December 2016 meeting

The RRS held our last monthly meeting of 2016, this Friday, December 9th, at our usual meeting location at the Gardena Recreational Center. We were well attended but started at 8:10pm due to traffic causing problems for some.

The launch event at the MTA of November 12th with the Compton magnate school, Rise Academy, was a very successful event. Four alphas from the kids, one modified alpha from Osvaldo and Dave, and a beta from Larry. Osvaldo brought the recovered keychain camera footage that was taken. The quality was quite good considering such a small keychain sized device and the rough flight environment of the alpha launch. The green plume of the smoke grenade was quite clear. I showed some of my video footage of four of the five launches.

RRS to establish a point of contact with the mayor of Compton to help promote more RRS events. The RRS alpha build events are becoming more popular and this is great. A flyer for the RRS alpha build event is in the works. Certificates of completion for the RRS alpha build events will be a good thing to give at the completion of the event. The RRS alpha build event instructive presentation slides are still in work.

SuperDosa project has progressed slightly. To the visitors and new members in attendance I gave the original October 2016 briefing to reaffirm the purpose of the project to reclaim the amateur altitude record for the RRS. Our starting basis for design has been the SuperLoki. Chris Lujan helped me solve a problem with OpenRocket for the flight simulation. Propellant sample testing is the next step. I acquired a pressure transducer that will be useful for the ballistic evaluation motor tests for burn rate calculations. The design of the BEM is in work. The next meeting for the SuperDosa project will take place before year’s end.

The RRS has been the recipient of a manual hydrotest pump generously donated by Rice Hydro Inc., of Carson City, NV. We are very grateful to Rice Hydro and hope to give a good demonstration of this device in use as we proof tanks and tubing assemblies in the near future.

Rice Hydro Inc – Carson City, NV

The RRS made contact with Apogee Astronautics who owns a few SuperLoki launchers. Osvaldo and I met with the owner, Robert Kleinberger, who was passing through Los Angeles last month on business. The RRS has asked Robert to make a short presentation about sounding rockets and the SuperLoki. Although Robert wasn’t able to present at the December meeting tonight, we hope he’ll be able to send a presentation for next month’s meeting.

Three students from the UCLA Rocket Club came to the meeting, Hayden, Justin and Aaron; Dr. Mitch Spearrin is their co-advisor along with Dr. Richard Wirz who is on sabbatical. UCLA has been testing and flying hybrids (paraffin with nitrous oxide). UCLA is looking to build and fly a liquid rocket. We’re thankful to have UCLA come out tonight and hope to do projects with them in the future.

UCLA Rocket Project (URP)

Oliver and Mark were showing their model rocket, with a H-motor. They had built and tested an excellent dual-deployment parachute system. Also, they generously donated some 4 and 6 inch PVC electrical conduit pipe material for the RRS which may be used for a mockup at the upcoming RRS symposium in April 2017.

Mark and Oliver’s model rocket

The RRS held annual elections for the Executive Council. Election results for 2017 were as follows:
President = Osvaldo Tarditti; Vice President = Frank Miuccio; Secretary = Dave Nordling; Treasurer = Chris Lujan

Richard Garcia was appointed as the RRS Director of Research, an office formerly held by George Dosa himself.

Osvaldo summarized the RRS activities at the MTA for this year which included three junior high school launch events, 2 from Hermosa, 1 from Compton done in 2016. USC also held static fire tests at the MTA.

Mars City Design, TedX in Los Angeles

The Mars City Design organization was discussed again. Three to five prototype projects useful in Mars habitats will be built at the MTA as a field test of concepts. Concrete 3-D printing is a key technology to be demonstrated. The habitat will have real people living inside for the demonstration, if successful, the space can be used for camps and science field trips.

Godspeed, John Glenn. An American legend remembered.

John Glenn passed away this month. The RRS encourages individuals to contribute to the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation that was started by him and the rest of the Mercury 7 astronauts.

Astronaut Scholarship Foundation history

Astronaut Scholarship site

John F. Glenn memorial

Goddard and his rocket, 1926

Also, this month is the 100th anniversary of Robert H. Goddard’s seminal paper “A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes” that was submitted to the Smithsonian for publication. The father of American rocketry who built and flew the first liquid rocket made his mark on history a century ago. I have included a link to Clark University where you can read his paper for yourself.

Clark University – Goddard’s paper

We ran out of time quickly as we had many topics. Some will be brought up in our next meeting. The meeting adjourned at 9:36pm.

Let me know if there’s any additions or corrections to make. Our next meeting will be January 13, 2017 in our usual location at the Gardena Recreational Center.

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