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.

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