Roseville/Placer News

Sacramento model rocket club remains grounded

For over a year, the Sacramento Area Rocketry Group has searched high and low for a suitable launch site without success.

About this time last year, the group was informed by the owner of the rural Placer County property that members had been using as a launch site that it would no longer be available. The owner reached an agreement to use the land for cattle grazing.

The club hasn’t had a group launch for its adult or youth model rocket enthusiasts since then. While kids often launch illegally from schoolyards and parks, the Sacramento Area Rocketry Group is a professional organization and seeks a legal site for launches and to teach the love of rockets to the next generation.

“We’ve ‘reconned’ the area,” said Tom Sarradet, vice president of the organization. “We’ve knocked on doors. We approached Aerojet.”

The group initially hoped for a square mile property free of power lines, but has since lowered its expectations and would settle for property 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet.

Sarradet said the group has insurance and described model rocketry as a safe hobby.

Sarradet, who teaches at an Auburn Science Technology Engineering and Math education charter school, hopes someone will help the group find a place so they can resume teaching schoolchildren and Scout troops the principles that boost science and math skills.

“The aerospace industry is concerned because we are not producing enough engineers to replace those that are retiring,” Sarradet said. “The aerodynamics involved in flying a model rocket is the same as those dealt with by NASA.”