MARS conducts launches almost every month during the spring, summer and early fall at the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo, NY. Please see the schedule in the menu for launch dates. Members and guests are encouraged to fly with us at these launches. Please see the Membership/Join MARS menu option for club membership information and registration.
Rocketry activities are only permitted at the airport on the designated launch weekends and then only during designated time windows. MARS uses the land as a guest of the Museum – we do not own the field.
MARS launch activities are governed by the Tripoli Safe Launch Practices, NAR Model Rocket Safety Code and the NAR High Power Safety Code. If you wish to fly “High Power” with MARS you must be a NAR or Tripoli member, if you wish to fly “Research Motors” you must be an L2 Tripoli member and be prepared to show your membership card with certification level.
For those of you who have never flown with a club: MARS supplies all necessary launch equipment! You don’t need to bring a launch pad or controller. Our low power racks can hold up to 15 models ready for flight at once. They can be flown one at a time, or if their owners wish, flown several at once in an exciting drag race! For High Power flyers we have 1010 and 1515 rails and rods. Please see below for requirements on High Power rockets. With prior arrangement we can support your rocket for L through N motor projects.
MARS has obtained an FAA waiver for High Power flying at the Geneseo field. The waiver caps maximum altitude at 12,000 feet AGL and the size of the field limits rocket motors to N impusle. We fly using the National Association of Rocketry safety codes.
If you plan to fly a high power rocket (as defined by the National Association of Rocketry), you MUST show proof of current NAR or TRA insurance. Additionally you may only fly in your certification level as shown on your membership card, except for a certification flight.
Local MARS Launch Rules:
At MARS launches the (RSO) range safety officer will designate the rail angles depending on the wind speed and direction. The angles are designed to keep rockets from flying over the flight line and towards the Museum buildings. There may be temporary altitude restrictions if the wind blows towards the Museum to prevent recovery drift into buildings/airplanes.
MARS requires all rockets flying on F powered and higher to use rail buttons. With the exception of spools, saucers and mono-copters ALL Rockets F powered and above both sport and competition models must be flown off an appropriate size rail OR flown out of an RSO approved tower! Launch rails are superior to round rods in every way and are an integral part of our system to control rocket flights. As stated above saucers, spools and mono-copters are exempt from the rail button requirement.
Specific requirements for composite clusters:
- All must use commercially made E-matches as the primary ignition source for each motor, and include details about any secondary pyrogens used.
- E-matches to be used in a harness are to be individually measured for resistance. E-matches should match within 10%. Others outside of that range are not to be used for the intended flight.
- E-matches must be wired in parallel.
- The rocket must be capable of a minimum of a 5-1 thrust to weight ratio with all engines ignited, a 4-1 ratio with one engine failing to ignite, and a 1-1 ratio in the event 2 engines fail to ignite
- You may not use a configuration that includes a central motor larger than 2 designations compared to surrounding motors, i.e. a central J with surrounding H’s is fine, but a central K with surrounding H’s is not.
- All composite clusters must be flown from a rail even the newer Quest/Aerotech A-E motors.
Specific requirements for composite multi staging:
- Must use electronics that are capable of detecting, and set to prevent staging beyond 10 degrees of vertical.
- Timers will not be allowed
- Maiden flights will not be allowed. The flier must have at least previously flown the sustainer and attached booster in a one stage configuration successfully.
Carry in, carry out: Please remove ALL of your garbage at the end of your flying day.
NO SMOKING within 50 feet of rocket preparation areas or on the range. Flammable rocket motors and black powder ejection charges don’t mix with smoking!
Keep driving on the field to a minimum, and on surrounding farms drive ONLY on the farm roads, and ONLY after talking to a MARS officer. We know the area and the farmers and can both help you find your rocket and keep the farmers happy.
Pay attention! When the Launch Control Officer calls “Heads Up!” there’s a rocket overhead! Pay attention to what’s going on!
When you go to get your rocket: take a phone, take water. Ask for advice if your rocket is “way out there”. There are easier and harder ways to get to your rocket.