2019 RRS Symposium was a success!

Dave Nordling, RRS Secretary


For the third year in a row, the RRS held its annual space and rocketry symposium at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena on Saturday, April 27, 2019. We had over 200 people come to share the event with us. This was slightly larger from last year’s 75th anniversary celebration which marked this event as a big success. We’re glad to bring our public audience new things to see at each of these events.

The RRS logo proudly displayed at the 2019 Space and Rocketry Symposium
The power of teamwork. Folding RRS brochures on the night before the 2019 Space and Rocketry Symposium.

Our membership really delivered on setting up the ballroom for the event in record time. The RRS thanks our volunteer organization for donating their time in the night before and in the long day ahead.

The weather was cool in the night before. We set up in record time thanks to our membership.
After the audio and video checks in the ballroom, the RRS test fired our paper rocket launcher. Everything was ready.
The RRS symposium banner stands ready at the entrance of the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena, California

The RRS was glad to welcome many of our returning presenters and exhibitors such as the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC), US Rockets, Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, Northrop Grumman of Redondo Beach, USAF SMC Heritage Center, UCLA, USC RPL, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, Additive Rocket Corporation (ARC) and Bill Claybaugh’s Space Transportation Institute.

We had many new presenters join us for the first time such as AFRL Edwards AFB, Leo Aerospace and CSU Fullerton. We were also glad to have Spaceport LA, Columbia Memorial Space Center and Outside the Lines Arts Education join us in the exhibitors hall.

Peace, Love and Rockets: my pick for best T-shirt at the 2019 RRS symposium. Many thanks to Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) for having one of the biggest displays for three years running.
Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) is set up for the event to begin shortly.
Rocketry Organization of California at the 2019 RRS symposium
Jerry Irvine of US Rockets at the 2019 RRS symposium; manufacturer of high power solid motors

The RRS was glad to welcome several presenters from the local aerospace industry. Aerospace Corporation, a federally-funded research and development center (FFRDC), based in El Segundo and supporting mission assurance and research for the United State Air Force was a return visitor to our humble forum. We thank Dr. Christopher Zeineh for bringing another exciting current topic (MarsHop) in Aerospace’s research, this time with NASA and their Mars Exploration program.

Dr. Chris Zeineh of Aerospace Corporation presents at the 2019 RRS symposium on a project to increase the quantity of Mars soil samples in upcoming missions including Mars 2020.

Also, the RRS would like to thank Jacky Calvignac of Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (NGIS) from their Redondo Beach office giving an excellent presentation on spacecraft refueling systems. Northrop Grumman (formerly TRW many years ago) has been a big supporter of Los Angeles community events and we are blessed to have them share their work with our public audience.

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards AFB, CA, was another one of our featured presenters at the RRS symposium. The RRS thanks Nils Sedano and Phuoc Hai Tran for making the long journey from the high desert of Mojave to be with us and share the exciting research done at AFRL Edwards AFB.

Leo Aerospace, a Gardena-based start-up company, was another one of the RRS’s presenters at the symposium. Leo Aerospace founders, Abishek Murali and Dane Rudy, gave our audience an exciting description of their low-cost concept to sending cubesats to low-earth orbit. Their unconventional hybrid approach uses a hot air balloon to lift a small launch vehicle above most of the atmosphere then using a small rocket to reach space. The launcher concept is sometimes referred to as a “rockoon”.

Additive Rocket Corporation (ARC) of San Diego, California, made an excellent presentation of their patented approach to advanced rocket engine design through the amazing possibilities of 3D metal printing.

Additive Rocket Corporation (ARC) of San Diego discuss their advanced technology at their exhibit
Additive Rocket Corporation at the 2019 RRS symposium

RRS member, Alastair Martin, was exhibiting his company, Production Tribe LLC, and WatchHollywood.TV. He was filming many of the presentations during the symposium. His latest project, Rocket Talk Radio, is a podcast program discussing current topics in rocketry and space exploration.

Alastair Martin and his exhibit at the 2019 RRS symposium
Alastair Martin films a presentation at the 2019 RRS symposium

The Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Safety Partnership (LAPD CSP) were our honored guests and exhibitors in the main lobby. LAPD CSP helped the RRS in welcoming our visitors and showcasing the fun we’ve all shared. For almost two years, the RRS has conducted educational programs with local schools in Watts, Compton and others across Los Angeles. The “Rockets in the Projects” program continues to go strong with another program planned for this summer, and possibly again in the fall.

LAPD officers at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena supporting the 2019 RRS symposium

We also were glad to welcome Mad Mike Hughes and new member, Waldo Stakes, to the symposium for the first time. Mad Mike brought his latest manned suborbital steam rocket vehicle for display in the north parking lot of the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena.

Mad Mike Hughes (left) and Waldo Stakes (right) stand in front of “Juan Pollo” the manned steam rocket being tested and flown.

The Titan rover team of CSU Fullerton had their rover on display with frequent demonstrations of its agility and ability to test technologies for future Mars and Moon exploration.

The Titan Rover team of CSU Fullerton was a big hit at the 2019 RRS symposium. Their engineers gave demonstrations out front of the community center for most of the day.
CSU Fullerton presents their Titan Rover project at the 2019 RRS symposium

The RRS was glad to welcome back the Columbia Memorial Space Center of Downey, California. Similar to the RRS, they are an educational non-profit group working with local schools throughout the Los Angeles area.

Columbia Memorial Space Center of Downey, California, at the 2019 RRS symposium

One of our special guests at the RRS symposium was Deputy Fire Marshal, Ramiro Rodriguez of the California Fire Marshal’s (CALFIRE) office in Hollywood. Ramiro gave a great presentation to our amateur and professional rocketry audience on the subject of state regulations as they apply to our hobby and the licensing of pyrotechnic operators in the state of California. Ramiro has been very helpful with the RRS and is an advocate of rocketry in California. Ramiro was available to discuss licensing and permitting processes with our public audience throughout the day in the exhibition hall.

Ramiro Rodriguez of CALFIRE presents at the 2019 RRS Space and Rocketry Symposium

We had many university teams willing to share their latest success and challenges with their solid and liquid rocket projects.

University of California at Irvine showed up in force to support the 2019 RRS symposium

The UCLA Rocket Project is growing strong thanks to RRS member, Dave Crisalli. UCLA had a lot of new liquid rocket hardware on display at the exhibition.

UCLA Rocket Project on display at the 2019 RRS symposium
USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory (RPL) shows the latest static hot-fire results from their Traveller IV vehicle; The RRS MTA was glad to support USC
University of California San Diego presents their Collossus portable and modular thrust stand for small liquid rocket testing

The United States Air Force was one of featured guests at the exhibition. Lt. Col. Porter of Los Angeles AFB was giving demonstrations all day to our public audience.

Lt Col. Porter of the USAF Space and Missile Command at LA AFB gives a demonstration at the 2019 RRS symposium

Next to Lt. Col. Porter was Karen Austin of the USAF Space and Missile Center’s (SMC) Heritage Center dedicated to showcasing the long history of the US Air Force and our national defense in space. Her presentation at the symposium on the US Air Force in Space was very well received. The RRS is very grateful to the USAF SMC at LA AFB for supporting our event.

Karen Austin of the SMC Heritage Center at Los Angeles AFB at her exhibit in the 2019 RRS symposium

The events at the 2019 RRS symposium were not limited to the exhibition hall, ballroom and lobby. We had several outdoor demonstrations of a pneumatic paper rocket launcher. This is always a big hit. The popularity was so great that the RRS had to build one of our own!

Lunch time break at the symposium brought most people outside to enjoy the cool weather in late April 2019

I have several more photos from other people who were kind enough to document the event. I would like to thank all who came to the event and hope we’ll see everyone back at our next symposium. The RRS was glad to welcome new members and returning members throughout the day. Some of our members traveled far to be with us for this special annual event. We were also glad to receive a few membership applications at the event. The RRS is glad to welcome new members anytime.

RRS president, Osvaldo Tarditti (left) and new member, Joseph Maydell, joining us from Tampa, Florida
James Cox stands before his small copper thrust chamber at the RRS welcoming table at the 2019 symposium
RRS Treasurer, Chris Lujan, manages the audio, video and projection for the presentations.

The RRS membership voted last year that we would not hold our symposium in 2020. We will be focusing on our current projects and saving our resources for an even larger symposium event in 2021. The RRS is glad to have had three solid years of the symposium and great support from our participants.

The RRS front table welcomes our guests as the 2019 RRS symposium begins
The Reaction Research Society exhibit in the main lobby of the Ken Nakaoka Community Center

Our next monthly meeting of the RRS will be May 10th at 7:30pm, following our standard 2nd Friday convention. We meet at the same place, the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena. Please stop by if you’re interested in learning more. We’ll be discussing the symposium and the many projects we have in store for this summer.

The RRS flag flies above the door into the exhibition hall at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center at the 2019 Space and Rocketry Symposium

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