil eradication, you get
to pay us $20 an acre from now on and mandatory participation or get out
of the business. So I got out, put it all in cows and guess what, now
Uncle Sam wants me to get the equivalent of a Social Security number for
every animal on the farm and report everything that happens to them to a
gov't database. Oh, BTW, you have to pay for it out of your own pocket
though it won't help you a bit. We just need to know what you're doing.
I'm sure you understand.
See a pattern developing?? Good luck and God help us all... OL' JR
So it's ok to let HPR die? Where do we draw the line? I think Stine
also said that when he founded the NAR back in the 50's, it wasn't the
National Association of Rockets under one Pound, but the National
Association of Rocketry, all inclusive.
If we allow the ATF to regulate >62.5g motors improperly will they stop?
Or will that set the precedence to allow them to regulate < 62.6g
motors? Where do we draw the line?
The Government can't just "decide" to regulate them. We have a
constitution that sets the limits of federal power and laws that define
how they can use that power. If we "relax and enjoy it" for HPR will it
stop there? Or will the 62.5g become 6.25g? Where do we draw the line?
Then you of all people should know that the Federal Government has
overstepped its bounds. Luckily we have a court system that allows us
as citizens to challenge the Federal Government.
"They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I
wasn't a Communist."
Then the NAR membership drops by x amount. The powers that be at the
NAR have decided that embracing high power rocketry is the path to take.
The alternative is to shun HPR, in which case those members leave,
taking their resources and knowledge with them. But make no mistake,
you are not alone with the opinion you have.
Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.. Sorry that is the incorrect answer.
The total NAR membership reported at NARAM 48 was 4560
17 Life ***********************
G. Harry Stine was very conflicted about HPR..... but I think you have to
take what G.Harry Stine said at that NARAM-38 town meeting and put it into
into context. THere was a full scale war raging within the ranks of the NAR
about HPR. Initially the NAR leadership of the time was totally and
completely opposed to HPR....until they saw their now sisiter organization,
the TAR start growing by leaps and bounds, as adult members deserted the
NAR ship for the TRA ship. This of course culminated in the early 90's
attempt by the TRA to take over the NAR.... I would submit that one of the
main reasons the NAR wanted to do HPR was for plain old economic
self-interest. The NAR membership was declining, as adult members by the
droves went over to the then perceived "dark side" and the TRA. The NAR
wanted and needed HPR to stop this drain on it adult NAR membership.
Anyway back to NARAM-38 and Mr. Stines comments....HPR was tearing the NAR
apart, and G.Harry was the only person in the orgainzatuion of any stature
that everybody on both sides would listen to... So to finally stop the
warfare, G.Harry made his famous comments. Whether he actually did embrace
HPR in the end I doubt if we will ever know the truth.
Up until the mid 80's the NAR was the NAR under 1lb.... then in the 80's the
G motor came to be and through the long suffering efforts of one JI, in
total opposition by the NAR, Large Model Rockets finally became acceptable
to the NAR after a Barber Blue Ribbon Committee report showed that 3.3 lb G
size model rockets were no more dangerous than 1lb F size model rockets.
Alex, I think you are demonizing the ATF and resorting to scare tactics when
you posit the idea the ATF will next come after model rockets, ie stuff
under 62.5g.... The ATF has consistently said since the early 90's that
model rocket motors ,62.5g are exempt from their oversight. AND just in
case you forgot, it was the NAR/TRA itself, who codified the 62.5g limit
into the NFPA fire codes, which the ATF used against us in the lawsuit. SO
please don't try and spin the 62.5g limit as a ATF limit devised by the
ATF.... its been CPSC regulation since at least the very early 70's....and
a NAR limit since the early 60's....
if we forget our history we are doomed to repeat it....
"Old Rocketeer's don't die; they just go OOP"
I am not singling out the ATF. I think we have to be alert for any
Government agency who attempts to gain too much power. As far as I'm
concerned, the 62.5g limit is arbitrary. Why are model rockets exempt
from ATF oversight but HPR rockets are not? While I do not believe the
ATF is "out to get" HPR, I do believe the ATF is out to get more
regulatory power. A bureaucrat sees the world as a place that needs
regulating. And I don't trust the word of a bureaucrat (or a politician
or the lawyers that represent them) when they say they aren't going to
further regulate me. It's like trusting your representative when he/she
promises you will never get a tax increase.
Usually Bunny has a handout at NARAM with the annual stats. Not this year. I
remember him telling us the number, but I don't recall it being this low. Is
this perhaps the SR membership only? Bunny, George, or George, are you out
there witht he current numbers?
I remember that speech very well. I must say it surprised me, but it also
marked the point where the NAR attitude towards HPR changed forever. Any one
remember what NARAM this was? My SWAG would be NARAM-31, 1989...
The problem is that there is no penalty to them for illegal regulation. If
it were a felony civil rights violation, punishable by jail time for any
person that denied our rights, they'd have settled this case long ago and
we'd be rid of these illegal regulations by now.
When we write the next Bill of Rights, the same rules and penalties need to
apply to the government as they do to the people.
I think you've got the timeline wacked. First of all, I don't recall G Harry
being at NARAM-38. He made his final appearance at NARAM-39. But by NARAM-38
the NAR was deeply into HPR.
That was 1991, which I remember because we ran NARAM that year. And the
reason for their threat was the NARs entrance into HPR that year.
I'm pretty sure Harry was HPR certified.
... but let's get the dates right :-)
And with EX--now "research"--rocketry in TRA and its evolution over
it's even harder to distinguish "hobby" rocketry from true amateur
Over the last quarter century I've had at least some involvement in
rocketry and hobby fireworks as well as model and high power rocketry.
a complex relationship between these areas but they overlap and have
interrelationships to some degree at various levels. Generally, what's
for one hurts the rest. To answer your question directly, HPR provides
draw which attracts more people to rocketry in general resulting in
people doing model rockets. Adults who get drawn into high power often
their kids to launches and those kids do model rocketry. The
too)talk about rockets to their friends and some of those friends may
they only want to do model rockets, and then their kids do too. And so
There's technology transfer between these four types of hobbies too.
colored flame motors in HPR are an idea that never really panned out in
fireworks but was adapted by high power motor manufacturers, some of
actually amateur rocket experimenters for a while. Electronic
been miniaturized to better fit in the smaller model rockets.
The real problem here is that the hobby of rocketry has grown and
evolved greatly over the last three decades but the regulatory
still stuck in past attitudes and legal framework. Similar types of
have been and continue to be experienced with computers and other home
electronics. With these the issues are matters of copyright and
like rocketry the technology has far outstripped the evolution of the
accompanying political and legal aspects.
To make an analogy to farming, you might not care that the gov't
restrictions, say, on the corn your neighbor raises. But eventually
change may well result in the price of your cattle feed going up. Then
does matter that these new and unnecessary restrictions were put into
People following the model rocket code don't do research that leads to
kinds of motors. But a few of the people in amateur rocketry, Tripoli
rocketry, and even fireworks do. Regulatory changes that make things
difficult for them can limit your choices in model rocketry in the
And while ATF may seem unthreatening to model rocketeers, the language
recent Final Rule on NPRM 968 contains many statements by ATF to the
"be glad we left you any APCP motors exempt at all."
There are many of us who believe that if the gov't gets on too much of
regulating hobby fireworks, amateur rocketry, and high power rocketry
might just not stop at the gates of model rocketry. Thus far model
have not been seen as a threat by federal regulators. But consider
I recently heard: A hobbyist built and successfully flew a radio
airplane that weighed just 0.85 gram. Someday--perhaps not far in the
some fearmongering politician or bureaucrat may decide that it's
persons with malicious intent to build guided missiles of model rocket
And when that day comes, do you really think you're going to be able to
continue flying rockets?
The issues that are being adjudicated and hashed out now for high power
are tomorrow's issues in model rocketry. You answered your own
your last line:
Betty S. Roberts wrote: