So I want to build a rocket from an aluminum pipe, with the inside coated with pyrolitic carbon, and filled APCP finocyl bore and an avionics computer conroling the parachute In the nose cone. I was thinking maybe 40 feet long 2-3 feet around no payload section just a go pro, avionics computer, altimeter, wind speed measure, and parachute/charge in nose. How would I legally do this?

I have spent time researching it. However there is only Information on model rockets as in class 1, 2, and 3. Nothing on actual rockets like CSXT gofast rocket.

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    Voting to close as too broad. However the real problem is that you don't seem to have done even the most basic research before posting the question. When you post a question here you are asking people to donate their time to answering it, so its only polite to spend a bit of time yourself first. – Paul Johnson Apr 18 '19 at 8:50
  • I'd recomend reading "Rocket Boys/October Sky" (one is the title of the book, one is the title of the film based on the book... can't remember which). It's about a group of West Virginia high school kids who learn how to build rockets after being inspired by the launch of Sputnik (Which was launched in October of '57... October Sky is also an anagram of Rocket Boys – hszmv Apr 18 '19 at 18:29
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    This is not to broad. This is a hobby for lots of people. – Putvi Apr 18 '19 at 18:30
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    It being a hobby doesn't make the question of "how do I legally build rockets?" too broad. There are literally books devoted just to introducing the basics. – Nij Apr 18 '19 at 21:24
  • I have changed the question language so that it doesn't read like a question about your engineering competence. – ohwilleke Dec 18 '20 at 0:36

First place to start is one of many informational sites Google will show you, i.e. Laws & Regulations | National Association of Rocketry, to understand the federal and state laws you need to comply with in terms of the size of rocket, the power of the engines, propellant restrictions, launch sites and air space clearances. Obey the law or any number of state and federal agencies will be very unhappy with you.


It's not just that you must follow specific laws, it's more that you have to avoid hitting anything in the sky and store your propellant in a safe place.

The law regarding rockets is listed here : https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/101.23

If your rocket is launched high enough that it could hit a plane, you need to contact the FAA and they will give you a waiver to launch in a certain area during a certain time.

Plenty of model rocket clubs already have waivers during scheduled launches. If you go to their launch, that part is taken care of for you.

I don't know what propellant you intend to use, but you must store it safely according to whatever ATF rules govern the propellant you choose. There is no way to say which rules apply without you telling us what you are using.

  • I'd be using ammonium perchlorate composite propellant, a mixture of iron oxide, ammonium perchlorate, aluminum, and a non-urethane rubber. – user25300 Apr 18 '19 at 22:13
  • That's cool, just store it right. – Putvi Apr 20 '19 at 19:19

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