Heavenly Hobbies brings the world of model rockets to your fingertips! We feature model rocket kits and model rocket engines from the biggest names in the industry and also from manufacturers whom you may not have heard about before. For beginners, we have low-power and mid-power starter sets. For seasoned modelers we have scale and sport kits, avionics and rocket design software. Bottom line: If it's model rocketry, we have it!
THE HISTORY OF MODEL ROCKETS
A welcome child of the Cold War, the hobby of model rocketry was born in 1954 with the design of the first modern model rocket and model rocket engine by Orville and Robert Carlisle. Soon thereafter (1957), G. Harry Stine wrote the first safety code for the hobby and founded the National Association of Rocketry (NAR). Realizing the commercial potential of the model rockets designed by Carlisle brothers, G. Harry Stine also founded the first company dedicated to the manufacture and sale of model rockets, Model Missiles Incorporated (MMI). Regretfully, MMI soon faltered. By 1960, Estes Industries (the company that had previously supplied model rocket engines to MMI), began marketing model rocket kits and model rocket engines to the public. Based in Colorado, Estes Industries has grown to become the market leader in the low-power segment of the model rocket industry (A- to D-class engines).
With the advent of high-power rocketry in the 1980’s, companies like Aerotech, CTI and others have entered the market and competed for leadership in the mid- and high-power segment of the industry (E- class engines and above). These engines are professionally designed and manufactured but use different propellants than those found in low-power engines. As a result, the consumer can easily purchase model rocket engines in the E through G impulse classes with different thrust signatures, exhaust colors and structural designs.
At the beginning of the 21st century, with the Cold War long dead, a revival of the interest in the hobby was critical for its survival. Originally conceived as a celebration of the centennial of flight, the NAR decided in 2002 to hold a national rocketry competition, open to teams of students in the 7th through 12th grades. Named “Team America Rocketry Challenge” (TARC), the contest has evolved into an annual event in which close to 700 schools compete for bragging rights and over $60,000 in prize money. It is now the “biggest model rocket contest in the world”.
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