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Model Rocket Motors by Type

Booster Motors

Booster motors are intended for use in the first stage of a multi-stage model rocket. Unlike single-stage or upper-stage motors, booster motors do not have a delay or an ejection charge. So, a booster motor usually cannot be used by itself in a typical rocket because there will be no ejection charge to trigger deployment of the recovery system. Booster motors can be recognized by a "-0" at the end of their designation (indicating no delay).

Single-Stage Motors

Single-stage and upper-stage motors both include delays and ejection charges. The difference is that single-stage motors have a shorter delay before the ejection charge fires to deploy the recovery system.

Upper-Stage Motors

Upper-stage motors have longer delays before the ejection charge fires. This is because the upper stages of multi-stage rockets are usually flying faster and, therefore, coast a little longer before reaching apogee (the highest altitude in the rocket's flight). The longer delay allows the rocket to slow down and to reach it's maximum altitude before the parachute or other recovery system is deployed.



Some rockets will use types of motors that don't seem to be appropriate. For example, some saucer-style rockets recommend the use of booster motors and some lightweight, sleek single-stage rockets fly well using upper-stage motors. Please follow the manufacturer's recommendations when choosing motors for use in rockets built from kits.

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