An Evening on Mars

RRS president Osvaldo Tarditti and RRS VP Frank Miuccio attended, “An Evening on Mars”, hosted by Mars City Design and Digital Hollywood on May 25, 2017 at the Skirball Cultural Center. Over 125 people attended this exciting and very successful evening. The RRS has been glad to collaborate with Mars City Design over the past year.

Mars City Design
Digital Hollywood

Attendees of this sold out event got to enjoy a Martian-themed dinner to experience what dining might be on Mars. Skirball Center chefs prepared a variety of foods grown by different organizations including Martian Farms, Martian Vineyard wines and vegetarian butchers.

Martian Farms – Facebook
Martian Vineyard

One of the main guest speakers at the event was the mayor of California City, Jennifer Wood. Mayor Wood gave a brief background of California City and discussed how the projects from Mars City Design would become an asset for the city.

Mayor Jennifer Wood, California City

Mars City Design is looking to place a prototype 3D-printed building at the RRS Mojave Test Area (MTA).

At the event the artist and filmmaker, Jan Frojdman, presented a beautiful flyover video compiled from the HiRISE camera orbital footage of the red planet. The link below is a sample from an article posted on CNET.com

Jan Frojdman – Mars Flyover (CNET.com)

The RRS donated a standard alpha rocket to Mars City Design for the event. The winner of the raffle was the organization, Space Nation. Although they decided not launch the rocket, since they really loved it and wanted to keep it intact, Space Nation did attend our launch event at the MTA with UCLA on June 3, 2017.

Space Nation

One of the highlights for the evening was the announcement of Mars City Design’s Challenges 2017 Finalists. The link below has more of the rich details on each of the winning design finalists.

Mars City Design – Finalists 2017

The RRS would like to thank Mars City Design and Digital Hollywood for producing a great event. We look forward to partnering with Mars City Design in further projects coming soon.

blue sunset on Mars, courtesy of JPL

***

MTA launch event, 2017-06-03

The RRS was glad to host another launch event at the Mojave Test Area (MTA) on June 3, 2017. With 71 people in attendance, this was one of the largest events we’ve had in recent memory at the MTA.

morning arrival of the UCLA caravan, 06-03-2017

Dave Crisalli was our pyro-op for this launch event that had a set of 10 model rocket launches for the MAE 157A class, 3 RRS alphas, 2 RRS betas, and another cold flow test series by the UCLA liquid rocket team in preparation for the FAR-MARS competition. Dave Crisalli was kind enough to allow me (Dave Nordling) to assist on the micrograin launches to gain experience as a pyro-op.

David Crisalli (RRS) and Dr. Mitchell Spearrin (UCLA)

It was also new member Bill Janczewsky’s first time at an RRS MTA launch event. We thank Bill for taking pictures of the launches. If anyone else has photos to share from the event, let me know.

Before we got started, we held our safety briefing with everyone in attendance. The briefing also introduced everyone to the purpose of each of the buildings and structures, how the testing will be conducted and outlined the unique and common hazards at the MTA.

Safety briefing at the RRS MTA, 06-03-2017

Dr. Mitchell Spearrin of UCLA brought his MAE 157A undergraduate class for the final weeks of the rocket build and trajectory lab. Ten custom rockets were built using F-motors and flying an altimeter chip with a hard-boiled egg on each. Surprisingly, more than half recovered their eggs with the shells in tact. Data was taken on each flight with good consistency, one trajectory I viewed from a smartphone application showed a maximum altitude of 2000 feet. All vehicles were recovered. I hope UCLA will send the RRS a compilation of their results to post here soon.

UCLA payload processing for MAE 157A

F-motors for the UCLA MAE 157A class

MAE 157A class, Spring Quarter 2017

the 10 rockets, up close

Dr. Mitchell Spearrin discusses the results of the MAE 157A launches

Preparation for the micrograin launches took some time. Osvaldo and I did the mixing and loading. Larry completed the assemblies with the burst disk and nozzles.

RRS micrograin mixing apparatus

micrograin propellant mixture, zinc and sulfur powder

RRS beta tube, filled

Larry loads the nozzle and finishes the assembly

During the preparations for the micro-grain rockets (RRS alphas and betas), We managed to get the LNG tanks unloaded from the truck. Many thanks for the extra help given by the students of UCLA. The LNG tanks will be very useful additions to the liquid rocket projects at the RRS. With luck, we’ll acquire an oxygen dewar to provide the oxidizer supply to our small engine development projects.

two LNG tanks delivered to the MTA site

Richard Garcia also managed to find an old beta that Osvaldo launched last year with a parachute recovery system. We are thankful to the folks at FAR for finding and holding on to the vehicle as they must have found it downrange for us.

Osvaldo’s red beta from last year, recovered

Red Beta payload

The recovered beta also had a graphite throat insert which held up very well.

Recovered red beta, nozzle with graphite insert

Mars City Design held their “Evening on Mars” gala fundraiser on May 25th.
The RRS donated an alpha rocket to the raffle held at the event.
Mars City Design.com

The winners were part of a film crew from Finland called “Fun Academy” which is part of the larger organization, “SpaceNation.org”.
Fun Academy
Space Nation

The RRS was glad to support Space Nation in their production at the MTA launch event. We hope the crew can share some of their best still images and video from the launch. The crew had a drone camera which should have captured an excellent perspective.

Mazdak Nassir (left) and Kasimir Lehto (right) of Space Nation

The UCLA liquid rocket team conducted another series of cold flow tests. The testing captured the pressure, temperature and flow rate profiles which met predictions. UCLA is working hard after their PDR was held this week in preparation for next year’s Mars Society liquid rocket competition at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry site.
Mars Society – liquid rocket competition at FAR

Rocket Project at UCLA, logo

UCLA cold flow test, 06-03-2017

UCLA switching bottles, cold flow testing

The last event was the micrograin rocket launches. UCLA had two RRS standard alphas and two standard betas for demonstration of the larger and more powerful amateur rockets. The RRS launched a third alpha that day with a yellow body and fins. With all attendees safely undercover, the launch did not fail to impress!

Osvaldo holds the two alphas for UCLA

two betas for UCLA before loading

gathering everyone to the observation bunker for the micrograin launches

Larry doing road checks waiting to clear for launch

bunker briefing, be quiet after launch and listen

montage of a beta taking off

With all of the action, it made for a very late day. With the temperature exceeding 100 Fahrenheit that day, most people didn’t have the strength to hunt for the UCLA alphas or betas after launch. The sound of impact was very, very faint, but a couple hits were heard.

Before the day’s micrograin launches, the alpha rails were turned slightly north from due west before the launch as the alphas seem to be falling more and more to the south. Impact on one of the alphas seemed to be due west. The impact on the second beta was heard in the southwest. Winds were low to very light and pushing to the east so I would expect to find the vehicles closer to the launch site. With time, we hope to recover all of them and recover some of the parts.

In particular, the second beta was outfitted with an altimeter chip. The aluminum payload tube was vented with holes. Although the metal tube would shield the signal from the transmitter. the chip has memory storage that could be recovered if the rocket is found not too long from now.

altimeter chip inside of a custom payload shroud within the second UCLA beta

altimeter shell mounted on the beta coupler

UCLA’s 2nd beta with altimeter, vented payload tube, SpaceNation.org sticker attached

loading the RRS standard beta into the rails

It was a long and hot day for everyone. Most objectives were accomplished and we hope to support UCLA in further testing including the hot fire of their liquid rocket when they are ready.

Our next monthly meeting is next Friday, June 9th, at 7:30pm at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena, California. We have been fortunate to have many new student members join us from UCLA and we hope they continue to be active with the RRS.

If there is anything that I missed or misstated, please let me know.
secretary@rrs.org

2017 RRS symposium was a success!

The RRS held its 2017 Rocket and Space Exhibition and Symposium today, April 22nd, at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena.

pulling up the banner

2017 RRS symposium

In attendance was Orbital-ATK, Aerospace Corporation, Tyvak, Navy Air Weapons Center at China Lake, the China Lake Museum, Rocketry Organization of California (ROC), University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, California State University Long Beach, University of California San Diego, University of California Irvine, Cal Poly Pomona, California Institute of Technology, Oregon State, Mars City Design, Spaceport LA and the Magnolia Science Academy.

Many of the university groups and private companies were exhibitors at the event.

UCSD SEDS group

UCLA Rocket Project

USC Rocket Propulsion Laboratory

The Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) had a great exhibit.

Rocketry Organization of California (ROC)

Mars City Design and Spaceport L.A. were both at the exhibition.

Mars City Design

Mars City Design

Mars City Design

Spaceport L.A.

The China Lake Museum also had a great display for their museum in Ridgecrest, CA, soon to be unveiled to the public.

China Lake Museum Foundation

China Lake Museum

Also, we were very fortunate to have a lot of rocketry equipment on display (on loan) from Norton Sales.

TRW pintle engine on display, courtesy of Norton Sales

Norton Sales – North Hollywood, CA

thrust chamber on loan from Norton Sales at the RRS symposium exhibition

Rocketdyne Atlas vernier engine

The RRS SuperDosa full-scale mockup was also on display.

The RRS SuperDosa rocket, full-scale mockup

Also a fine piece from Apogee Astronautics, a Viper 3A booster, on loan to the RRS symposium exhibition courtesy of Robert Kleinberger.

Viper 3A booster on loan from Apogee Astronautics

Many current and former members of the RRS were at the symposium.

Larry Hoffing, Niels Anderson, Chip Bassett, George Garboden and John Mariano

Hal Duffy and Osvaldo Tarditti

George Dosa, at the RRS symposium

Richard Garcia, our director of research at the RRS, had his liquid rocket breadboard on display, one of several projects started at the RRS this year.

Richard and his liquid rocket breadboard

RRS liquid rocket vehicle breadboard, work in progress

John Mariano and Larry Hoffing were both on hand at the RRS table all day at the symposium to talk about the society’s rich history and our recent work with local schools including Hermosa, Compton’s Rise Academy and the Girls Academic Leadership Academy of LA USD.

John Mariano at the RRS symposium exhibit

RRS exhibition at the 2017 symposium

The RRS looks forward to doing more events with schools as the importance of STEAM education is increasingly important. To anyone interested in doing rocket build events with the RRS, please contact the RRS at our events email: events@rrs.org

Osvaldo and Frank started off the symposium with the welcoming speech in the exhibition hall.

Frank Miuccio, RRS VP, gives an opening speech

I had the pleasure of giving the first presentation on the RRS’s history, present and future goals.

Dave Nordling, RRS past, present and future

We had presenters running throughout the day. Our presenters gave great speeches. We had a lot of participation from industry, academia and government with a good range of topics.

Warren Frick of Orbital-ATK presents at the RRS symposium speaker series

Matt Walker of NAWC China Lake presents at the RRS symposium

Dr. Jamie Bock of Cal Tech Astronomy Department presents on the CIBER project

Mars City Design has been in partnership with the RRS. Vera Mulyani gave a great presentation on their goals. On behalf of the RRS, Frank donated an alpha to the Mars City Design team for their upcoming “An Evening on Mars” dinner event on May 25th. An Evening on Mars – May 25, 2017 The RRS is glad to be working with Mars City on this ambitious project.

An RRS alpha is donated to Mars City Design

We are very grateful to all who came and to the Ken Nakaoka Community Center for hosting our event.
Ken Nakaoka Community Center – via Facebook

Also, we had a lot of great volunteers who we are indebted for making setup and teardown go swiftly and smoothly.

Dave Nordling, Richard Garcia, Bill Janczewski

The RRS thanks all of our volunteers!

Some of the photos on this post are courtesy of Tony Richards. Thank you for taking those, Tony. If there’s more photos anyone would like to share, please let me know.
secretary@rrs.org

Also, the RRS wants to thank Tacos Los 2 Amigos for providing lunch just outside of the community center. Many people appreciated and enjoyed it!

Tacos Los 2 Amigos – Yelp

In early April, I put out a group of emails to everyone that is on the RRS mailing list that I have. At the symposium, some of our current and former members have said that they didn’t receive the notice. As it seems our mailing list hasn’t been reaching everyone, please email me at: secretary@rrs.org and I will be sure to make the update.

Also, if any of our membership is having trouble accessing the members content on the RRS.ORG website, also, please let me know. I can talk to our webmaster and get that resolved.

The RRS is looking forward to next year’s symposium and if anyone has any feedback or any suggestions for improvement for next year’s symposium, please contact Frank.

vicepresident@rrs.org

We’ll be having a launch event at the MTA this next Saturday, April 29th, with UCLA doing a static firing and a launch. I hope there will be other launches we can do at this event.

Also, our next RRS meeting will be Friday, May 12th, 7:30pm, in Gardena. Please come out as we’ve got a lot of exciting things planned this summer and fall.