February 2017 meeting

Despite the rain, we had a good attendance at the February meeting on Friday, the 10th. We came to order at 7:51pm.

Chris Lujan said that he’d put together some notes for a future posting on sugar rockets since he has had some experience with a classic in amateur rocketry. Look for that in the coming months.

Larry Hoffing and John Mariano have started an alpha rocket build event with GALA starting this month. The USC RPL will be assisting in the instruction and the event should culminate in the launch event at the MTA on March 18th.

Vera Mulyani who was on travel called into the meeting to give her presentation on Mars City Design. USC hosted a very successful 2016 GALA event that included Buzz Aldrin as a speaker. She’s been working to solicit donors to help start prototype building of some of the first 3-D printed concrete structures. There will be a fundraising dinner on May 25th as a benefit to the organization. Ultimately, the RRS will house a few of these exotic structures that will give us a cool extra shelter or two. According to the regolith samples taken from the site tour, the dry lake bed environment regolith materials should work very well.

Mars City Design

After Vera’s presentation, we discussed more of the RRS Symposium. We’re considering having a small static fire demonstration at the event with Steve Majdali. Possibly a black powder or sugar rocket? Still considering the details of how we could do this.

Also, we’ll need to get to work on the full scale mockup of the SuperDosa rocket. Osvaldo can make most if not all of the pieces, but maybe we’ll need help in getting everything ready before the symposium in April.

The RRS will formally begin the history project as we are one year before our 75th anniversary. We plan to interview many of our older and current members to recall what they can of their experiences with the RRS over the seven and a half decades of our society’s history. Our upcoming symposium will be a good opportunity for members new and past to get together. We’ll also use this opportunity to interview some and at least update contact information for members who would like to meet with us later.

Richard Garcia has been in discussions with an owner of a set of propellant tanks and a vertical test stand. The owner may consider donating a substantial amount of hardware to the RRS.

The RRS has agreed to support UCLA in an undergraduate design class by supplying some of our alpha and beta rockets. I have invited UCLA to come take a tour of the MTA. There was to be a launch event with UCLA on Saturday, May 20th.

Richard Garcia and myself were invited to UCLA’s Critical Design Review on Saturday, February 11th for their hybrid rocket project at the next IREC launch in June.

We’ve been having weekly teleconferences to help track assignments and note progress. The symposium is picking up a lot of momentum as we have confirmed several speakers from private industry and universities. We still need a lot of help from our members and others who would like to support the RRS.

Our meeting adjourned as the Ken Nakaoka Community Center closed at 9:00pm.

If there is anything I missed or misstated, please let me know. Our next meeting will be Friday, March 10th.

Charles Hoult, 1933-2016

The Reaction Research Society (RRS) would like to remember Charles Hoult who passed away late last year in November. Educated at MIT and UCLA, he began his career in the Air Force working with sounding rockets starting in the late 1950’s until the late 70’s. He worked for Aerospace Corporation and TRW (Northrop Grumman) until his retirement in 2007. In addition to his professional work, he started academic work as an adjunct professor at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) in 2006. He was active for decades in the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) and attended many amateur rocket launches in several countries.

Experimental Sounding Rocket Association

One of his lasting contributions is his website with several open-source tools for amateur rocket design.
Rocket Science and Technology – Charles Hoult

His ashes are to be launched and dispersed into the atmosphere by a CSULB rocket over the ocean at an upcoming Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) event in June 2017.

The Los Angeles Times had an excellent obituary. The link is below:
Legacy.com / LA Times – Charles Hoult (1933-2016)

The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) department of CSULB also posted a memorium for Charles Hoult:
CSULB remembers Charles Hoult

Any of our members who have specific memories or even photos of Charles Hoult that they would like to share are encouraged to comment here.

January 2017 meeting

Our monthly meeting took place tonight, January 13, 2017. Meeting was called to order at 7:43pm. John Mariano made a motion that we say the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of our meetings. We did so at the January meeting and will do so thereafter.

Robert Kleinberger of Apogee Aeronautics called in to give the RRS a presentation on his company and work he’s done with sounding rockets. He covered a variety of subjects including the boosted dart system such as the SuperLoki.

Dr. Mitchell Spearrin of UCLA came to the meeting today. He discussed the UCLA Rocketry Club activities including prior work with hybrids and IREC program competition. He also mentioned the new projects UCLA would like to do with the RRS.

Planning for the upcoming RRS symposium will begin this month. The RRS symposium is officially scheduled for April 22nd. It will be a considerable effort and require the help of many of our members. It’ll be worth it as we make this all-day event a success. We will have the main room and auditorium. Ideas for wall arts and exhibits are in the works. We’re working on the confirmed speakers list. Frank is asking for RRS members to help out as there is a lot of work to be done to make this event a success.

Larry mentioned that Charles Hoult passed away late last year. He was one of the foremost leaders in sounding rockets having spent decades in the aerospace industry. Upon retirement, he dedicated his life to education teaching at CSULB and actively supported amateur rocketry. A fuller blog post will be forthcoming to honor his passing and contributions.

The “events@rrs.org” email is now available for the public to contact the RRS for alpha build events and the symposium.

Larry has indicated that the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) is interested in an alpha build event which should take place in the next few months. We look forward to hosting them at the launch event at the MTA. Also, Rise Academy may want to do another launch event.

In closing, a reminder of the importance of sunscreen was given. There are many hazards to consider at the MTA and being in the desert, but this is one that many people ignore and should not.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:30pm as the Gardena Community Center was closing.

Next meeting will be February 10th. Let me know if there’s anything I missed or misstated.