National Association of Rocketry
National Association of Rocketry
Educator's Newsletter
June 2018
in this issue
Small NAR Logo
NAR is Sixty

Shortly after the Space Age began in 1957 with the launch of Sputnik, the National Association of Rocketry was formed to accomodate student's interest in building model rockets. Now, sixty years later, the NAR not only still exists but is strong and growing.  Since 2000, the membership has increased by 75%. We award $30,000 a year in scholarships and educator grants. Our student launch programs consistently attract and train young rocketeers who pursue STEM careers. At an age when many things get retired or burned out, NAR remains on ascent to promote safe flying. And we'll be in it for another sixty years. Thanks for using our resources and helping kids have hun with rockets! 

Aim high!  
Vince Huegele
NAR Education Chairman

TARC logo 2018 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) 

 The TARC is the world's largest   rocket contest, sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and  the National Association of Rocketry in partnership with AAPT, DoD, NASA, and AIA member companies.
TARC 2018 Finals brought to a conclusion a great 16th year for the Team America Rocketry Challenge.  801 teams (with a total of 4600 student members, the largest number since 2003) enrolled in the program, and 406 of these submitted qualification flight reports; the best 101 of them were invited to attend the national Finals.
Congratulations to the team from Creekview High School, Canton GA.  Creekview will be going to the Farnborough Air Show courtesy of Raytheon Company to fly against the winners of the TARC-like events in the UK, France, and Japan.  And they collected $21,000 of the overall prize pool of $100,000 that was split across the top 10 teams .
Thank you to 112-person NAR volunteer range crew and our AIA partners. Thanks as well to all the teachers, mentors, and parents who supported all the teams in TARC 2018 throughout the year. And congratulations to all the student teams who travelled to Great Meadow to fly!

A major theme for TARC 2019 will be commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.  The key elements of the rules for TARC 2019 are:
  • Payload of 3 eggs, any orientation, that must return along with the altimeter in a section ("the capsule") that separates from the rest of the rocket and uses 2 or more parachutes of near-identical size (read the rule details)
  • Flight altitude target of 856 feet (we'll do a coin flip at the Finals again for the target for the second flight at the Finals)
  • Duration target window of 43-46 seconds
  • No body shape or size restrictions other than the same minimum length (650mm) and maximum weight (650 grams) as always, and of course the Grade A Large eggs have to fit
  • Rocket motor total impulse limit remains 80 N-sec (this is plenty to get 3 eggs 856 feet, by the way)
  • At the Finals (only) any part of the exterior airframe that is made of paper, fiber, or wood must have a decorative finish applied, and the rocket must launch using a rail
  • There will be a cash prize at the Finals for the rocket most closely resembling the Apollo 11 Saturn 5 in profile and/or paint scheme (this does not influence flight score)
  • Limit of two teams can come to the Finals from any sponsoring school or youth organization
  • Entry is now open to 6th grade
Again, thank you to all the parents, teachers, and NAR mentors and volunteers (you) who supported and taught the students in TARC 2018, and congratulations to all the students who competed in it!  I look forward to continuing to work with you and with another amazing crop of young students in this rewarding NAR "paying forward" program in its upcoming 17th year.

NAR 4322 L3 
NAR TARC Manager
Interested in a Fellowship this Summer?

Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education (IISME), founded in 1985, seeks to transform teaching and learning through industry-education partnerships.  IISME exists to address the critical need for a strong, highly skilled workforce in math, science and technological fields.  IISME recruits sponsors in California from Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties. The majority of Fellowships are offered in the Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose Area.
This industry-education partnership focuses on teachers as the primary agents for effecting meaningful change in mathematics and science education.  IISME provides teachers with experiences and tools they need to adapt their practices and change their schools so that all students are prepared to be lifelong learners, responsible citizens and productive employees. 



The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics

The North Carolina School of Science and Math Summer Accelerator Program extends to a global audience our 30 years of experience offering innovative courses and opportunities to talented high school students.


The Accelerator program offers unique, high-level courses in an innovative format that incorporates both residential, hands-on learning and online education. This summer, explore aerospace engineering by designing and launching your own rocket. Analyze the connection between music and math and compose your own work in Music of the World and the Math Behind It. Uncover the secrets of the dead and real-world excavation methodology in Death and Burial Around the World.


Highly skilled faculty focus their talents on building upon the strengths of high-achieving students in advanced science and math topics in the classroom. Student Life Instructors offer a valuable resource and help provide a safe and enjoyable residential experience for students out of the classroom. NCSSM crafts unique college-level academic experiences, as a constituent and flagship high school of the University of North Carolina system, in a setting designed specifically for high school students.


Explore complex topics, collaborate with peers from around the globe, and get hands-on experience that will kick start college readiness and career interests this summer. 


Innovation Now 

How about a daily 90 second radio program that features highlights in aeronautics and aeronautics technology, science, history, innovations, research, and inventions from the aerospace industry?  Try this one out!   


Civil Air Patrol

Collectively, we can have a remarkable impact on a partnering national organization.  Take the time to contact a local Civil Air Patrol squadron near you and Pay Forward!  You can find a local squadron by entering your zip code or city and state in the online unit locator.  Each of these squadrons would welcome your insights and camaraderie!  Additionally, the Civil Air Patrol has an Advanced Rocketry Program (and Guide) for those folks who enjoy High Power Rocketry as well as Mid and Low Power...It's a great opportunity to share experiences and Pay Forward!



The Rocketry School Enrichment and After School Enrichment Program helps students meet Pennsylvania Academic Standards in science. 4-H project books are available for Delaware County, Pennsylvania classroom teachers, home school families, and after school clubs to use with students. 


  Student STEM Competition Offers $100,000 Awards
The Siemens Foundation has opened its annual Competition in Math, Science & Technology, with this year's program offering scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $100,000. Administered by the College Board, the competition calls on high school students to submit original research in technology, science, or math, either as individuals or in teams. Regional competitions will be held at six United States universities in November, with finalists competing in Washington, DC, in December.   The application period for the awards is open now. Applications are due Sept. 30. 


Promote STEM with Reach For The Stars - National Rocket Competition

There is still time to get your kids into the Reach for the Stars - National Rocket Competition. The deadline for entering is August 31st, which gives museums, schools, scouts and youth groups enough time to get their supplies and run a local event. This year's Competition was kicked off by famed author Homer Hickam in Coalwood, West Virginia at the October Sky Festival - with the original "Rocket Boys" giving the countdown.


Special pricing makes the Competition very affordable. In most cases the cost of the rocket kit, supplies for two launches, achievement certificate and Competition registration is less than the list price of the rocket kit alone. A step-by-step video and on-line help, supplied free with order, are available to guide you. The Competition is for ages 10 to adult, with three levels determined by age. Time and supplies are limited, so get started now! More information is at


The National Aerospace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center

Located about 50 minutes by car from the city of Philadelphia, NASTAR is offering teacher development programs at  no cost to teachers  through its non-profit NASTAR Foundation.   NASTAR's teacher programming emphasis is on fun, experience-based learning that provides teachers with practical tools and activities that they can apply in a classroom environment. Teachers can experience a 3-G suborbital spaceflight simulation in the NASTAR Center centrifuge, ascend to 8,000 feet in the altitude chamber, or learn how airplanes are controlled while piloting the GAT II simulator. The NASTAR Center has added two new teacher professional development programs: "The Atmosphere and Weather" and"Exploring the Solar System" for this summer.


The NASTAR Center is an approved provider of Act 48 continuing education hours by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Each program is worth 8 hours of continuing education.


Programs are offered at no cost to teachers. If you are coming from out of town, they have arranged a meal/room package at a special rate at an area hotel. For enrollment information, contact Greg Kennedy at (215) 355-9100, X 1512, or via email at A program list and registration packet may also be downloaded from the NASTAR Center website, 



NASA NASA Makes Finding Teaching Materials Easy
NASA's Education Materials Finder will help you locate resources that can be used in the classroom. Users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject. With hundreds of publications and Web sites indexed, the finder is a great way to locate NASA educational resources.  

Rocketry School Supplies Provided by Donors
As teachers, you know your students' needs best. is available to provide an avenue for public school teachers to submit project requests for the specific materials their students need to learn.

As their name implies, donors choose which projects to support. Once a project is funded, they deliver the materials directly to the school.
In return, teachers submit photos of the project in use and thank-you notes from students, which are then sent to the project's donors.    
Small NAR Logo National Association of Rocketry (NAR) Offers Teachers and Youth Group Leaders Resources
Free resource downloads produced by members who have helped teachers and youth group leaders like yourself all over the United States. 

Space History

 3 June 1965: Astronaut Edward H. White II became the first American to perform what in NASA parlance is referred to as an Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA).  In everyday terms; a spacewalk.

White, Mission Commander James A. McDivitt and their Gemini IV spacecraft were launched into low Earth orbit by a two-stage Titan II launch vehicle from LC-19 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.  The mission clock started at 15:15:59 UTC on Thursday, 03 June 1965.

On the third orbit, less than five hours after launch, White opened the Gemini IV starboard hatch.  He stood in his seat and mounted a camera to capture his historic space stroll.  He then cast-off from Gemini IV and became a human satellite.

White was tethered to Gemini IV via a 15-foot umbilical providing oxygen and communications to his EVA suit.  A gold-plated visor on his helmet protected his eyes from the searing glare of the sun.  The space-walking astronaut was also outfitted with a hand-held maneuvering unit using compressed oxygen to power its small thrusters.  And, like any good tourist, he also took along a camera. He  had the time of his all-too-brief life in the 22 minutes he walked in space.  The sight of the earth, the spacecraft, the sun, the vastness of space, the freedom of movement all combined to make him exclaim at one point, "I feel like a million dollars!".

Presently, it was time to get back into the spacecraft.  But, couldn't he just stay outside a  little longer?  NASA Mission Control and Commander McDivitt were firm.  It was time to get back in; now!  He grudgingly complied with the request/order, plaintively saying: "It's the saddest moment of my life!"  As Ed White got back into his seat, he and McDivitt struggled to lock the starboard hatch.  Both men were exhausted, but ebullient as they mused about the successful completion of America's first spacewalk.

Gemini IV would eventually orbit the Earth 62 times before splashing-down in the Atlantic Ocean at 17:12:11 GMT on Sunday, 07 June 1965.  The 4-day mission was another milestone in America's quest for the moon.  The mission was over and yet Ed White was still a little tired.  But this was really quite easy to understand.  In the time he was working outside the spacecraft, Gemini IV had traveled almost a third of the way around the Earth... Now, that's a long walk!

30 June 2004:  It took seven years for Cassini to make the trip from Earth's surface to Saturn's orbit. The two-story-tall spacecraft reached Saturn on June 30, 2004, to begin unprecedented surveys of the planet and its brilliant rings, along with Saturn's eclectic system of moons. As the mission came to a close, NASA opted to plunge the spacecraft into Saturn to prevent it from accidentally contaminating one of the moons if it were left to drift around in space.

Cassini also carried a second spacecraft along with it, a probe called Huygens, released to study the moon Titan up close. Huygens parachuted to the surface of the moon, relaying data on conditions there until its batteries ran out.

Cassini, built and operated from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, in 1997 atop a Titan IVB rocket. The launch capped months of processing on the spacecraft and booster to make sure everything would work correctly on launch day and Cassini would be set on its correct path.   The Titan IVB rocket was NASA's largest expendable booster at the time.

Despite the size of the rocket, Cassini would still take seven years to reach Saturn. It would fly a precise path through the inner solar system building up speed by passing near Venus and Earth so it could slingshot out beyond Mars and Jupiter to rendezvous with Saturn. Getting on this path correctly at the start was the focus of the launch team... The payoff was a wealth of photos and data of one of the solar system's most captivating locations!

26 May 2018: Former US astronaut Alan Bean, who was the fourth man to walk on the Moon, has died in Texas.  He was 86.  A former US Navy test pilot, Bean was selected by NASA as a trainee in 1963. He went into space twice, the first time in November 1969 as the lunar module pilot on the Apollo 12 Moon-landing mission.  In 1973 he was commander of the second crewed flight to Skylab - America's first space station.  Bean retired from NASA in 1981 and carved a successful career as an artist.  His paintings, inspired by space travel, featured lunar boot prints as well as small pieces of his mission patches stained by Moon dust. 

The three astronauts who preceded Alan Bean to the moon's surface were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11 in July 1969, and Charles Conrad who was also on the Apollo 12 mission.   Of the four men, only Aldrin is still alive, now aged 88.
Small NAR LogoQuick Links...

Join Our Mailing List