The Melbourne Amateur Rocket Society (MARS) was first conceived on April 29th 2016 while members of the Victorian rocketry community where busy searching for a suitable launch site to hold a Victorian round of the Australian Youth Rocketry Challenge (AYRC).
In mid-May 2016 a suitable launch site was located near the town of Drouin, which met the ideal requirements; less the 100km from Melbourne’s population centre and only 45km from the SE growth corridor, located in Class G with a CASA ceiling of 8000ft AMSL, a most-weather access road and landholders that are supportive of both educational and amateur rocketry.
On June 17th 2016 founding members, Martin “Marty” Lynch and Karl Hemphill, together with Blake and Petar Nikolic from the AYRC visited two schools, talking to students from PREP to year 8 about rocketry and the AYRC and wowing them with low power flights.
The following day representatives of MARS met with the landholders and other interested people at the Drouin launch site and conducted 8 low and mid power demonstration flights, impressing the onlookers were both Nic Lottering and Marty Lynch’s flights on CTI G80 skidmark motors. Later that day while enjoying a BBQ a committee was formed including Marty Lynch (President), Nic Lottering (Vice President), Karl Hemphill (Secretary), Ashleigh Lynch (Treasurer) and Blake Nikolic (Committee Member). Rules for an Incorporated Association were adopted and on June 18th 2016 the Melbourne Amateur Rocket Society was Incorperated with the stated purpose to ‘promote amateur and hobby rocketry in Victoria, for educational and recreational purposes.’ MARS sought and was granted association with The Australian Model Rocket Society Inc. (AMRS), adopting the AMRS safety code/s for rocketry activities.