Rocket Races Approved For Earth Only, Unfortunately

Rocket-powered racers are now "sky-legal" - as far as the Federal Aviation Administration is concerned. This is the first time the FAA has approved production-scale rocket-powered aircraft for exhibition flights.

"I would like to personally thank the FAA for their assistance through this process," said Granger Whitelaw, Rocket Racing League co-founder and CEO. "This historic moment was built upon the unprecedented cooperation between our company, Armadillo Aerospace, and the FAA."

The league is selecting eight venues from more than twenty approved by the FAA, including Reno National Championship Air Races and Air Show in Reno, Nevada.


(Rocket racers win FAA approval)

While I approve of rocket races under any circumstances, I can't help but think that this is a sport that needs a bit larger scale.

Lester del Rey spun an early tale about rocket racing in his 1939 short story Habit. You see, they were having this eight-day rocket race out of Kor on Mars...

They'd given out the course that morning. We were to head out from Kor, point straight at Jupiter with a climb out of the plane of the ecliptic, drive down and hit a beacon rocket they were holding on a direct line with the big planet, forty million miles this side of him; that made about an even three-hundred-million-mile course from Mars, out and back, figured for eight days at a constant acceleration and deceleration of two gravities. It had been advertised as the longest and toughest race in rocket history, and they were certainly living up to the publicity.
(Read more about rocket racing)

Still, you've got to start somewhere.

See also this previous story comparing a Rocket racing league video and Star Wars pod racing video.

From FAA Approves Rocket Races . Thanks to Yossi for the tip on this story.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/17/2008)

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