Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Future Meets the Past at NARAM

I am not only a BAR, twice, but a repeat member of the NAR. I have a short stack of issues of American Spacemodeling from a brief membership in the late '80s. Last night, I began looking through them.

The November 1989 issue is almost entirely dedicated to NARAM-31, whose tag-line is included in this post's title. It turns out the title is that much more appropriate since NARAM-31 was held in Manassas, not far from the site of last week's NARAM-50. American Spacemodeling was so much thinner than today's Sport Rocketry magazine but 15 pages were dedicated to the event. It was mostly text with a some B&W photos.

I noticed that the even seemed to be completely dedicated to contest flying with no mention of sport flying (I did merely skim it). There were after hours meetings, an ORR, and even a half day trip to the National Air and Space Museum.

The discussion about the annual meeting was very interesting. The highlight was a discussion of HPR. It appears that at that time the NAR had a 3/48 rule. That is, members were required to separate their participation in events featuring flights that "exceeded the safety code definitions" from model rocket flights by either three miles or 48 hours. G. Harry Stine took the podium and read a letter he had sent to NAR management. In that letter, he expressed disappointment with the NAR's failure to embrace all forms of model rocketry. This was one of his original goals for the NAR. There then was a motion for the NAR to consider sanctioning all non-professional rocketry except that goverened by the Rocket Research Institute. G. Harry was applauded and the motion passed but we know it wasn't fully enacted.

I interpret the motion to include HPR and possibly solid motor EX but to exclude liquid propellants. I don't exactly know at this writing when HPR was adopted but I will find out. EX is still not approved and I doubt if it ever will be (I personally don't see the need). I guess the tag line applies here also. Like I said, it was an interesting meeting!