May 2016 meeting

The RRS monthly meeting was held at Gardena Community Center on the usual 2nd Friday of the month, May 13, 2016 (7:30pm).  As I wasn’t able to attend, I have posted some of the highlights I got from other members and attendees.  Thanks for your feedback!

Discussion continues about replacing the MTA blockhouse and upgrading the MTA outhouse.  Options are being evaluated.

At the meeting, Osvaldo showed his recycled alpha nozzle that he fitted with a graphite insert.  I wouldn’t mind having one of those?   I still have a supply of the graphite stock we received from Electro-Tech Machining in Long Beach.

We hope to have new alpha parts made soon to complete the alpha builds we need for Hermosa and have a new supply of parts for other members.  Our sincere thanks goes to American Precision Technology in San Fernando, California, 91340.

10 alphas will be built by the next group from Hermosa Junior High with recycled parts.

On the subject of alpha builds, I noticed that the fins welded to my tubes on the last two alpha builds had a lot of heat distortion even with a jig fixture.  I will try a thicker gauge (1/16″) sheet steel on subsequent builds and of course use short minimal passes to get only the attachment strength necessary.

The RRS has three new members to whom we say “Welcome!”  Richard Garcia is back in California after a stint at Firefly.  We’re glad to have him back.  As our ranks increase, we can start to build committees to assign new projects and bring ideas to completion.

Richard Garcia brought up the idea of building a basic static liquid motor with “safe” propellants to be used as a teaching tool to complement our current classes.

John Mariano expressed the need for printed educational materials to keep the RRS outreach program moving forward.  Flyers in particular would be helpful in promoting classes and rocket building events.  Written literature is always handy.  I am still working on the Alpha build curriculum and should have something to give to Chris, John and Frank for their input.  (I hope to get that out. I know we need something soon.)

It was suggested to build an amateur rocketry exhibit to have at a local museum.  Such an exhibit would be a great benefit to bringing in new members.   The RRS has a long and rich history to share.

Niels Anderson, an RRS member, put forth the idea that the RRS ought to rent a storage space to safely consolidate RRS documents which now reside in the homes of different members.

I understand that there will not be a launch scheduled at the MTA at the usual 3rd Saturday, May 21st.

There will be a launch at the MTA on June 4th.  The RRS will help the next group from Hermosa Junior High launch their Alphas.  I will also try to get my own Alpha rocket ready for the 4th of June.

The next RRS meeting is scheduled for June 10, 2016, at Gardena.

April 2016 meeting at USC

The April 8, 2016 meeting of the RRS took place on the campus of USC.  Osvaldo called the meeting to order at 8:05pm.  Video footage of the last Hermosa rocket build and launch event was shown again.  SpaceX’s laudable success in landing their first stage on their remote barge at sea was mentioned.

USC discussed the results of their static fire testing at the MTA on April 2nd which experienced excessive erosion in the nozzle.   The 6-inch propellant charge produced 2200 lbf of thrust for 9.5 seconds.  USC is attempting two re-design approaches and will test each option in static fire tests on April 16th at the MTA.  If one of these is successful, that design will be used in USC’s next launch in May.  RRS is working to confirm who the pyro-op will be for the 16th.

The RRS is preparing to make a new set of nozzles for the Alpha rocket.  In the meanwhile, Alpha parts are being gathered to support the next rocket build event at Hermosa.  USC had volunteered to send someone to Hermosa for a brief educational talk.  Hermosa High School will do a launch of their rocket builds on June 3rd at the MTA.

Chris mentioned that he may be close to having a lathe adapted for safely machining the graphite materials we have and confining the powdering residue.  This will be an important capability in future builds.

The new blockhouse at the MTA was discussed briefly.  USC may be able to assist the RRS with civil engineering expertise, possibly offering manual labor or even material assistance.

The RRS is still intent on making a thrust stand for their own static fire testing at the MTA.  The RRS was the generous recipient of an S-type load cell from Interface Force last year.  The frame design seems straight-forward, but the necessary electrical connections still need some work.

The meeting was adjourned to bring everyone to visit the USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory where they showed their past projects, current investigations and latest progress.  The RRS is grateful to USC for their hospitality.

The next month’s meeting will be held May 13, 2016, in our usual location at the Gardena Community Center.

April 2016 meeting of RRS at USC

The RRS will hold its April 2016 meeting on the USC campus, Friday, April 8th, from 7:30 to 9:00pm.  Please get there early as there will be groups congregating at 7pm and 7:30pm to guide people to the meeting place.  The meeting will be at the USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory, 854B Downey Way, Los Angeles, CA, 90089-1192.

For all attending, coming from the 110 North (southbound), exit Exposition, follow Exposition to Watt Way, ask gate attendant where meter parking is.

For all attending, coming from the 110 South (northbound), exit Exposition, follow Exposition exit around the DMV and under the freeway, then follow Exposition to Watt Way.  Ask gate attendant where meter parking is.

We will be meeting at the corner of Watt Way and Downey Way (W 36th Pl.).  There is a 2-hour parking lot west of that intersection at Downey Way (W 36th Pl.) and McClintock Ave.  The intersection can be found in the lower section of quadrant C5 on the map, linked below.

Map of USC campus

The pre-meet up times will be 7pm and 7:30pm to make sure everyone can congregate then be led into the meeting location.

Our next meeting (May 13, 2016) will resume back at our usual location, the Gardena Community Center.  Meetings are every 2nd Friday of each month.