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Model Rocketry

CAP's Model Rocketry program is an achievement program for cadets interested in the science, technology, and flight of model rockets.  There is the basic Model Rocketry program and badge, as well as the Advanced Model Rocketry program.

  • See complete Model Rocketry Program informational video created by 2nd Lt Richard Reynolds, of the SWR-TX-351, Pegasus Composite Squadron, HERE.

Basic Model Rocketry Program

The basic Model Rocketry book builds on the foundation of Aerospace Dimensions Module 4: Rockets, and introduces cadets to the hobby and science of model rocketry. (Both the book and module are downloadable in eServices/AerospaceEducation/AE Downloads and Resources.

The book begins with simple alternative-power models and progressively challenges cadets to construct more advanced models in three stages. The most current edition of the guide (the second edition) should be used exclusively.

  1. The Redstone Stage reviews the history of rocketry and its great pioneers, to include Robert Goddard and Werhner Von Braun.

  2. The Titan Stage details the physical laws which govern objects on the Earth, in the air and in space above us.

  3. The Saturn Stage presents information on trigonometry for altitude tracking, and physics of impulse and thrust associated with solid propellant motors typically used in model rocketry.

Cadets who complete the written and performance requirements for each of the 3 stages, as certified by their unit commander, will be awarded the Cadet Model Rocketry Badge.

Important Note:

The CAP rocketry program is based on traditional model rocketry that has general wide acceptance throughout the United States (there are alternate rocketry projects for those who live in areas where model rocketry is not permitted). The structure of the CAP model rocketry program is to have cadets build three model rockets of increasing difficulty. 

Estes Industries is the leading model rocketry manufacturer and CAP is using their format for describing the degree of difficulty for the rocket kits they provide. Estes has recently changed the terminology but still essentially follows the degrees of difficulty in rocket building that they have established in the past. The new system uses descriptive terms rather than skill level numbers. Formerly, the system used the numbers 1 through 5 to describe the degree of difficulty (1 being easy and 5 being the most difficult).  Below Level 1 there were also three subcategories (sometimes referred to as Skill Level “Zero”):  Ready To Fly, Almost Ready To Fly, and Easy To Assemble.  NOW, each category carries a specific name:  the three subcategories (Zero) now equal Beginner, 1=Intermediate, 2=Advanced, 3=Expert, 4&5=Master. Beginner level rockets that fall into the “Ready To Fly” and “Almost Ready To Fly” category do not qualify for fulfilling the Titan Stage of the program even though they now fall in the “Beginner” category. Beginner rockets that fall into the “Easy To Assemble” category do qualify for the first of the two rockets required in the Titan Stage. If CAP units use the STEM kits, they can be assured that the rockets provided follow the proper protocol.  If units buy their own rockets, they need to be mindful NOT to purchase “Ready To Fly” or “Almost Ready To Fly” kits. Please contact NHQ if you require further clarification.

For more model rocketry teaching tips and resources, click here.

New Model Rocketry Tests: Each squadron should have a hard copy of each rocketry test. The hard copy may be photocopied and given to cadets taking the test. The tests are also available online through the CAP Learning Management System (LMS) on eServices and can be accessed through the following link: LMS. The test may be given either by hard copy or taken online.

  • If provided by hardcopy, the test should be graded and the cadet provided a "Completion Certificate" (located at the bottom of the page) for the appropriate test.

  • If the tests are taken online, the cadet will be provided a Certificate of Completion when they pass the test.

In the event a copy of a rocketry test is needed, please send your request to LMS@capnhq.gov or Debbie Dahl at ddahl@capnhq.gov. In your request, provide a point of contact and email address. NOTE: The model rocketry tests are NOW available online through the CAP LMS under Aerospace Education. If a cadet has a problem with the LMS please have them send a note to LMS@capnhq.gov.

Model Rocketry Books: Each squadron should have one hard copy of the Model Rocketry book. If the squadron does not have a copy, the AEO and/or the instructor for the Model Rocketry Program may order one copy through the "CAP Materials" link on eServices. Because the books are for the instructors and due to limited printing funds at CAP NHQ, only one book may be ordered. The instructor may photocopy any information he/she feels is necessary to provide to cadets.  

Model Rocketry Program Completion Certificates

Interested in the Advanced Model Rocketry program? 

Learn more about it in the Model Rocketry Program informational video provided by 2d Lt Richard Reynolds of the SWR-TX-351, Pegasus Composite Squadron. 

And, download the Advanced Model Rockety book from the eServices/AerospaceEducation/AE Downloads and Resources page.

Contact ae@capnhq.gov for questions.

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