September 2023 meeting

by Joel Cool-Panama, Secretary, RRS.ORG

The Reaction Research Society held its monthly meeting at the Compton/Woodley Airport location,
7:30 PM PST.

  • Elections in November
  • Special announcement from President Dave Nordling
  • Society tax status
  • RF Tracking system from Kerry Nock
  • Multitronix Kate-3 system (?)
  • Construction of containers from Falcon Structures completed on 8/25
    • Pictures, video walkthrough received
    • Final payment made 8/31
    • Delivery on 9/14
  • USC RPL pad anchor installation, 9/9 – 9/10
  • Erik, Derek, Rick static fire 9/9
  • Jerry Fuller/Aerospace 9/14 launch
  • USC RPL launch 10/21

Past Events

In late August, Treasurer Larry was contact by Kerry Nock of the Global Aerospace Corporation in regards to a RF tracking system, asking if any of our members were interested in the system. None present seemed to be. Around a week prior, this, Vern Knowles of the Multitronix company responded to a Kate-3 tracking system. This discussion was likewise brief.

President Dave has spoken with the University of Michigan recently, regarding their continued use of the MTA in regards to their rocket team. The University is apparently looking to launch as a location local, so as to reduce problems with traveling to California to do the same.

Society member Bill Inmann proudly reported that he launched his Solar Cat steam rocket again on Tuesday this week. He has apparently reduced the heating time significantly, and is looking to make further improvements to the rocket and his launcher.

Current Events

A discussion was held in regards to rocketry licensure. While the fees for rocketry licenses have recently been doubled, there is apparently an unwritten rule held by CalFire, that they will only strictly require that 20% of licensees for a certain license class are required to write one a recommendation letter to receive their own, in leiu of the requirement for five recommendations required by law. This is good news for anyone seeking their class 1
license, as there are fewer than 10 license holders in the whole of California, of which the Society only has 3 in its membership. This might mean that recommendations from the membership can be sufficient for additional members pursuing their class 1 licenses.

At this meeting the Society was pleased to meet Bill Nelson. He’s a machinist from Torrance, who is apparently interested in steam rocketry, akin to Bill Inmann. He apparently would like to join the Society, and brought with him some aluminum heat exchange tubes. Secretary Joel accepted those that he brought, as they may be useful on the Compton Comet.

Present at the meeting was a launch rail system from member Wolfram. Painted blue, they seemed to be of good quality, and the RRS has gladly accepted them. They will be stored in the 40′ container, once it is received, and Treasurer Larry will handle the tax letter for the donation.

It is with thanks that the Society announces that our previously late tax returns are now submitted to the State. However, the RRS is apparently still in delinquency with the Secretary of State. It’s been suggested that we may simply now be late on the previous year’s tax paperwork, but Larry is to get to the bottom of it.

The Society was pleased to have Pat Bahn in attendance at this meeting. He came specifically because he’s looking to hire someone to a Senior Liquid Rocket Engineer role. He will send his requirements to the Secretary, who will make them available on the Society web pages.

During the meeting, some of our members held a discussion regarding Parafin solid grains. It was speculated that they may make for a good fuel for a Mars return lander because, while they operate poorly at Earth surface temperature, they actually do quite well at -30 fahrenheit, about the surface temperature of Mars.

Future Business

Society members Erik, Derek, and Rich are to hold a static fire on September 9th, the day after this month’s meeting. We wish them well on their project. USC RPL was also hoping to work on their anchor installation project this weekend. However, no one from the Society is available to oversee them, and confidence in their handiwork skills is lacking.

Thursday, September 14th, is set to be quite the busy day at the MTA. On that day our 20′ and 40′ containerized office and crew cabin are set to be delivered, overseen by Society member Dimitri. We’ve chosen Get Hooked to handle the delivery, as they are much cheaper than the service recommended by Dimitri.

That same day, Jerry Fuller of Aerospace is set to launch. He’s expected to arrive earlier than later, as is his custom, and Dimitri will plan accordingly. Jerry will bring his own launch rails and other equipment, so he’s expected to be more or less independent of our personnel.

On the fifteenth, Vice-President Frank and Treasurer Larry are set to host a launch for their Boyle Heights class. However, the YMCA has been having trouble procuring funding for the bussing the students will need. If it turns out to be a problem, they will simply launch from town.

The USC RPL team is set for a launch event on October 21st. Their intent is to perform a grain characterization, on an 8″ system. Society member Dave Crisalli might be asked to oversee the event on behalf of the Society.

The Society has previously been paid for the installation of 4 additional solar panels, for the MTA. Osvaldo and Joe Dominguez are set to work on it. Another upcoming project is to finish the plumbing for the new restrooms. Osvaldo and Dimitri hope to work on it, to reduce cycling, and to also get more dispensers for toilet paper. Dave is also intending to get a cordless impact drill, for the MTA

In addition, the new 20′ and 40′ containers will require more AC power, for their AC units. Dimitri recommended Harbor Fright’s 9500 Predator, having good reviews, 7600 running watts, and costing about $2,500.

It is with pleasure that the Society is announcing our annual elections. Nominations will occur during the November meeting, after which members may then email their vote to the Election Secretary. The election will officially be over at the December meeting, where the winners of each office will be announced. New terms will begin January 1st, 2024.

Unfortunately, President Dave Nordling announced that he will not be seeking another term. He will remain as an advisor to the Compton Comet, and will continue to oversee American Artist’s project with LACMA, but is now looking to focus on his career and family. The Society appreciates the hard work that he has put in during his time as President and Secretary, and hopes that he remain active with us.

The next society meeting will be on October 13th, 2023, at the Compton/Woodley Airport location. Contact the secretary for details.

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