So you want to fly rockets with bigger motors?

Great! We are here to help you do it in a safe way.

At NSWRA we believe that rocketry certifications should be a fun, exciting and safe journey, where members gain skills, experience and knowledge as they steadily work their way through the certification levels.

Before considering a certification we encourage all members to read and understand the club’s Certification Guidelines.

At NSWRA you have the opportunity to work your way through 5 certification levels:

  • Low Power Rocketry (LPR) – The default starting point for new members
  • Medium Power Rocketry (MPR) Assessment (NSWRA)
  • High Power Rocketry (HPR) Level 1 Certification (Tripoli)
  • High Power Rocketry (HPR) Level 2 Certification (Tripoli)
  • High Power Rocketry (HPR) Level 3 Certification (Tripoli)

Low Power Rocketry (LPR)

Low power rockets weigh less than 500g and use motors with a total impulse of 20 Ns or less (equivalent to a D motor)

New members with limited rocketry experience are entitled to fly Low Power Rockets, and 24mm black powder E motors.

There is lots of fun to be had with LPR rockets including single stage rockets, multi stage rockets, clusters, odd-rockets (eg. saucers) and much more. So you don’t need to be in a rush to move up to bigger motors.

Motor Impulse Range
in Newton-Seconds
LPR – Default Starting PointAll composite and black
powder motors A to D
and 24mm diameter
Black Powder E motors.
Upto 20 Ns
and 24mm diameter
Black Powder E motors
(up to 27.9 Ns)
MPR AssessmentE to G20.1 to 160 Ns
Level 1 HPR CertificationH to I160.01 to 640 Ns
Level 2 HPR Certification
J to L640.01 to 5120 Ns
Level 3 HPR CertificationM and aboveGreater than 5120 Ns

Medium Power Rocketry (MPR)

Members need to pass the Medium Power Rocketry (MPR) Assessment to fly rockets using black powder and composite motors in the range E to G (total impulse 20 Ns to 160 Ns).

Please note: There are some G motors that are classified as high power because of their total propellant weight or total impulse (eg. Aerotech G138T). To fly these motors members will be to pass the L1 HPR certification.

MPR Assessment Procedure

  1. Build your rocket. You must build the rocket yourself. Ready To Fly (RTF) rockets are not allowed for MPR assessments.
  2. Select a motor that is appropriate for the rocket and is suitable for the launch site restrictions. Ensure that the weight of the rocket ready for launch is not greater than the maximum weight recommended for the rocket motor.
  3. If the rocket is scratch-built, evidence of its stability must be provided (eg. a copy of a simulation report).
  4. Provide evidence of experience in low power rocketry to a committee member.
  5. On the launch day, fill in a flight card and complete section 1 of the application form.
  6. Give the application form to an approving member.
  7. If using a reloadable motor you must assemble the motor under the supervision of the approving member.
  8. Present your rocket with the flight card for inspection by the RSO. The RSO will assess the rocket and its construction, including ensuring that it is stable. The RSO will check that the total weight of the rocket is less than the maximum weight recommended for the motor, and that the rocket will not exceed the permitted altitude. The RSO has the final decision if a rocket can be launched.
  9. Launch and safely recover your rocket.
  10. Present the rocket to the approving member for inspection.
  11. The approving member completes section 2 of the application form and gives it to a committee member. The decision as to whether the flight passes the assessment is at the discretion of the approving member and the committee.
  12. If the flight is successful, the applicant’s membership card will be re-issued showing MPR capability.

The MPR assessment procedure and application form is available in here.

High Power Rocketry

To fly High Power Rockets (HPR: H motors and above) members must be certified by the Tripoli Rocketry Association. NSWRA can facilitate all 3 levels of Tripoli certification:

  • High Power Rocketry Level 1 – H and I motors up to 640 Ns
  • High Power Rocketry Level 2 – J to L motors up to 5,120 Ns
  • High Power Rocketry Level 3 – M motors and above, over 5,120 Ns

For further information about the Tripoli High Power Rocketry certification process please visit the Tripoli website using the links below:

Please keep in mind that High Power Rocketry certification flights must be witnessed by the Tripoli Prefect or a member of the Tripoli Advisor Panel (TAP). In NSW we only have one Prefect and one TAP, and they are both volunteers. So its important that you provide appropriate notice before a certification flight. Please see the table in the Certification Guidelines for further information and suggested notice periods.

Please note that the definitions of High Power Rocketry (HPR) used on this website and throughout NSWRA documents are based on the definitions prescribed by the Tripoli Rocketry Association. For example Level 1 HPR motors are defined by Tripoli as  motors with a total impulse of 160.01 newton seconds to 320 newton seconds (equivalent to H to I motors).

In Australia the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) have their own definition of High Power Rocketry which applies to rocket motors over 40,960 newton seconds (equivalent to P motors and above). NSWRA does not use this definition of High Power Rocketry.

7 Common Mistakes When Attempting Certification


By Tim Van Milligan of Apogee Components.

L2 HPR Quizzes

NSWRA has developed 2 quizzes to help you prepare for your Tripoli Level 2 HPR exam.

To view the quizzes click here.