Lots of progress with RRS archiving and history

We’ve had a lot of progress recently with archiving RRS newsletters and other publications. I’ve put up six more newsletters. I’ve posted three more newsletters I received from Osvaldo a while back and had backlogged to post. This includes issue Vol_54_4_Dec_1997.pdf which is the second half of the RRS’s summary of the history of liquid propellant work at our society.

RRS liquid rockets from the 1990’s

Three more editions of the early Astrojet newsletter where also posted in the newsletters section with the help of Dave Nordling who got Caltech’s JPL library to send us what digital copies they had of Astrojet. I suspect they may have more in their archives because it seems odd to have only three non-sequential issues, but we haven’t been able to locate them through their catalog. The RRS is thankful to the Caltech JPL library for retaining and helping us obtain a copy of these early works of the Glendale Rocket Society (former name of the RRS). We hope to work with them more in finding all we can on the RRS history.

RRS founder, George James, with his “Slim Jim” rocket

Dave Crisalli shared with us ten more articles and two videos. These reports and videos have been posted on the “Other RRS articles” tab of the RRS website.

Six of these articles are from High Power Rocketry Magazine and were authored by Dave. Also included was the most recent versions of David Elliot’s and Lee Rosenthal’s hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) monopropellant rocket report from the 1950’s.

Dave Crisalli’s package included a Scientific American magazine article from 1957 which includes mention of the RRS. This is on the “Articles about the RRS” tab of our website.

Also we have an improved version of Dave Crisalli’s 1976 liquid rocket report that has been updated with more pictures and drawings.

Dave also shared two fantastic videos. One is the video report on the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) monopropellant rocket that was filmed at the time of construction and test in the 1950’s with audio narration by David Elliot being added later by Dave Crisalli.

The second is a video report on Dave’s sounding rocket, a written report on the Rocket was also shared. This video also includes some liquid propellant work done at the time by other RRS members.

Dave Crisalli’s regeneratively cooled LOX-kerosene rocket firing

Both of these new videos can be seen on the RRS YouTube channel linked below. Please subscribe to our channel so you can be informed of updates as we make them. There will certainly be more to come!
RRS YouTube channel – ReactionResearchSoc

Frank Miuccio, our society VP, contributed a small collection that I’ve also posted to the “articles about the RRS” tab of the RRS website. This included six magazine articles and some news clippings.

Image from Popular Science article

Another item added to the other RRS articles section, brought to us by John Mariano and scanned by RRS secretary, Dave Nordling, is a short book on early micrograin rockets jointly from the Reaction Research Society (RRS) and the Pacific Rocket Society (PRS). The title is simply “Micrograin Rockets” and was written by B.J. Humphreys Jr with excellent illustrations and descriptions.

Micrograin rocket and an early hybrid design (B.J. Humphreys Jr.)

Dave Nordling is also working on scanning a second book from John Mariano’s personal library which should be available soon.

A lot more will be coming soon. Frank Miuccio managed to obtain a collection of RRS newsletters. They are issue numbers 59 through 100 and he has lent them to me to scan. This will double the number of newsletters we have archived!

In addition to that, Dave Nordling has gotten for us the RRS material that happened to be scanned and collected by the Google Books Library Project. This was five documents some with several Astrojet editions included. The collection totals 934 pages in all. Although some of the Astrojet newsletters are duplicates. The collection includes reprints of the first eight RRS newsletters from our founding in 1943! A truly impressive find which we hope to share soon.

All this new material will have to be scanned and parsed before being posted, which I hope to accomplish one at a time over the next few months. I’ll write a follow-up post once it’s all up on the RRS website.

More RRS newsletters

We strongly encourage our current and former membership to consider donating or just letting the RRS borrow articles, photos and reports for scanning and inclusion into the ever-expanding RRS archives. We hope to build a great story for the RRS history project coinciding with our upcoming 75th anniversary next year.

If there are any errors, clarifications, questions, suggestions or other things you’d like to add or donate to the RRS archives, contact me at research@rrs.org.

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Posted 7 more Newsletters

I’ve gotten the 7 newsletters from the 1940’s that I got earlier scanned, polished up, and posted in the members section of RRS Newsletters. They are the earliest newsletters I’ve managed to recover. They cover some early hybrid rocketry work. The propellants they were trying were oxygen with wood or carbon rods as fuel and Nitric acid with Wood. These were early enough to predate the adoption of the term “hybrid” they where refereed to as “solid-liquid” engines at the time. They also cover rocket mail from the time, and its definitely a treat if you’re interested in that. They cover the history of rocket mail up to that point and the projects in rocket mail the Society was endeavoring in at the time. This includes a daring tale in number 22 about society members going to receive permission from Trona California to perform a rocket mail flight, they where plagued car troubles and wound up in the Mojave without food for a day. It’s worth a read. There is also an interesting article predicting the future of rocket mail discussing the projected details of a 15 Ton rocket for delivering mail between LA and San Francisco.

In these editions they make several mentions of RRS 8mm films. I’d love to be able to get a hold of them and do a high quality digital conversion so they can be shared and enjoyed amongst members and be preserved across a more accessible medium. If anyone has any old footage like this, I’d definitely chip in for the cost of converting them. (or any other RRS footage for that matter.)

In number 23 they explicitly mention that these editions of “Astro-Jet” that I’ve found are a separate publication from the RRS News. I don’t know when they started making “Astro-Jet” or when they stopped or how many were made. They are well produced and they appear to strive to showcase RRS activity to the interested public rather than a simple documentation of the official business of the RRS, which I imagine might have been captured by the RRS News of the time. “Astro-Jet” was obviously discontinued at some point but the RRS news of latter years appears to have the same feel so for the time being I’m still going to list them under the section on RRS newsletters. If anyone knows anything more about “Astro-Jet” let me know.

-Richard Garcia

"Space Station" drawn by RRS Staff Artist Nick Stasinos. The space station is described in "Spaceward!" in Astro-Jet No.23 Winter, 1948

“Space Station” drawn by RRS Staff Artist of the time Nick Stasinos. The space station is described in “Spaceward!” in Astro-Jet No.23 Winter, 1948

Oxygen/Wood hybrid engine

Oxygen/Wood hybrid engine

Volume 54 #3 September 1997 Newsletter

Great news, Brian Moran has sent me a scan of Volume 54 #3 September 1997 newsletter. I’m sure glad he did since this one is a really interesting one. It covers the history of liquid propellant rocketry conducted by RRS members from 1943 to 1990. Particularly interesting are two projects. One was a project by David Crisalli, a 900 lbf thrust regenerative cooled LOX-Kerosene rocket. The second project, by David Elliot and Lee Rosenthal, was a test firing of a rocket engine that used liquid metal (NAK) and water as propellants. Now that’s an interesting combo! I’ve added the newsletter to the members section of the library.

-Richard Garcia

Dave's Regin Engine