Launches

Attendance at events hosted by the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) is AT YOUR OWN RISK. Insurance to cover your rocketry activities is available as a benefit of membership in either the National Association of Rocketry (membership form) or the Tripoli Rocketry Association (membership form). Please note that membership in ROC does NOT include insurance, or any assumption of liability on the part of ROC. ROC membership allows you to fly at all of our launches without paying the daily launch fees, and a few other membership benefits. All attendees at ROC events must sign the ROC Agreement and Liability Release Form to indicate understanding and acceptance of the risk and liability.
The flight line

Click for larger view!

We always launch on the second Saturday of each month, at Lucerne Dry Lake in Lucerne Valley, California (see schedule to the right). Our June and November “ROCstock” launches are weekend events, and our “ROCtober” launch (in October, of course) takes place on both Saturday (HPR & LPR) and Sunday (LPR only).

At our monthly launches, we start setup at about 7 AM, are usually ready to start flying by 8 AM (depending on how many volunteers we have helping with setup).  We fly rockets until the evil “W” blows onto the scene, which is usually around 2-4 PM.

Signup for Range Duty Here

No Experience Necessary…We will train you, just ask!

Setup for ROCstock and ROCtober launches takes place on the day before the launch, so that we can start flying each morning at 7:00 AM sharp.  At these multi-day events, we have night launching each evening (except on the last day), after it gets dark.

ROC supplies launch pads with launch rods for 1/8″, 3/16″, 1/4″, 3/8″ and 1/2″ launch lugs, rail launchers for 1/4″ and 5/16″ rail guides, and a centrally-controlled launch system.  All you need to bring are your rockets and motors.  (If you run out, we almost always have a vendor on-site, who will be happy to sell you more.)

ROC supplies portable toilets for you convenience at every launch — please help us to keep them clean!  Don’t throw anything in them that you wouldn’t flush down your own toilet at home – this means pee-pee and doo-doo only!  (If you do throw trash in the portable toilets, we’ll be happy to hold on to your ankles while you reach in to fish the trash back out….)

If you flying there is a per day launch fee, payable on site. Please also read the rules on the Fly with ROC page.If you are not flying, being a spectator is free. Please read the Spectators Pageprior to attending.If you are bringing your youth group out for a launch, please check our Youth Group Page for more details.

Everyone is welcomed and encouraged to volunteer for setup, cleanup, and for the various range duty tasks. It’s fun, you will learn a lot, and you will meet lots of other flyers!

If a launch is rained out (yes, it very occasionally happens!), we may attempt to reschedule. Check this website for updates!

Note: We will generally only cancel a launch if there is actual standing water or mud on the lake bed, making it impossible to drive on.  If the lake bed is not already saturated from previous rains, a mild rain will usually soak in rapidly, and just serves to keep the dust down.  Some of our best launching conditions have happened on the days after a rain shower.

Do not rely on weather conditions in the greater Los Angeles area to judge the conditions in the high desert — it’s often sunny and calm in the desert when it’s blowing or rainy at the bottom of the Cajon pass.  If the weather forecast looks questionable as we approach a launch date, we will send someone to check the actual conditions on-site before making the decision to cancel a launch, and will post updates on the web site, and to both our ROC-Announce and our ROC-Chat email lists.

Important FAA Waiver and Motor Info!

The FAA does control the airspace above our launch site, and has granted ROC a waiver to fly up to 10,000′ MSL (feet above mean sea level), or approximately 7,000 feet AGL (above ground level). We are also able to request higher altitude windows, of up to 22,000′ MSL, or approximately 19,000′ AGL.  If you expect your rocket to exceed 7,000′ AGL, please use a RED flight card, and indicate the expected maximum altitude on the flight card.  We’ll call the FAA before launching your rocket, to obtain a short time window to fly to a higher altitude.  (The FAA usually approves most of our high-altitude window requests immediately, although they sometimes ask us to wait a short time if there are other aircraft approaching our area.)

We operate in strict compliance with all regulations of the California Office of the State Fire Marshal. Therefore, the maximum size motor you may fly is a “G” without a California “Pyrotechnic Operator/Rockets” license.  If you have a license, or if a license holder is present at the launch (and someone always is at our launches), you may fly any motor legal in California, up to your certification level.  Currently, that means no single motor larger than an “M”, and a maximum total installed impulse equivalent to an “N” motor (or two “M” motors).  Also, all motors used must be classified as “Model Rocket Motors” or “High Power Rocket Motors” by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.  (Our on-site vendor only sells motors that have been classified by the CA OSFM.)


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