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

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, and the Magnolia Science Academy.

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

UCSD SEDS group

UCLA Rocket Project

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

Rocketry Organization of California (ROC)

Mars City Design and LA Spaceport were both at the exhibition.

Mars City Design

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

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

Rocketdyne Atlas vernier engine

And 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 Durst 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

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

If there’s more photos anyone would like to share, please let me know.
secretary@rrs.org

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.

MTA launch event, 2017-03-25

The RRS was pleased to host a launch event at our Mojave Test Area (MTA) for the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA) of L.A. USD on Saturday, March 25, 2017. The event had an excellent turnout.

GALA at the MTA, panorama

GALA students on the MTA observation deck

Longtime member Dave Crisalli was our pyro-op for the event and I was able to serve as his assistant in conducting the launch of twelve alphas and a beta rocket.

Dave Crisalli

Osvaldo and Dave

If anyone else has photos of the event that they’d like to share, please email me:
secretary@rrs.org

Before we got started, we had a safety briefing showing how launch will take place and what to do before, during and after firing. To give an appreciation for the propellants commonly used in amateur rocketry, at a safe distance, we burned a sample of the micrograin.

John Mariano addresses the group

sample micrograin propellant burning

And a composite grain that Larry made for the demonstration

composite grain, before and after

AP composite grain, sample burn

We had 12 alphas and 1 beta for launch. GALA did a great job in painting their rockets. The bright colors not only distinguished one from the other, but they also made finding them downrange by their tailfins in the desert much easier to do. GALA also was wise to number their rockets. We took good notes on the flight times of each (35-38 seconds which is typical). With the wind noise, it wasn’t always possible to hear the faint thump. GALA did well in keeping quiet after launch to hear the thump and figure the direction where it was heard.

GALA rockets ready for launch

alpha launch rails facing out to the gate

GALA ready for launch

alpha launch 03-25-2017

Osvaldo equipped the last of the 12 alphas (all the way to the right in the photo below) with another fin-mounted keychain camera similar to what was done at the November 2016 launch event. Alas, it was not to be, the camera was destroyed and no footage was captured.

12 alphas laying in the rack

The beta was without payload except for the wooden adapter and a plastic Easter egg half as a nose cone. A buzzer and a strobe device was mounted to the beta fins in hopes to be better able to locate the vehicle in the search. Unfortunately, the beta, too was lost. No sound of impact was heard.

alphas and a beta (upside down)

Loading the beta into the rack

RRS beta launch 2017-03-25

Dr. Mitchell Spearrin of UCLA came by the event to tour the MTA as the RRS looks forward to working UCLA on their upcoming projects. Dr. Spearrin brought an Estes Ascender model rocket of his own to test at the MTA with a commercial F-motor. At the end of the GALA rockets, the model rocket was launched. I didn’t get any photos. I believe the winds carried the light rocket pretty far east of the MTA site. I understand that the rocket wasn’t able to be recovered.

Estes Ascender

Several of the alpha rockets launched by GALA were able to be recovered through hard work and sweat. I think of the 12 launches, 7 were recovered? An excellent job by the GALA team in finding and recovering a lot of the hardware.

GALA recovers an alpha

GALA alpha extracted

The RRS wants to thank GALA for their participation and hope they enjoyed the day as we did! We hope to have GALA come back for another event. Also, many thanks to Don Purpurra for contributing his photos of the event. The shots of the alphas and betas he took were incredible!
GALA Academy

If any other schools or groups are interested in participating in one of our build events, please contact our events coordinator, Larry Hoffing:
events@rrs.org

blockhouse view with the launch button gear

Our next RRS meeting will be Friday, April 14, 2017, at the Ken Nakaoka Community Center in Gardena, CA. This will be the last meeting before the RRS symposium which will be held Saturday, April 22nd at the same meeting location in Gardena. We encourage all of our participants to come by the Friday, April 14th meeting in advance of the symposium.

There will be speakers and an exhibition hall with universities and groups from government and private companies in attendance.

the latest RRS symposium flyer

Our latest flyer is linked here for download. Please share and post!
rrs symposium flyer 320

We also have tickets to the symposium being offered through an Eventbrite link given below. The event is free. We encourage everyone who’s interested in coming to sign up as this helps us get a better idea of how many people are coming.
Eventbrite – RRS symposium (free to register)

If I missed anything or if anything is misstated, please contact me:
secretary@rrs.org

March 2017 meeting

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)

SuperDosa-mockup (2)

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.
secretary@rrs.org