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All card-carrying members of the NAR may want to look away now. The West Oakland Rocketry Club, based out of West Oakland CA, breaks pretty much every rule in the NAR Handbook. This is not rocketry for kids, or those who are particularly safety-concerned. Dubbing what they do “art rocketry,” the group (a lot of the same folks associated with the Raygun Gothic Rocketship and the Steampunk Treehouse projects) has built rockets out of everything from frozen turkeys to snow men; Slinkies to Chinese food containers. (How cool is that “nuclear football” style launch control briefcase?)

(see more pics after the jump)


West Oakland Rocketry Club Highlights

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.



  1. pacifisticuff says:

    There are lots of ways to express yourself creatively with rocketry and stay within the safety codes of the NAR and TRA. Take a look at coverage of some of the naional events like NARAM or LDRS and you’ll see a lot of the same ideas as presented in this post, but done in a way that doesn’t flaunt the safety rules that have developed over time to keep hobby rocketry from being over regulated.

    1. BT says:

      We are well informed consenting adults, launching from private property. For us, safe is the opposite of fun. If you don’t like it, don’t show up.

      1. scottp says:

        Not well informed enough to realize you’re breaking both state and federal laws.