Compton Comet Update, July 2023

by Joel Cool-Panama, Compton Comet Engineer, RRS Secretary

Compton Comet team, including Tre, Joel, and Marx, as well as mentor and RRS President Dave Nordling

The Compton Comet has made a lot of progress in the past few weeks. In that time we’ve managed to have new pipes fabricated for the LOX and ethanol systems, allowing us to finally complete them. We had previously tried to bend tubing by ourselves, since our budget is quite limited. However, it proved to be practically impossible to bend larger tubing without kinking, especially 1″ diameter tubes, with the simple pipe bending tools at our disposal. In the end, these problems were overcome by Waldo Stakes, one of our generous mentors, having the aluminum pipes bent at his own expense. We know from previous quotes for tube bending that this can in fact run into the thousands of dollars, so we are surely indebted to him and his generosity.

We’ve also started, and finished, LOX washing the plumbing, especially the pipes leading to and from the LOX tank. LOX is a very strong oxidizer, and the presence of any remotely flammable material in the plumbing system could spell disaster. For this reason LOX washing is vitally important, and the knowledge of how to properly do it is practically required in rocketry.

With the plumbing all cleaned and installed, we will begin doing low pressure tests of the whole system. This should reveal the majority of any leaks that may be present. Naturally we will need to retest and tighten the whole system once we get it out to the RRS MTA for the hot fire test, but doing a low pressure test now will practically ensure that there are no irreparable problems with the system when we get out there, from where we would likely be incapable of fixing those problems with what tools and supplies we can reasonably bring with us.

80th Anniversary RRS Symposium

by Dave Nordling, President, RRS.ORG

The Reaction Research Society is pleased to announce we will be holding our 80th anniversary space and rocketry symposium on Saturday, April 15, 2023. Invited speakers are from universities, government agencies and local industries. We will have exhibitions and demonstrations throughout this all day event starting at 8AM and ending at 5PM.

Mary Star High School, San Pedro, California

The symposium will be held at the Mary Star High School in San Pedro, California.

More details will be forthcoming including our list of speakers and our fundraising projects.

The society had a successful series of symposiums from 2017 through 2019 until the pandemic forced us to cancel the 2020 Symposium. After three years, we’ve decided to relaunch just in time to celebrate eight decades as an educational and research focused organization. The prior symposium was such a success that we have already begun to confirm speakers including Aerospace Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Ventura Energy Systems, Cal Poly Pomona, CALFIRE and the FAA.

Contact our vice president, Frank Miuccio, for information. We look forward to sharing our past, present and plans for the future at the symposium.

July 2022 monthly meeting

Our monthly meeting took place on July 8th by teleconference.

We reviewed the recent MTA and other rocket events

ROC LDRS launch at Lucerne Valley from June 9 to 12th which was well attended by many amateur rocketry groups including a contingent from the RRS. The event was excellent.

Charlie Horse flies again!

The septic tank installation at the MTA was a success. Many thanks to Osvaldo and Larry Hoffing for overseeing the operation.

Repairs of the hydraulic loader went well. With the new seals, it will continue being of great service to our site. The society is making investments in our existing equipment and making upgrades such as the new gantry crane soon to arrive to the MTA.

The backhoe and loader making itself useful at the MTA.

The society has also bought a new asset – a drone! Drone cameras offer excellent footage and surveillance of our site from the air.

Upcoming events:

On July 9th and 10th, we’ll have a work party at MTA to deploy the bathroom container and begin the installation process. Dimitri brought his trailer up!

Temporary quarters at the RRS MTA

The next weekend, 7/16/2022, we will have a follow-up work party to continue bathroom installation The roof segment will be completed snd the water tanks placed.

On 7/21/2022, the RRS will host Aerospace Corporation for a private event. Larry Hoffing will be the pyro-op in charge.

On the week of 7/25-7/31/2022, the University of Michigan will be working on their liquid engine for a hot fire test campaign.

Other things:

Other items of discussion included the purchase of a pair of industrial shelving for the 40-foot container. The society is carefully reorganizing our storage space. We have plans for the IBC tank and the black non-potable water tank in the 40-foot container for fire-fighting equipment to be stationed at the MTA.

We are planning for the launch of a large solid motor from our site in October which requires an altitude waiver above our standard waiver from the FAA. Preparations are being made now including the pouring of a new concrete launching pad which brings more capacity to our site.

We finished the meeting a little early and had some time for our attendees to catch up a little before adjourning,

Our next meeting will be August 12th. We meet on the 2nd Friday of each month. Contact the RRS secretary if you’d like to attend.