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Amateur rockets are fueled by solid, hybrid or liquid propellants.

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By 1955, the non-profit RRS had obtained permits to operate on a public land holding near Cantil, California, near the northwestern edge of the Mojave Desert, where launch and static rocket activities have been continuously conducted since the society’s formation.Trained ROC volunteers launch rockets under supervision, from thirty-six portable gantries or launch pads during the larger events.A seasoned commentator counts down each launch, adding information banter about the rockets and their owners.The larger rockets can reach upwards of 19,000 feet, the ceiling allowed by the FAA.Entire families come out to camp on the dry lakebed for the weekend.Everyone attending must sign a liability release form before entering the event site.

Amateur rocketeers are certified at three different levels allowing participants to operate progressively larger engines as they become more skilled.

Participants control the various stages of the rocket, including the burn stage and parachute deployment via an altimeter that is read remotely.

Many of the rockets pack geo-locative sensors, which read the altitude reached and help owners to locate them on the lakebed.

The Mojave Desert is widely known as a military and aerospace testing site for a variety of supersonic aerial projectiles.

Alongside these military and commercial activities, amateur rocketeers, including scout troops, off-the-clock aerospace engineers, college and university rocketry club members and others congregate at several locations in the Mojave Desert to launch rockets, both large and small.

Indeed, I witnessed a rocket haphazardly sidewinding out of control towards spectators while I was documenting the 41 a" data-cycle-timeout="0" data-cycle-prev="#gslideshow_prev" data-cycle-next="#gslideshow_next" data-cycle-pager="#gslideshow_pager" data-cycle-pager-template=" " data-cycle-speed="750" data-cycle-center-horz="true" data-cycle-caption="#gslideshow_captions" data-cycle-caption-template="" Further west, in the rain shadow of the southern Sierra Nevada between Cantil and Randsburg at the edge of Kuehn Dry Lake, is the Friends of Amateur Rocketry (FAR).