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Rocket Hobbyists Get Blown Away by Regulations

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the 62.5-grams-is-all-anyone-should-ever-need dept.

Space 752

dogfart writes "Amateur rocket hobbyists are bearing the brunt of Federal anti-terror efforts. Cumbersome regulations (which include extensive background checks) are pushing many to abandon the hobby. Even clubs associated with colleges (such as Kettering) have ended up folding under the pressure. Quoting the article: '"If we're in an environment where the government says you've got to get fingerprinted and background checked, and spend three to four months to do it, (adults are) not going to participate in my hobby," said Mark Bundick, president of the National Association of Rocketry. "We need more kids. It helps them learn technology. It's the technological base here in the country that we need to protect, and this hobby is a good introduction for kids that are interested in technology. If I lose those adults, then I will not be able to train those kids."'" We wrote about these regulations before, and followed it up with a Slashback.

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Hey, whose side are they on? (5, Funny)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529927)

Obviously, these people are forgetting the role that amateur rocketry played in 9-11.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (5, Insightful)

dirvish (574948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529970)

Yeah, when have you ever heard of an amateur rocket being used for terrorism?

Maybe we should outlaw fertilizer and diesel fuel, since they have actually been used for terrorist acts.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530001)

I really dont think it's because they think they will be used for terrorism, I think it's because they can be easily mistaken as a terrorist's weapon, and therefore should be outlawed.

Then again, I hope those assholes realize that a model rocket shouldn't look anything like a guided missle, but oh well.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530028)

They could always use them to launch deadly crap. Or use the components to make deadly stuff. Who knows - the government is just trying to help.

paul.guerette@effem.com

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (2, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530071)

Or they could use slingshots to fire firebombs through building windows. Or they could use bottles of alcohol to molotov coctail police cars and police stations. Or that could burn a fire in a building's air conditioning room without leaving ventilation so that it produces carbon monoxide.

So, hurry up, government: Outlaw slingshots, alcohol, and fire.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (3, Informative)

ncurses (764489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530102)

And that's what I get for forgetting to close my a tag. And for forgetting my formatting tags. God I suck at basic posting stuff :P

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1)

yppiz (574466) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530076)

Qassam rocket [wikipedia.org]
Hamas fires Qassam rockets at Israelis [google.com]

--Pat / zippy@cs.brandeis.edu

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (0, Offtopic)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530146)

Yes, the deadly Qassam rocket, and its (0? near 0?) victims. Who knows - perhaps next, the Palestinians will invent the lethal weapon known as a "knife". Perhaps that would help them commit viscious acts of terror on the innocent settlers that are only taking Palestinian land each year and forcing them into walled in refugee camps with 20 foot high walls complete with prison-style guard towers and snipers nests.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (2, Informative)

yppiz (574466) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530239)

The question I was responding to was not whether home-made rockets have killed people, but instead whether they have ever been used to terrorize people. The Qassam rockets are certainly in the latter category.

--Pat / zippy@cs.brandeis.edu

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1)

dirvish (574948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530241)

Yeah, the amateur rockets I have built wouldn't have done much in a war (even the ones without parachutes). You would be better off throwing rocks.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (4, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530107)

Maybe we should outlaw fertilizer and diesel fuel

Unforunately you need fertilizer to grow plants to feed the animals that roam the ranches paid for by oil profits.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530267)

and plants could be used the feed terrorists!

quick, kill all the plants that support terrorist activities, all grains and veggies! fortunatly we should all be on atkins diet now so it won't affect us americans.

[/humor]

-Joe 2-Keg (joe 6-packs fatter brother)

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530175)

Maybe we should outlaw fertilizer and diesel fuel,

And doesn't it scare you that the anthrax lab that was used in killing americans on american land hasn't been shut down yet either.

Seems like that whole issue was dropped in the Iraq distraction.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (5, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530221)

Yeah, when have you ever heard of an amateur rocket being used for terrorism?

From the linked article:
"There is no consistency as to what is acceptable in one region for the ATF that won't be acceptable somewhere else," said Wickman. "The ATF people seem, as a rule, to feel this whole idea of hobby rocketry being regulated by the (government is) a mistake and a waste of time. There's a disconnect between the ATF in Washington and the regional field offices."

What's worse, even though not much has changed about the regulations, they are subject to arbitrary interpretation in the field, said Bundick, of the National Association of Rocketry. "It's a never-ending treadmill to try to pacify the local inspector."

The Justice Department's Nowacki didn't respond to questions about the ATF's perceived inconsistency.


What you model terrorists don't seem to understand is that it doesn't matter that model rockets can't be used as weapons of terror.

What's important isn't controlling model rockets, per se; what's important is getting the American public used to a never-ending "war against terror", keeping them keyed-up, ever fearful and ever compliant.

What's important is getting the public resigned to always asking permission from the government, always being afraid that they're at risk of arrest, even for hobbies the government knows full well pose no realistic risk of harm.

And ultimately, what's important is making the people of this nation realize who is boss -- the government and its bureaucrats and its corporate owners --, and who is the servant -- the common taxpayer.

Once you realize that your hobbies "need" to be regulated to "fight terror", you'll docilely let the FBI knock on your door on behalf of the RIAA's searches, and you'll agree to submit your open source code to government inspection to make sure it doesn't "INDUCE" violation of copyright [arstechnica.com] .

Once the formerly free American sheeple resign themselves to arbitrary governmental intrusions into their lives in order to further some ill-defined and ever elusive "war against terror", they'll stop squawking about
Or as our beloved Reichsminister Ashcroft explained, to the Senate Judiciary Committee, "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty ... your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and ... give ammunition to America's enemies."

Outlaw fertilizer? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530237)

They'd have to arrest all members of Congress then.

TROLL TROLL TROLL (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530005)

Score 4, Insightful? You moderators are so braindead you'd mod up anything.

Fuck you.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (0, Flamebait)

Rivak (144363) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530006)

Insightful?!?! I didn't realize commercial airliners were considered amateur rockets these days.. I'd hate to see what the pros use!

Dear God, you're dense! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530054)

That is all.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530075)

First model rockets and then weapons of math instruction. Tomorrow's scientists will be supplied with only a small fork with a safety cork covering the sharp bits.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1)

tmasssey (546878) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530149)

<VOICE STYLE="Ruprecht">

Excuse me, may I go to the bathroom?

</VOICE>

One of my favorite movies [imdb.com] ...

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (0, Offtopic)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530096)

you have got to be kidding me... a new low in stupid Mods

This post:

Obviously, these people are forgetting the role that amateur rocketry played in 9-11.

Gets you a fucking Score: 4, Insightful

What the hell? IT WAS A JOKE! Amateur rocketry played no role in anything (other than getting geeks outside for part of a day).

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (2, Interesting)

DosBubba (766897) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530118)

Obviously, your forgetting how hobbyists vastly improve technology. Orville and Wilber Wright were hobbyists. They weren't forced to do anything. They did it because that's what they enjoyed doing, and look at what they were able to accomplish. Would they have even attempted to design anything if they had to go through an extensive background check?

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530199)

Hmm, is someone trying a new version of the with Slashdot? Posting something that on the front may look reasonable, but when you actually pay attention to what it says, is really utter nonsense?

If that was your goal, good form!

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530245)

Erm, I must have malformed my tags: A new version of the Sokal Affair [brainyencyclopedia.com] .

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530207)

Obviously, these people are forgetting the role that amateur rocketry played in 9-11.

What rocketry played in 9-11? From my understanding it was three planes that were purposefully crashed into buildings (and the ground).
While I agree safety measures should be taken, it should also not be too extreme. It is easier to buy a legal gun in PA then it is to get passed that rocketry law.
Real terrorists will not be using your local Estes rockets to launch their bombs.

Re:Hey, whose side are they on? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530254)

The rocket hobbyists simply need to rename themselves to missile defense enthusiasts - no way Bush would not back those.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (5, Insightful)

dnahelix (598670) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529951)

The only way we are going to change things is to VOTE and get those ass-heads out of office!

Re:VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (2, Informative)

marnargulus (776948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530081)

From the ATF site:
Carl J. Truscott was appointed by Attorney General John Ashcroft to be the 6th Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in the Department of Justice, on April 18, 2004
These guys get appointed, and the ones that aren't appointed get hired. It isn't really a voting issue, more of an issue with appointees.

Re:VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (1)

dirvish (574948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530185)

For that matter I don't remember ever voting for Ashcroft. Although, Gore (or Nader) wouldn't have appointed him.

Re:VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (2, Funny)

JojoLinkyBob (110971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530125)

I believe the appropriate term is asshat [confusednation.com] ...and I certainly hope I don't come across as one in bringing this up :)

Re:VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530203)

The only way we are going to change things is to VOTE and get those ass-heads out of office!

I think you misspelled "rebel." The asshats will just be replaced by other asshats.

Some good, some FUD (5, Interesting)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529953)

Some decent informational content, but some traditional WIRED/media FUD.

The latest explanation about the case progress from Mr. Bundick is at: http://nar.org/NARfrompres.html

Full archive of all NAR articles regarding this and related issues:
http://nar.org/legislative.html

As for "losing" members, last I heard both NAR and Tripoli were maintaining even membership numbers.

Using CP Technologies as a measure is misleading. Their products are for building your own engines. Very few people are interested in that to begin with. Most use either single use motors, or more commonly reloadable motors.

Aerotech, manufacturer of mid-power rocket kits as well as reloadable motors and the reloads for them, is doing fine despite having suffered a fire. They filed bankruptcy, were purchsed by another company to keep them going, and are back in business full tilt, supplying thousands of rocketeers with motors and fuel.

We're supposed to take the word of ATFE that rockets are dangerous? Well, I guess they are in the wrong hands. ATFE burned down a rented van by being stupid while trying to test rockets to prove they were dangerous. See: http://www.maxthrust.net/displayarticle749.html

NAR #28965, 40 years without a rocket related accident or damage.

THEY CAN USE THE ROCKETS FOR ANAL STIMULATION NOW. (1)

Subject Line Troll (581198) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530036)

Hobby Lobby Fingerprint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9529967)

So, will they fingerprint us when we buy one of those cheap model rockets from Hobby Lobby? I used to love those - I would just fire off the engine without the rocket.

paul.guerette@effem.com

Re:Hobby Lobby Fingerprint? (1)

JTMON (313481) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530103)

Are you THAT dumb...oh wait you are...you're the one that said the gov't is just trying to help....READ THE FUCKING SLASHDOT BLURB even and you'll have your answer

It's people like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9529968)

... that will be the first to be reprogrammed.

Don't understand (0, Redundant)

Sean80 (567340) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529974)

What does the government think will be the terrorist threat here? That Osama will make little nuclear rockets and launch them from a college rocketry club?

I absolutely loved October Sky when I finally saw it the other day. Pity this has left a bad taste in my mouth now.

Nah. (5, Funny)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530080)

They think I will take out an airplane, distracting the secret service (the initials happen to be SS), with my 2 stage balsa wood rocket with an egg in the payload section. Then, the egg would drop from the payload compartment onto a speeding car and cause an accident blocking th presidential motorcade so that that Lee Harvey Oswald can shoot Bush from the Clinton Library.

Something Windows can do that Linux can't (1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529977)

I'm disappointed by Linux. I've asked many people for an answer to the following task, yet no one has been able to give me an answer. Thus I can conclude Linux cannot do something Windows can.

Is it possible for Linux to save a streaming media file, like Real Media? Apparently not.

Re:Something Windows can do that Linux can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530151)

stop sniffing glue.

This has been a huge problem (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9529979)

for my V-2 reenactment society. Bloody red tape.

Re:This has been a huge problem (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529998)

Great, thanks for making me laugh out loud at work :P

pf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9529982)

yea

Launch the rockets anyway (4, Funny)

rwrife (712064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529983)

Just launch the rockets anyway and run (so you don't get a fine or jail time).....seriously, what are they going to do? Catch the rocket in mid air?

Re:Launch the rockets anyway (4, Insightful)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530156)

Believe it or not, I've seen people do precisely that all the time. People have to really hunt to find launch sites around here (San Diego), and it's gotten worse since the fires (which is completely understandable). So every once in a while, you see somebody shoot a rocket up and then leave. They don't even collect the things

What I've always done is launch my rockets out in the desert (BLM property, which is state-owned and open to everyone for anything). I have a handy dry-lake launch site where there isn't anything flammable, or any people either for that matter.

This may sound crazy... (1)

ncurses (764489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9529994)

I am totally serious when I say: If a few people may get killed because of this rocketry program which is helping to advance science and understanding, then that's a risk I'm willing to take. If you can't advance knowledge, there's no point in living.

Re:This may sound crazy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530015)

errrrr... a risk you're willing to take? More likely a risk you are willing to let others take, no?

Re:This may sound crazy... (1)

ncurses (764489) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530129)

The risk that I die in an attack is the same as the risk that you would die in an attack.

Re:This may sound crazy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530253)

In what way is that a rebuttal to what I just posted?

These aren't the rocket's I used to play with (5, Interesting)

l810c (551591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530002)

Estes [estesrockets.com]

There's a link on the bottom of the page "Homeland Security & Model Rocketry". Basically anything they sell is still legal.

It's just motors with greater than .9 lbs of fuel. That's Huge and could very well be used as a weapon.

Re:These aren't the rocket's I used to play with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530067)

ATTENTION CITIZEN!

Your arm can be used as a weapon, please detach it and turn it into the nearest Protector of Freedom AT ONCE!

Re:These aren't the rocket's I used to play with (1)

Rivak (144363) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530072)

because terrorist don't have the time or energy to slice up 50 E engines and dump the contents into a pringles can..

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530122)

" and could very well be used as a weapon."

Really? Tell me how. Not just a theoretical example, but one that would have some basis in fact.

Re: Informative Parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530155)

I wasn't quick enough on the draw to post the same link. Although I did in the last two postings on this same subject.

Even hobby store rockets could be fired at a target and mounted with an explosive payload. But they are still fully legal. So are huge fireworks. I could also take a bunch of D engines and get a substantial boost too.

I am not sure what the big deal is on this twice redundant topic except that editors have a shortage of material.

Why Rocketry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530012)

My question is simply this: Are there any known cases of home-built or amateur rockets being used for terrorist purposes in the USA (or anywhere else, for that matter)? Or, is this simply a case of another paranoid preventative measure from beurocrats with little or no grasp on reality?

This sounds reasonable. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530018)

Unlike regulating bits, rockets *can* really be used to do harm.

Certainly, they're more dangerous than your typical windows virus!

You sound like a charter member... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530044)

You sound like a charter member of the "Me am dum" club.

Congrats.

Re:This sounds reasonable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530128)

Even more dangerous than guns... As much as I like the second ammendment and think people should be able to bear arms, the distructive potential of rockets sounds much scarier - at least with a gun you're likely to hit what you're pointing at.

(and for those windows companies who think viruses are more dangerous, fix your damn firewalls so I quit getting your spam).

Re:This sounds reasonable. (1)

L0stm4n (322418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530202)


Unlike regulating bits, rockets *can* really be used to do harm.

Certainly, they're more dangerous than your typical windows virus!


Yeah until that windows virus takes down the coast guard [slashdot.org] Allowing a terrorist to sneak a dirty bomb into A major harbour.

Regulate them ALL! (1)

DnsZero (78994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530264)

If were going to be requiring background checks for model frickin rockets, then what do you think we should require for 10000 pound SUV's? An anal probe and psych eval?

Cause they sure as hell have a far greater damage potential. Especially if you compare both vechicles (SUV and the rocket) with their maximum payloads.

(That's not an exageration Hummer H1 GVWR is 10,300lbs)

What about firecrackers? They're frickin rockets that come PRELOADED with explosives!!!

Holy shit, has no one read the story of Chicken Little?

Perspective... (2, Interesting)

Chagatai (524580) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530021)

From the government's perspective, anyone who engages in model rocketry could be capable of doing something more dangerous [slashdot.org] . Then again, this logic is so logically flawed, it's kind of like saying, "Citizens should not have water, as it could lead to drowning deaths".

Re:Perspective... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530150)

Recreational sports shooters have been fighting this mentality for decades.

Re:Perspective... (1)

DustinB (220805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530198)

All water purchased should come labeled with a warning that breathing only water for extended periods of time is hazardous. Without that label, I'm sure thousands are dying needlessly.

rocketry: dangerous? (1, Insightful)

will.murnane (791409) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530022)

Although I admit that this is a stupid regulation and fairly dictatorial, it shouldn't be that big a deal. If people are interested in rocketry, they can go through the licensing stuff and then go for it. Even if model rockets weren't used on 9/11, that doesn't mean they can't be used for similar purposes. They're basically explosives. Regulations on explosives are generally good things.

Re:rocketry: dangerous? (3, Funny)

rwrife (712064) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530090)

They're not dangerous....I once built a shoulder mounted rocket launcher out of a small estes rocket and I'm sure it would have been cool to watch slam into my parent's house had my face and eyes not been burned by the exhaust.

Silly (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530099)

What will "licensing" do? Nothing.

The 9/11 pilots went through flight training (in LICENSED classrooms). The government knew about it, but they did nothing about it.

If the government can't be bothered following up on known terrorist taking flight training in the US, why are they trying to license model rocketry, which is incapable of being used for terrorism the way the governement is implying?

People should use their brains. If you wanted to cause harm with a projectile, it would simpler and cheaper to bring in a shoulder fired missle that is readily available on the international arms black market than it is to engineer a rocket with a guidance system system capable of hitting a plane.

Think for a change instead of assuming a bunch of assinine bureaucrats are actually helping.

0.9 pounds of fuel (1)

dirvish (574948) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530046)

In any case, since the federal Safe Explosives Act -- which requires permits for rockets with more than 0.9 pounds of fuel -- went into effect in late 2002, the rocketry industry has been battered.

How big of a rocket engine is that? I assume that is bigger than your typical hobby rocket engine. Not that it justifies the feds regulations, the hobby engines could certainly be next.

Time to trade in (5, Funny)

xmedar (55856) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530056)

Those American passports, Europe is nice, come over here, have some cheese and wine, and be free of your oppressors, huddled masses welcome!

Re:Time to trade in (4, Informative)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530219)

...Those American passports, Europe is nice, come over here,...

I did a quick google, and it is not like Europe is free of regulation for model rocketry. [europerocketry.com] It seems that things are very similar:

Engines can be shipped via postal services or for larger parcels via special postal services because you can only buy A,B,C and D. Shops can sell motors but only A,B,C and sometimes D.
I assume the A, B, C, and D engines sizes are the same as easily bought in the U.S. [estesrockets.com]

Re:Time to trade in (-1, Offtopic)

Radon Knight (684275) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530250)

Europe is nice, come over here,

Yeah, just be sure to pick your country with care. I moved from the US to the UK (no language problem) and wound up sorely disappointed. When people described the UK as a "second-world country", I ignored them. However, they turned out to be mostly right, with one important difference. I visited a second-world country once (the Soviet Union, back before it collapsed). Know what the biggest difference between the UK and the Soviet Union was?

The streets were cleaner in the Soviet Union.

Re:Time to trade in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530266)

Uh, which part of Europe would the safe part be? No offense, I think you guys are great, but I'm heading to Canada. At least their only form of terror is making you learn French.

My 2 cents (2, Insightful)

Osgyth (790644) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530060)

Why is the gov't bothering to regulate a hobby the countless people have participated it, that unless my memory fails me, has never posed a threat to this so called "national security" myth. Their time and our money could be better spent in other ways. (I've got no clue where, which is why I'm not running for office.) Model rocketry has been one of my favorite hobbies for years, and i have never heard of it being misused in a way that warrants attraction from the federal government.

Blown away (1)

dylan_- (1661) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530061)


They're not "blown away"...they're "ablated"...

Back in the Day... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530062)

When I was a kid we used to save up our spare change and head to the local variety store to buy a few rockets. I can remember launching them in a playground and even from my backyard. Not the safest thing, but still fun.

I remember one time we were about to launch from the playground and a cop drove up and just sat in his car. We knew we probably shouldn't be launching from the neighborhood so we just waited. About 5 minutes later the cop gets out and asks "When you gonna launch that thing? I want to see it"

Today I suppose that would be a federal offense.

Yeah Right (5, Interesting)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530065)

Becuase the terrorists would set up rocket clubs. These regulations are insane. If they (terrorist) wanted to blast rockets or do whatever they do with them, they'll just do it, wether there are regulations for background check of rocket club members or not. What is next, do background checks on LUGs because of cyberterrorism, or perhaps read people's email ... (oh, wait, they already do that...doh!)

What you're forgetting... (5, Funny)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530104)

Despite the constant reminders from the Bush Administration, you've obviously forgotten: The sole reason that terrorists hate Americans because of our freedom and liberties.

The best way to prevent terrorist acts, therefore, is to strip those puppies away as quickly and efficiantly as possible.

Doesnt affect most rocketeers (5, Interesting)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530069)

The article states this doesnt affect most rocketeers, just those building the 30 foot ones carrying a pound of fuel. In my opinion, those SHOULD be regulated

Re:Doesnt affect most rocketeers (1)

v_1matst (166486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530228)

exactly... this isn't for the model rockets that you launch in your back yard or some other local field. This is for the model rockets that you launch in a controlled setting with certified people making sure everything checks out OK before the rocket is launched and goes over mach 1 headed towards space.

Stop being so damned reactionary...

Oooh, model rockets, scaaary.... (2, Interesting)

ronfar (52216) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530086)

One of the many activities I was involved in as a child was a model rocketry class. I spent my summer vactaion painting and building my rocket and at the end we were supposed to go out and fire the rocket. Unfortunately, I had to miss the last class so I still have this *chortle* *snicker* deadly terrorist weapon hanging around, as yet unfired, I'll just wait and *giggle* sell this oh-so-*snort* deadly device to my local al-Quaida cell and live on easy street (well, until easy street gets blown up, I guess.)

Seriously, though, the model rockets we used to build were cool and all, but they are much less dangerous than the average twelve-gauge shotgun that you can by at your local Walmart.

Still, I have to remember that the government is currently run by people who think that you can be hexed by Harry Potter books, I guess this is sort of the start of the Interregnum (R. A. Heinlein, for those who don't know... he wasn't that far off, except for thinking the First Prophet would be named Nehemiah Scudder...)

Re:Oooh, model rockets, scaaary.... (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530251)

Seriously, though, the model rockets we used to build were cool and all, but they are much less dangerous than the average twelve-gauge shotgun that you can by at your local Walmart

Those aren't the kind of rockets they are talking about. The kind of rockets they are talking about are huge and are very dangerous.

This has been a problem with pyrotechnicians too (4, Interesting)

caffeineboy (44704) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530097)

Ever since the Oklahoma City bombing there have been restrictions on pyrotechnicians. I don't know if it is a state law or a federal one but here in Ohio you are not allowed to have your shells for more than 3 days before a scheduled performance and there are a lot of permits to be filled out (this is all coming from a friend of mine).

I don't know if I feel more annoyed by this kind of thing, or more safe. It seems that if someone actually has a permit to buy display scale fireworks, they wouldn't be using them for anything questionable. Plus, once they have that level of expertise it wouldn't be too difficult for them to brew up their own home grown bomb if they really wanted to blow something up.

Police State (1)

tail.man (203483) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530121)

Wake up folks.

Have you read the patriot acts?

Every "crime" is "terrorism" now.

http://www.infowars.com/police_state.html

Vote Libertarian..

www.lp.org

Rockets are dangerous (1, Redundant)

nuggz (69912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530127)

Sorry rockets and rocket engines are potentially dangerous.
They like fertilizer and diesel fuel could be used in such a was as to have devastating effects.

Think of a 30' rocket, replace some of that with an explosive, or hazardous chemical. You could have a pretty dangerous weapon. It isn't a scud, but the V2 rockets weren't happily received either.

Again, like most potentially dangerous things this legislation will harrass the legitimate law abiding users, and the bad people will still have access to them.

Terrorist's converse (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530130)

Terrorist #1: Did you bring the stuff?

Terrorist #2: Well I got the explosives, but the ATF syas that .9lbs of propellant is illegal.

Terrorist #1: Shucks, we need 1.1 lbs of fuel.

Terrorist #2: Well I guess we have to scrub the mission.

Terrorist #1: Next time America! When you allow more than .9 lbs of propellant, next time!

Amateur breeder reactors too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530137)

This is very sad. We used to have a group of us that were working on an amateur breeder reactor. Got all sorts of great press for promoting nuclear science and showing how volunteers could produce all the Plutonium needed to defend our nation if we were in a pinch.

Now the Feds want us all to be fingerprinted and undergo background checks. That will probably disqualify the guy who fabs the chambers for us. He did time for drug dealing for selling marajuana to people who said they were sick. But it will be tough to replace him.

Heck, before the crackdown, Discovery Channel was going to do a feature show on us for Nuclear Week. No more...

South Park (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530141)

Red Rocket's are already illegal...

Regulations can force innovation (1)

westendgirl (680185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530148)

Although I think that the regulations are a shame, situations like this can sometimes spur innovation. Perhaps, given the constraints at hand, someone will think of a new way to build or use rockets -- or even teach and observe rocketry. In the real world, engineers need to be able to build real rockets that consider safety, the regulatory environment, and viability. Maybe, by making kids think about some of these concepts, we'll inspire them to avoid building space shuttles that blow up.

Protecting themselves from rebels (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530152)

They just want fewer people to learn how to make and use rockets. They say to prevent terrorism, but when they finnaly unvail their police state they don't want rebels to be able to construct missile-type weapons against their choppers and what not.

Terrorist is to Freedom Fighter as Criminal is to Activist.

Orwell was 20 years too early.

United States people to piss off list (1)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530163)

1) Arabs with money and contacts
2) Europe, the second most populous and wealthy power block in the world
2) People within 50 miles of major cities with high explosives and a well tested delivery system
4) ???
5) Aliens

FUD (5, Informative)

thpdg (519053) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530171)

Is this just FUD? Estes says everything is ok. [estesrockets.com]

That's funny... (1)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530177)

I go to Kettering (about a year now,) and I never knew we had an amateur rocket club. Of course, most clubs don't advertise properly (that, and the main method of advertising is putting posters on public boards, which no one ever reads.)

Maybe they shut down before I got here.

Sad (3, Interesting)

blike (716795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530179)

Model rocketry had such a huge influence on me and my ambitions as a child. I remember being fascinated when my first estes rocket took flight and came down safely under a small parachute. To me, it was like my own personal NASA. I remember all the things I learned about the physics of gravity, drag, and newton's laws (however simplistic). Even recently I returned to the hobby armed with years of experience and tried my hand at video rocketry (http://www.blike.com/dmrocket/). I was still dumbfounded with fascination.

It breaks my heart to think that kids might not be able to experience the joy and wonder that rocketry brought me.

Blown Away? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530188)

So is this the crappy king of Blown Away [imdb.com] or the good kind of Blown Away [imdb.com] where we get to see Nicole Eggert's ta-tas.

Why Worry ? (0, Flamebait)

data64 (300466) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530192)

I am sure this can be out-sourced too.
Especially, since both India and China have healthy and thriving space programmes.

< /sarcasm >

Hobby rocket != Terrorist weapon (3, Insightful)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530194)

The chances of an unguided, sub-sonic rocket taking out an airplane is very small [space-rockets.com]

While I can agree that some regulation of large quantities of solid propellant is a prudent thing, the thresholds in the current regs [atf.gov] are too extreme, I think. Also, the $25 fee for a limited use permit is an unnecessary and excessive tax for an activity that has miminal impact on public assets.

KETTERING! Wow... I go there! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530204)

Kettering got mentioned on ./ I can't believe it. the poster must go there. Are you A section or B section. If you're B Section, how's Ernie? I miss that old guy. He's the only old man that could brighten my day by cursing at me and talking about his devlish escapades as a young man. Anyway, I think it's cook that a school of about 3000 students made it into ./

Hail General Determination!

Rocketry turns kids into terrorists (4, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9530227)

When he was 19, Werner von Braun joined a rocketry club, the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR). A few years later, his terror rockets were bombing London. If it hadn't been for the rocket club, the V-2 wouldn't have been built.

Kettering University Programming Society (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530258)

Here's a little Advert for a little know Kettering Club. The programming society is a group of students that gather on weeks 3,6,9 to eat pizza and talk about programming. We need more people, about half of the club is graduating soon. We'd like to get a few projects off the ground this term too.

If you would like to join or maybe even start a b section chapter contact me at ritt0249@kettering.edu

(Officers get a free year subscription to ACM)

Gun Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9530260)

Cumbersome regulations (which include extensive background checks) are pushing many to abandon the hobby.

Welcome to the world of law-abiding gun owners.
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