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Estes' 'DARC1' is its most challenging Space Corps model rocket kit yet

Estes DARC-1 model rocket
(Image credit: Estes)

Model rocket maker Estes has unveiled its newest expert-level rocket the DARC-1, as the latest addition to their Space Corps line just in time for the last days of summer. 

DARC-1 stands for Deep Atmospheric Research Craft and has a length of 9.3 inches (23.6cm) as well as a projected maximum altitude of 400 feet (122 meters) using Estes' B6-2, C5-3 or C6-3 size motors .

The model rocket itself is on sale for $29.99 but you will need a launch pad, launch controller (and batteries), Estes model rocket motors, starters and recovery wadding for a successful launch, which are all sold separately. You can check out other great model rockets and deals in our guide here: The best model rocket kits for 2021.

Estes Rascal and HiJinks Launch Set: $47.99 at Amazon

You can double your flying fun with the Estes Rascal and HiJinks launch set. Each rocket will require Estes engines (sold separately), which allows you to propel to 1,200 feet. They only take a couple of hours to assemble and are easily retrieved thanks to colorful parachutes. View Deal

As well as being the latest model rocket in Estes’ Space Corps line (a space military line of model rockets reminiscent of the U.S. Space Force), its "Expert" level means its among the model rocket maker's most challenging to build. So if intricate model rockets are your thing, this one might be an option for your launch pad after working your way up through Estes' Space Corp ranks to reach the DARC-1.

The story behind the DARC-1 is that it was originally designed to withstand the extreme conditions and atmospheric pressures of Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. After surveying the atmospheres of the latter two planets as well as other large moons, it was lost in a tragic accident over Titan.

In order to build the rocket you will need some scissors, a pencil, a ruler, fine sandpaper, yellow glue, medium CA glue, hobby knife, masking tape, primer (white) and paint (black, grey) all of which are sold separately. 

It is suitable for all ages 10 and above, but parental supervision will probably be needed for anyone under the age of 18 when making this model rocket. 

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Alexander Cox

STAFF WRITER, E-commerce — Alex joined Space.com in June 2021 as staff writer covering space news, games, tech, toys and deals. Based in London, U.K. Graduating in June 2020, Alex studied Sports Journalism in the North East of England at Sunderland University. During his studies and since his graduation, Alex has been featured in local newspapers and online publications covering a range of sports from university rugby to Premier League soccer. In addition to a background in sports and journalism, Alex has a life-long love of Star Wars which started with watching the prequel trilogy and collecting toy lightsabers, he also grew up spending most Saturday evenings watching Doctor Who. 


Contact Alexander: E-Mail Twitter