November 8th 2013 Meeting Report

The November 2013 meeting was attended by 9 members. The date for the next launch is December 7th. The reported balance of the RRS was $17,616. The Society received donations from 3  members. Their names were given but I did not catch them. The road leading to the RRS has been repaired by FAR and Polaris and we will be reimbursing them for some of the cost.


Our membership is now at 64.That number is including the chapter at USC, I had thought that the USC group were members in the RRS directly, but it was explained to me that they are a chapter of the RRS.


Osvaldo brought two nozzles from Beta rockets. One was completely steel and had been fired once. There was a good deal or erosion at the throat of the nozzle. The second nozzle, after being fired once, had the throat bored out and replaced with a graphite insert. This nozzle had been fired 2 to 3 times with the graphite insert and showed very little wear especially compared to the standard steel nozzle. It is supposed to be able to last through 5 to 7 firings.


The episode of National Geographic’s TV show Meltdown has aired. The show follows 3 people who try to make money by buying precious metal scrap and melt it down to resells it for profit. We watched the part of the show pertaining to rocketry.  Some rocket engines are made with precious metals, for example copper for combustion chambers or silver and platinum in catalyst screens. The RRS was only on for a few minutes and was in a positive light. Hopefully we will be able to share the video with everyone soon. The episode will be reaired at some point and we will pass the info along when we get it.


We had nominations for next year’s executive council were made, and are as follows:

     Osvaldo Tarditti (current president)
     Richard Garcia (that’s me)
Vice President:
     Frank Miuccio
     Chris Lujan
     Matt Tarditti


Nominations are still open for 2 weeks after the meeting and write-ins are allowed. Larry Hoffing will be collecting and counting the ballots.  Details and information on voting should be going out to the administrative members soon. I’ll be sending out a statement for what I plan to as RRS president soon.


On the 9th and 10th I attended the 2013 SpaceUp La “unconference.”  That means all the talks, presentations, and sessions are given by the attendees. The time slots and rooms or “Pods” are determined all open at the beginning of the conference and are filled in by attendees on topics they are interested in. Some are presentations and some are open discussions.


The event was very interesting. The atmosphere was casual and you got to meet new and interesting people who are interested in space. It was attended by several employees from XCOR and some from SpaceX. Several members from National Space Society where there including some administrative members. Some of the topics at the pods where subluminal inter stellar travel, mechanical counter pressure spacesuits, “Is the Xprize still relevant?”, citizen science, I did a session on 3D printing rocket engines, and there where many more. I gave a T-5 talk on the RRS. The T-5 talks are the main evening event where people give a 5 minute talk with 20 slides.     My talk got a good reception and there is at least one guy who lives near Gardena who may come by our meetings. Hopefully we will be seeing him soon. SpaceUp is something I defiantly recommend for space enthusiast and I’ll defiantly try making it to the next one.


A great surprise to me was that they recorded a section of Planetary Radio on the first evening. I got to talk with Matt Kaplan the host of planetary radio. Matt also works at CSU Long Beach and is familiar with some of the rocketry projects there (who have tested and launched from both FAR and the MTA.) They’ve never done an episode from out at the test site and be he said that they would be interested in it. So we can probably get a spot on the show when and if we wanted.


Here are the rockets that are currently planned for the upcoming launch: Chris Lujan plans to test another sugar rocket, this time with a more firmly attached nozzle. Kevin Tice will be launching the Beta he built. And I will have a small sugar rocket to test. If I get everything finished in time I will also be static testing a small propane and oxygen rocket and the H2O2/Gasoline rocket that I’ve been working on.


Let’s look forward to a good launch.


-Richard Garcia

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