Tripoli-Colorado has a very active research community. If you are curious about "taking the plunge" into research activities, please feel free to ask at the launches or on the mailing list. We love to talk about our projects!

You may occasionally hear the word "experimental" used synonymously with "research." These two terms refer to the same thing: Tripoli Research. But what does this mean?

What is Tripoli Research?

Tripoli encourages research and development in all aspects of hobby rocketry.  However, the term "Tripoli Research" relates to development, testing, and flight of non-commercial rocket motors. Tripoli-Colorado's provides members with the facilities to safely test and fly their research creations.

Static test of hybrid motor
Static test of a hybrid "L" motor

Who may participate?

As per the Tripoli Unified Safety Code, all members of Tripoli Rocketry Association in good standing and certification level 2 or higher may participate in research activities involving motors up to the member's certification level. Members under the age of 18 certified under the Tripoli Mentoring Program may participate in research activities under the direction of an adult member with motors up to the adult member's certification level. NAR members may not participate in research activities, but they may attend Tripoli launches and may fly commercially-certified motors up to their current certification level. 

What types of motors are allowed?

Tripoli-Colorado allows any time of motor approved by the Tripoli Unified Safety Code.  This generally means composite motors using ammonium perchlorate or ammonium nitrate as the oxidizer, non-certified hybrid motors, some "sugar"-based propellants, and formerly certified commercially produced motors whose certification has expired may be used. No home-built black powder motors, nor any motors that use PVC casings may be used at a Tripoli launch. Motors that use liquid propellants are prohibited, with the exception of nitrous-oxide hybrid rocket motors.  

Where/when may I fly research?

All Tripoli-Colorado launches allow research flights; no special arrangements are necessary. There is no longer any distinction between commercial and non-commercial (research) launches at Tripoli-Colorado. If you have a project that qualifies as Tripoli Research, please bring it out and fly it!


Tripoli-Colorado adheres to the Tripoli Unified Safety Code. For your safety and everyone else's, please familiarize yourself with the following document:

Tripoli Unified Safety Code (at Tripoli HQ)

research-arreaux1 sresearch-arreaux2 sresearch-nike sWimpy Red static test

Tripoli Research
Tripoli Research

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 NOTAM is issued and we are go for launch on Sunday!
John Jamieson
Prefect Tripoli Colorado

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