February 23rd 2013 Firing report

One of the three possible tests were conducted. One member postponed a solid motor static firing. Members from USC RPL had planned to static test two solid propellant motors, but changed their plans  to one. They were experimenting with burn inhibitors to slow the burn rate of possible future motors. They also tested igniters, their first failed to ignite the motor, but the second succeeded. Upon ignition the motor experienced some chuffing initially before fully burning.


We experienced high winds and a bit of a sand storm at the site. I brought two cameras to film the test. Luckily the test fire was completed just before it got really bad. However one camera malfunctioned due to sand intake just before the firing, but the second camera still captured good footage.


Afterwards at home I had to dissemble both cameras and my cell phone to clean the sand out. While driving home on the 14 the winds were still high and a rock was thrown and shattered, but did not break through, our rear driver side window. This was my second visit to the test site and I know the wind isn’t always this bad, but next time I’ going to bring some goggles just in case as regular glasses aren’t much help. I would advise others do the same. I’m considering putting together a list of suggested items to bring when individuals visit the MTA. We should consider making an enclosure for cameras to protect them from ether sand or exhaust plumes.


-Richard Garcia


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