Since their invention by the Chinese many centuries ago, rockets have undergone many changes in both their design and role in human affairs. The Chinese used them as both weapon and amusement. Modern China still has a tradition of fine fireworks. Today, rocketry fills many roles in our society. As amusement, who can resist a good old fashioned fireworks display. Fourth of July, Labor Day and many other summer holidays are invigorated by exciting fireworks displays. Rockets also fulfill an essential role in the defense of our nation. Modern meteorology is dependent upon rockets delivering weather satellites to orbit. These satellites are indispensable for the current early warning systems for storms and hurricanes. And think about how television veiwing has been changed by satellite technology. News, sports, and cultural events from around the world are beamed directly into your living room via rocket delivered satellite.
Model rocketry can also be a fascinating hobby. In addition to being just plain fun, it can inspire interests in a variety of related subjects. How the hobbyist pursues these other subjects is up to the individual.
Model building is the first and most obvious skill involved in model rocketry. Although a number of rockets can be purchased ready-to-fly, the best ones must be built. Building and painting the rocket is considered to be the best part of rocketry by many hobbyists. Modeling skills are learned in stages, and as the dexterity of the modeler increases, the complexity of the rockets built also increases.
Rockets are the gateway to the next frontier - outer space. As such, an interest in rocketry can unlock an interest in astronomy. Studying the positions of the stars and constellations, plus learning planetary and lunar movements can all be a part of the rocketry experience. Think of a knowledge of astronomy as a road map and a rocket as a car. Rocketry will take us to the cosmos, and a knowledge of astronomy will get us around.
If the budding rocketeer really enjoys flying rockets, and dreams of flying the real thing, then maybe rocketry will open up a career in astronautics. As our presence in space increases, so will the need for many of the people essential on earth. Colonists and their materials will all have to be delivered to space, and the only practical method is with a rocket. Good rocket designers, builders, flyers, and maintenance personnel will be in high demand.
The study of mathematics can also be enhanced with model rocketry. Newton's Law of Motion, physics, and an understanding of aerodynamic forces can all be demonstrated by rocketry.
Students of history can also benefit from rocketry. Many of the rocket models are styled after actual rockets. Some of the rockets are military rockets, some are modeled after historically important rockets, and some are models of military airplanes. The hobbyist can build the rocket, and then study the history of the prototype. The space shuttle, Bull Pup, SR-71 Blackbird, and Mercury Atlas rocket are all available as model rockets which can be built and researched. For example the Mercury Atlas was the rocket that carried the first American into outer space .The leading model manufacturer, Estes, has a very nice model of this historically important rocket. Your local hobby shop can help you get started with everything you need for the fascinating hobby of rocketry. Expand your horizons and get started in the hobby of rocketry today.
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