We started the March 10th monthly meeting a bit late, 7:51pm. As usual, we met in Gardena at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center.
The first item was to discuss the progress of the upcoming RRS symposium to be held Saturday, April 22nd. We have confirmed several speakers and exhibitors including UCLA, USC, Caltech, CSULB, Cal Poly Pomona, Orbital-ATK, Norton Sales, Spaceport America, Mars City Design and the Aerospace Corporation. We still have a few speakers yet to confirm, but we will have a full listing which will be great for our public audience. We encourage everyone to download and share this flyer with everyone who would like to come out to the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena.
rrs symposium flyer 3 rev 1
Osvaldo surprised us all by completing the full-scale mockup of the SuperDosa boosted dart vehicle. The SuperDosa project is the RRS’s recent project to retake the amateur rocketry altitude record and rebuild many of our old capabilities from 20 years ago when the RRS held the record. This will be on display along with RRS standard alpha and beta rockets at the exhibitor hall during the symposium on April 22nd.
SuperDosa full scale mockup(1)
Although we’ve been having weekly teleconferences, the meeting offered the opportunity to discuss issues and address questions by all of those in attendance. Dr. Chris Zeineh of the Aerospace Corporation and four students from UCLA’s liquid bi-prop rocket team were in attendance. Frank had printed a few flyers and some of the brochures we plan to have at the symposium.
Our public relations campaign to advertise the RRS symposium is in full gear as we’re trying to get radio and TV spots in the local media market.
Frank also made an Eventbrite posting for the RRS symposium. It’s a free event so there’s no cost to register. Registering allows the RRS to gauge how big our audience might be. We’ll try to have food available at this event. I encourage everyone to register for the symposiuim at this event at the link below.
Eventbrite – RRS symposium (free to register)
John Mariano is working with his contacts at JPL to try to see if we can have the Explorer 1 satellite mockup on display as a really neat piece of space exploration history as this was the United States’ first satellite launched over 50 years ago. We hope we can bring that piece of history to the exhibition.
The Explorer 1 satellite (van Allen, Pickering, von Braun are holding it up)
The RRS has updated our Facebook page to get the word out. The link is below. Our members who are on Facebook should join this group. Anyone else is also welcome to join our Facebook page.
RRS Facebook page
The RRS will create an Instagram account soon which may make viewing our launch event photos and videos much easier. I plan to do this sometime before the next meeting in April.
The weekly teleconferences will continue in the ensuing weeks as we are less than 6 weeks out from the event, but looking to be in good shape. We hope to confirm more speakers and exhibitors very soon.
In other non-symposium related news, the RRS history project is progressing. I made contact with the Caltech Library to acquire electronic copies of three Astro-Jet newsletters from 1945 and 1946 which is when the RRS was known as the “Glendale Rocket Society”. We hope to get these and any other Astro-Jet newsletters added to our library archives soon.
Also, Richard Garcia acquired a nice Marotta solenoid valve from Norton Sales which could come in handy for future projects. The RRS still has plans to build a liquid propellant testing rig in the future.
solenoid valve, Marrotta
Norton Sales – North Hollywood, CA
I am also steadily working on making a simple thrust stand for firing alpha and beta rockets in the near future using the load cell kindly provided by our friends at Interface Force in Arizona.
Interface Force – Load Cells and more
We have rescheduled the March 18th launch event to a week later, March 25th. The girls academic leadership academy (GALA) will be launching four alphas. Larry and I may have another alpha or a beta for this event. We have invited UCLA to attend the launch to show them the Mojave Test Area (MTA) in advance of the two events they will be having with us.
UCLA has confirmed that they would like to conduct a hot-fire test series at the MTA for their IREC rocket systems on April 29th. There will be hybrid and solid motors tests. We also hope to have a few other people conduct launches or hot-firings.
Also, on June 3rd, UCLA will have a launch event at the RRS MTA to conclude the undergraduate class featuring two RRS standard alphas and two RRS standard betas and a set of ten smaller model rockets.
Lastly, USC had a very successful launch of their Fathom II rocket at Spaceport America last week. I invited USC to come and share in their results, but they are still compiling a posting for their website (link below). Also, this Friday they were properly celebrating their success. We hope to read their results soon. Also they have posted photos on their Instagram feed.
USC RPL website
USC RPL – Instagram feed
Our next meeting will be Friday, April 14th. This will be the last one before the symposium (April 22nd). I encourage all of our presenters and exhibitors to come out for this meeting to give you the opportunity to review the space and ask any last minute questions beforehand. Frank Miuccio and I are available anytime to answer questions by phone or email, but sometimes it’s best to walk the space in person.
Let me know if I missed anything or if anything posted here needs correction.