October 11th 2013 Meeting Report

The October 2013 meeting was attended by 10 members. The date for the next launched has now been moved to December 7th.I forgot to ask about any updates regarding the condition of the road. It may still be very rough when we get out there. Worst case scenario is having to usesomeone’s 4 wheel drive vehicle to ferry people back and forth who can’t drive the terrain themselves. That would slow us down, but won’t stop the firing. The treasurer reported that the RRS’s current balance is $16865.96. Three members have been promoted to administrative membership: Larry Hoffing, Chris Lujan, and Richard Garcia. Elections are coming up soon. I’m not sure when nominations or voting will be specifically. I think it starts at the next meeting, but I’m not sure. Sorry about the lack of specifics.

John Mariano brought with him some interesting RRS history to the meeting to share. In the 60s The RRS had an interview on TV with Louis Lomax,the first African-American television journalist. John brought some photographs and letters from the event. The story is an interesting one, involving some excitement over wanting to do a static firing in the TV station’s parking lot, and an ad hoc RRS banner.  I couldn’t do the story justice here. I’d like to see it written down for an article in a future RRS newsletter. Obviously that would require rebooting the newsletter, which I would love to do.


We are considering having an RRS group tour of the Space Shuttle Endeavor exhibition at the California Science Center. Still on the table is being shown around the USC Rocket Propulsion LAB by the group of RRS members studying there at USC. Since they are near each other we are considering doing them both on the same day in lieu of a typical monthly meeting. Sounds like a great time to me.

Speaking of the USC Rocket Propulsion LAB we have heard the results of their attempted suborbital space shot. The Traveler rocket blew up around 20,000 ft. But still, it’s an accomplishment to get as far as they did and to even be able to say they tried it. I hope they can comeback from this and give it another try. A more detailed account of it can be found here:







We discussed some launches and testing that we may be doing in December. Of particular interest was the discussion of Jim Gross’s planed static test of micrograin rockets motors. Although he expressed that it probably won’t be ready for this next firing. He intends to take some high quality data on the pressure curve of a micrograin rocket. There has been some long standing questions about how this propellant burns and he hopes to shed some light on the issue. Preparing this test is particularly challenging because of the need for some high temperature strain gauges whose application requires a specific heat treatment regiment for the high temperature adhesive that may need to go up to 600⁰ F. Does anyone have access to a heat treating oven? I was thinking that I could help make a programmable autoclave but that might be excessive for a one time use. But if there were some people who also need one for composites, or other heat treating, it might be a good excuse for making an RRS autoclave. Anyone interested? Either way Jims test promises to be interesting.


I’ve talked with Frank and Osvaldo and we will soon be working together to finish the web site. I’ll need them to setup a PayPal to take payments and to give me member information so I can set up a database of members so everyone who has already paid or is a lifetime member will have access to the members section of the web site.