Documentation for OpenRocket

User documentation

Unfortunately no user's guide currently exists for OpenRocket. Some documentation is available in the OpenRocket wiki pages, including a stub User's guide and a section of frequently asked questions.

If you would like to help, please extend the documentation!

Technical documentation

OpenRocket was originally written as the Master's thesis of Sampo Niskanen at Helsinki University of Technology. This thesis is being extended and updated as the OpenRocket technical documentation. Below is the latest technical documentation and the original Master's thesis.

CC BY-SA OpenRocket technical documentation (2013-05-10)    (PDF 1.4MB)

CC BY-NC-ND Development of an Open Source model rocket simulation software (Master's thesis)    (PDF 1.3MB)

The technical documentation is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License while the Master's thesis is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License.

Table of contents:

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Basics of model rocket flight
  3. 3. Aerodynamic properties of model rockets
  4. 4. Flight simulation
  5. 5. The OpenRocket simulation software
  6. 6. Comparison with experimental data
  7. 7. Conclusion
  1. A. Nose cone and transition geometries
  2. B. Transonic wave drag of nose cones
  3. C. Streamer drag coefficient estimation


A list of useful technical rocketry resources is available in the "Resources" wiki page, including links to Barrowman's original report and thesis, extensions for the Barrowman method, experimental rocket data etc.

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