October 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.

  • USC RPL MTA padwork, 9/10
  • MTA
    • Containerized office and crew cabins delivered 9/14
      • Jerry Fuller launch 9/14
    • Bathroom, solar panel work
    • Polaris took their air conditioner
    • Purchasing new generator
  • Wolfram’s 1010 launch rail supplier
  • CSUN potential rocket program
  • LACMA updates, insurance
  • Rushd Julfiker appointed third Director of Research
  • New website
    • Old posts successfully imported
    • SEO
  • Consolidation of social media accounts
    • Gmail, Youtube accounts recovered
    • Keith to transfer control of Facebook account
  • Researching new charity donation sources
  • Joel to scan and store Aerospace and RRS News
  • USC RPL 10/21, 12/2
  • Fly Compton Air Fair 10/28

Past Events

The first subject of this month’s meeting was USC RPL’s padwork at the MTA on September 10th. USC installed some new anchors in one of our pads, in order to accomodate a new thrust stand which should better handle their rocket. They expect to achieve 5,000 lbs of thrust, and we appreciate their generosity and cooperation.

In regards to work projects at the MTA, there have been several updates to those organized by the Society in this past month. The first is that our two new furnished containers, a 20′ office space and 40′ crew cabin, were successfully delivered and installed on their respective pads on September 14th. It was reported that there were no winds that day, which made lowering the containers by the crane service relatively easy. It should be noted that these units come equipped with air conditioning units, and are estimated to require 3,000 watts of power, at most, to operate.

On this same day, Society member and Aerospace employee Jerry Fuller was scheduled to launch at the MTA. While his project seemingly went off successfully, he apparently was unhappy with the results he obtained. We hope his next attempt will turn out better.

Regarding power, we are glad to announce that the remaining four solar panels designated for the Dosa Building solar array have been successfully installed. This project was handled by Dimitri and Osvaldo, and we thank them again for their ongoing selfless commitment to the MTA and RRS.

While these projects were underway, however, they were notified by Polaris that our battery array was drained, with the batteries likely now being defective. We currently intend to replace them with lithium batteries, which have a greater lifespan than do lead acid batteries.

There was also more work done on the bathroom container. Some work was done on the water system, to reduce cycling and power drain. The bathrooms were also finally floored, which should improve their durability. It was also recommended that we acquire a curtain and curtain rod for the shower.

As all this work was underway, however, it was discovered that Polaris had, at some point, taken their air conditioning unit from the Dosa Building, per the lease agreement they have with the Society. Additional changes on site between the Society and Polaris are expected.

It was also during this past month that member Wolfram informed us as to his launch rail supplier. It’s a man in Texas who builds launch rails to order, and has them painted a color of your choice. The one that Wolfram bought was a TRI-1, and is listed at $385.

During this past month that Jerry Fuller introduced, through email, President Dave Nordling to Professor Vinicius M. Sauer at California State University, Northridge. Apparently the university had looked into a liquid rocket program in the past, and Jerry has suggested was cooperate with them to bring this ambition to reality. We hope that we can work with them to further enrich their students’ education through rocketry. Osvaldo will apparently be a further point of contact regarding this project.

LACMA has been another concern over the previous few weeks. Apparently they had initially wanted the RRS to carry $10 million dollars worth of contractor’s insurance for GALCIT project with American Artist. Such protection can be acquired for a reasonable price over a short period, but for the year long project that this is going to be, the cost is prohibitive to the Society, to say the least. Dave gave his feedback regards to this to our point of contact, Joel Ferree, but we’ve yet to receive a response.

Regarding the new website project, Joel has successfully imported all of the Society’s old blog posts. At the same time, he has been working on rewriting the individual webpages, to increase the occurrence of keywords such as “model rocket,” as well as to make the headings more succinct. He hopes that this will improve our SEO, and help us in acquiring new clientele through the internet. Some examples given during the meeting were met with feedback, such as to mention our being the oldest continuous operating rocketry society in the United States, and to again mention the MTA in the front page.

Another project of Joel’s has been to get a hold of all of the Society’s social media accounts. In this past month he successfully got a hold of the Gmail account, and the Youtube account with it. It has also been determined that former Secretary Keith still has administrative rights to the Society Facebook, and he will work with Joel and Vice-President Frank to get them access as well.

A good bit of news arrived this month, which was that the Society is no longer in delinquent status with the California Secretary of State. As such, our tax exempt status is not in good standing, and won’t be an issue again at all until next year.

On September 30th, Loyola Marymount University held a Mars Rover Expo on at their campus. Frank, Joel, and Treasurer Larry all attended on behalf of the Society. Initially, few visitors came to the tables, they were poorly located away from the main event area. However, despite this, dozens of individuals later showed up to partake in paper rocket craft and launching. Another, similar group was present, who couldn’t properly do their own launching due to lack of power, but we shared one of our bicycle pumps with them. While there we perused the main event area, spoke to some members of other STEM organizations, and some of them seemed interesting in attending the 2024 Symposium. Frank felt it was appropriate to note that the best paper rocket was made by Joel.

Finally, the last item of old business is that Society member Rushd Julfiker has been appointed the Society’s third Director of Research. He’s been an active member of the Society, frequently contributing to overseeing the MTA, and his skills as an analyst in the aerospace industry will surely be a great fit for the role. We thank the second Director of Research, Richard Garcia, for his years of service and committment to the RRS, and his aid in Rushd’s transition, as he continues to pursue his further career and life goals.

Current Events

The first order of current business was discussion of a US Navy surplus generator. It was determined that we should seek to raise further funds for the purchase and installation of this generator. These costs combined will certainly run into the low tens of thousands, so we will be looking to gather donations to make up the funds.

Unfortunately, earlier this year Amazon closed their AmazonSmile program. The Society was registered with the project, and this allowed us to receive donations from amazon according to how much our members purchased through the company. However, Joel has recently found another charitable organization, Tabs for a Cause, which generates revenue through advertisements and shopping coupons, and disperses it to cooperating organizations. Joel has been tasked with getting into contact with this group, to gain their support.

Member Andrew Fuller was in attendance this month, and announced that he is seeking his class 3 NAR certification. He mostly spoke with Keith Yoerg about it, and we hope he’s successful in this goal.

At this month’s meeting we were pleased to receive a new attendee, Zack. He works in the aerospace industry, and is interested in using the MTA to test a turbo of his. We hope to receive his application soon, and that he becomes a regular.

Some sad news is that James French, a long time member, has passed away this Friday. He was a former Chief Engineer at JPL, and worked at Blue Origin. His death isn’t a surprise considering his age, but still, he will be missed.

More sad news comes at the word that Jerry Irvine is ill due to catastrophic liver failure, and is expected to die within a couple of weeks. We can do nothing but wish him and his family the best during the coming days.

Future Business

Another project is the organization, storage, and digitization of the old Aerojet and RRS News periodicals. Joel has volunteered to take the issues from Frank, scan them, then store them. The Society will need a fair amount of storage for this project, for which Joel will follow through with purchasing a OneDrive plan for the us.

Regarding future events, USC RPL has scheduled two future static fire and launch dates. The first, on October 21st, will be a static fire of their aforementioned 5,000 lbs thrust rocket. They will be making use of their new test stand and accompanying bolt pattern they just installed. Dave was glad about this last development, since USC’s test stands have taken flight in the past.

Another event this month, October 28th, will be the Fly Compton Air Fair. The event will be held at the Compton Airport, and will feature model airplanes in the morning, and free flights for children later in the day. The RRS has been invited to attend, and Dave plans to have the Compton Comet team attend and present their bipropellant liquid rocket.

The second scheduled USC event, on December 2nd, is going to be for the purpose of characterizing single grains. It’s a good question as to why they’re doing this after their static fire, and not before, but it’s their choice.

The next society meeting will be on November 10th, 2023, at the Compton/Woodley Airport location. Contact the secretary for details.

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