Amateur rocketry has its roots with the early pioneers such as Goddard, Oberth and Von Braun.

South Africa Amateur Rocketry Pioneers include Desmond-Prout Jones and Capt. GGF Stoltz.

In the early days of Rocketry there were no professionals, only Amateurs experimenting with different rocket designs and rocket motors.

In the 20th century, many Amateurs moved on to Professional Rocketry (Commercial, Scientific, Military, Space Exploration), but the traditions of amateur rocketry continue to this day.

Amateur rocketry is different from Model or High Power Rocketry in that the rocket motors are made by the amateur


Amateur Rocketry is sometimes refered to as Experimental Rocketry,
yet it is important to note that there is a diffirence between Amateur and Experimental Rocket Motors

International rocketry best-practices defines Experimenal Rocket Motors as:

"Motors manufactured by Commercial/licensed manufacturers for the purpose of evaluation of new propulsion technologies"

Amateur rocket motors, by law, are limited to personal use, cannot be sold (and are typically subject to additional restrictions)



Many people move up from Model or High Power Rocketry to Amateur rocketry, while others "just started" at the amateur level by making their own rocket motors.

Often Amateur rocketeers conduct complex rocket projects, utilizing solid, liquid, and hybrid propellant technologies,
these projects often require advanced/specialized building techniques, engineering capabilities and access to funding.

Undoubtedly, Amateur rocketeers are responsible for significant research into Hybrid Rocket motors.

Amateur Rocketeers typically build and fly a variety of custom-built solid, liquid, and hybrid propellant motors.

What is the Difference between Amateur Rocketry and Model/High Power Rocketry?

  • The main difference between Amateur Rocketry and other forms of rocketry such as Model and High Power Rocketry lies in the fact that experimentation with Fuels, Propellants and Rocket motors are undertaken

Model and High Power Rocketry only allows for the use of commercially supplied Motors

  • Another Difference is that Amateur built Rockets typically require advanced Engineering skills and tools
  • Amateur Rockets almost always require Special Permits/Permission
    (South Africa, like most countries, restrict experimentation, manufacturing and use of "explosive" - rocket engines)


Although SAASA understands the value of Research and Development, we do not recommend that the inexperienced/untrained/novice start with Amateur Rocketry
prior to gaining experience, knowledge and Certification in Model and High Power Rocketry, as well as indepth understanding of the Risks involved.


Experimentation is Dangerous and almost certainly Illegal without proper Licenceing/permits from the Regulatory Authorities


At SAASA we Inform, Advise and Provide Guidance - we don't judge, and we don't dictate either..but we will (legally) do whatever it takes to protect the hobby !


no-matter how Cool it is to make your own Rocket Fuel,
without Proper training, skills, knowledge, safety measures and authorization from authorities..

You are most likely to get into trouble

SAASA Supports the controlled activities of Amateur Rocketry and is commited to assisting Members by providing Guidance and Assistance

SAASA has worked with a number of International individuals and rocketry groups in order to develop a Amateur Rocketry Safety Code applicable to experimentation by amateurs.

SAASA, like other International organizations sanctions certain Amateur activities, which we refer to as "Research Rocketry"
(subject to strict adherence to Safety Protocol and Opereational Guidelines)



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