Sport Rocketry is most commonly known as Spacemodelling (SM), and is an Airsport, a part of Aeromodelling, that deals with space models.
Spacemodelling was first Introduced by Harry G. Stine (a rocket engineer, known as the “Father of Spacemodelling”) and Orvil Carlslile (a shoemaker) in 1957.
The first, provisional rules were approved by the FAI in 1964 and the official rules were adopted in 1968.
Every year, Model rocket competitions are expanding in participation and increasing in sophistication.
Attracting the best modelers from all over the world, winning has become a matter of National Pride requiring great modeling and flying skill.
Model Rocket competitions (spacemodeling) lead to the ultimate level of International competition where the winners earn the title of “World Champion”
What is a space model?
The FAI defines a "Space model" as:
Construction requirements for Spacemodelling
Construction of space models is based on the standard Model Rocketry Safety Code, which in short shall be of wood, paper, rubber, breakable plastics and without substantial metallic parts.
Where and how can I get started with Spacemodelling?
You can choose three ways:
While it is recommended to get involved with a local club or group, the reality is that in South Africa, there simply are not that many clubs around.
But dont't let that hold you back, getting started is still possible and easy!
Which Motors are used in Spacemodelling?
It is important to understand that the "performance" of Space Models, such as a model rocket is largely dependant on the Motor Performance.
In order to ensure a level playing filed (Fairness), all competitors should compete using the same limitiations.
This is just like all international sports. A good example is Formula 1 racing- in the end, construction, engineering, team-effort and driver skills and luck (to name but a a few factors) largely determine the outcome of the race.
Space model Motors shall be a solid propellant reaction Motor that has all propellant ingredients preloaded into the casing in such a manner that they cannot easily be removed.
It is highly advised to use Commercial Motors as only certified and/or pre-approved Motors will be allowed.
Events are divided into sub-classes, which is determined by the Total Impulse of the Motors
|Event class||Total impulse|
|A/2||1, 25 Newton Seconds ( Ns )|
Events and Participation Levels
Building for FAI Spacemodeling competition requires learning some design and construction techniques that are new to most Model Rocket competitors.
This learning process takes an investment of time, effort, and money, but the skills are well within the reach of a good competition modeler.
See our resource page on construction supplies and technical information and join the SAASA FAI Spacemodeling Group to learn more.
During The World Championships, there are 8 Events and the same power classes of each of these events
The FAI (Federation Aeronautique International) is the governing body for all International Aviation Sports, including Spacemodeling and Aeromodeling.
Each country is represented within the FAI by its national aero club, which in South Africa is the Aeroclub of South Africa.
SAASA has communicated with the FAI, and the Aeroclub in an effort to introduce and promote Spacemodelling in South Africa
International Space Modeling competitions are primarily governed by the FAI Spacemodeling Code, which has been adopted by SAASA.