MTA Firing Event, 2022-04-02

by Dave Nordling, President, Reaction Research Society


The RRS held a launch event at the Mojave Test Area on Saturday, 4/2/2022. Larry Hoffing was our pyrotechnic operator in charge. It was a very pleasant day with low winds for most of the day.

The sign arch welcomes people to the Mojave Test Area

It was also the first time in a long time that all four members of the executive council were present at the same event. We took the opportunity to capture the moment in a photograph.

The executive council for 2022; Keith Yoerg (secretary), Dave Nordling (president), Larry Hoffing (treasurer), Frank Miuccio (vice president)

The primary project for that day was the launch of 15 Baby Bertha rockets made by the students of Nickerson Gardens over the six-week educational program the society held with the support of LAPD CSP. The rockets give the students a tangible sense of accomplishment and seeing them in flight from the MTA gives them good memories of what hard work can do.

The newest armada of Baby Bertha’s ready for flight.
Students wait in the Dosa Building before the launch.
The launch rails made ready for the event.

There was an RRS standard alpha made for this occassion which flew at the end. It was prepared by our experienced pyro-op, Larry Hoffing, and made an impressive finish to this school event.

Larry Hoffing (right) trains his colleague in the assembly and loading of a micrograin alpha rocket.
Larry Hoffing oversees the launch rail with Keith Yoerg for an alpha launch.

Secondarily, we had a few members of the USC RPL team out at our site to begin repairs of the concrete pad area used in their static fire tests. Removal of the male anchor bolts in USC’s custom mounting pattern were finally distorted too much to be useful. They were a frequent tripping hazard and their removal was a blessing.

USC RPL cinducts repairs of the vertical test stand pad.
USC RPL team at work making improvements at the MTA.

Also, the USC RPL team made several contributions to improving the MTA site with earthwork, brush clearance, and just good old fashioned hard work. We’re grateful to them coming out to help keep the site in good shape,

Earthwork in progress to backfill the erosion.
View from the blockhouse of the Peregrine rocket ready for launch.

The last portion of the day was spent launching a few more model and high-power rockets before the winds became too high. We used the time to plan our next event and rearranged our materials in our new storage container.

Our next monthly meeting is Friday, April 8th. Contact the RRS secretary for information.

secretary@rrs.org –


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