MTA Work Event, 2024-02-17

by Joel Cool-Panama, Secretary, RRS.ORG

This is a summary of the goals and accomplishments at the MTA work event of February 17, 2024.  In attendence were members Dave Nordling, Bill Inman, Bill Nelson, Osvaldo Tarditti and Joe Dominguez.  The society facilities manager, Dimitri Timohovich and our director of research, Rushd Julfiker also attended.

Dave Nordling and Bill Nelson assembled kitchen shelving units in the Bldg 14 office.  The society food stuffs and kitchenware were moved into the newly organized office. A desk and file cabinet are expected to arrive once suitable items can be found.

Osvaldo Tarditti worked on the shower in the restroom facility, Bldg 12

Dimitri moved the new diesel generator into the 10-foot locking container, newly designated “G2”.  Weld repair of the 60-foot launch rail structures began on Sunday, 2/18/2024.

Next work event is planned for March 2, 2024, to continue many of the same tasks.  American Artist and representatives of LACMA will be visiting the MTA on Thursday, March 7, 2024.  Keith Yoerg’s drone footage of the MTA in its most recent configuration was very helpful to the production team.

Next monthly meeting will be held March 8, 2024 as always on the second Friday of each month at the front office of the Compton/Woodley Airport.

MTA Work Event – January 20th, 2024

by Dave Nordling and Joel Cool-Panama, Secretary, RRS.ORG

The RRS held a work event at the Mojave Test Area (MTA) on Saturday, January 20th. The primary purpose of this meeting was to give Joel Feree, our contact with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), an in-person tour of the whole MTA, so that he could get an idea as to what we were working with for our collaboration with American Artist which will involve the recreation of the 1936 Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT) prototype liquid rocket engine. This was Joel Ferree’s first time at the MTA and he gained much insight into how we’ll be seeing the project through. Dimitri Timohovich also used his experience in the film industry to highlight some practical aspects for the production. Following this meeting, Dave Nordling, Dimitri, and Joel Ferree came up with a timeline for the project. Dave Nordling, serving as the project leader, is working hard to get hardware ready for an initial firing by our membership at the MTA. Once the system is proven to work reliably and safely, the static firing of this replica will be the centerpiece of the filming to take place at the MTA.

On the same day, four student representatives of Loyola Marymount University’s rocketry team came to meet with Dave Nordling. They intend to build a custom hybrid motor, which they plan to static fire at the MTA. Dave gave them some points on their motor and feed system designs, which they can certainly appreciate, given that this is their first experimental rocket project. Rushd Julfiker and Dave will continue to advise the team on their propellant loading system and ignition system, and they may well use a firing box of Dimitri’s design.

While there, Dave and Dimitri worked on moving some of the society assets from the Dosa Building to the new Bldg. 14 office container.  This was done partly to declutter the working space, in order to make it into a meeting and workspace once more. If the lease does end next year, then Polaris will be removing many items of theirs which are also in the Dosa Building, including refrigerators, stove, and laminar flow bench. Polaris is required according to the terms of the lease to notify the RRS Executive Council of the movement of their assets.

According to Dimitri, a company called Tortuga Industries has reportedly bought 183 acres of land along Munsey Road. According to the rumors, they are looking to turn their parcel into a private duck hunting reserve, complete with a large pond.

Dimitri also reported that Crisalli is taking the initiative to fix the northern road running along the eastern side of the MTA property. Gordon has so far filled in the trench near the northeastern corner of the property, removed the concrete barricades, and installed a gate across the road. He has reportedly been using this northern route himself, dragging it several times in the process. He reports that the 4 miles of the northern road leading to the highway is now certainly passable, albeit the creek bed is still soft as of this writing. The RRS still recommends all visitors and users of the MTA continue to use the western (Munsey) road from Cantil until further improvements can be made.  The RRS MTA has access gates along the eastern border but they are rarely used.

Next monthly meeting will be February 9th.

Next work event at the MTA is planned for February 17th. This will depend on planned Polaris operations which could close the access easement road. Coordination with Polaris will be required.

MTA Launch Event, 2023-12-09

by Dave Nordling, President, Reaction Research Society

The RRS held a work event on December 9th at the Mojave Test Area that turned into a launch event thanks to Bill Inman. Dimitri Timohovich was the pyrotechnic operator in charge.

The first task was to oversee the pouring of the new reinforced concrete launch pad just north and parallel to the Claybaugh pad. This will be the future site of the 60-foot launch rail system coming soon to the MTA. This will enable the RRS to launch liquid rockets of nearly any size.

The second task was to discuss the launch rail design that may use an existing pivoting base with a hydraulic ram system. Significant changes and repairs may be necessary but its size and capabilities may be sufficient to provide a head start to completion of the project by the summer. Rushd Julfiker is leading the project.

The third task was safely transferring the RRS LNG horizontal liquid cylinder for refurbishing and testing by RRS member, Zach Lesan. Zach and Anna were able to move the asset with society assistance. The society will fund the project to rebuild a suitable mobile support pallet structure and return the cylinder to working order. With this complete, the RRS will have LNG capacity available to customers that would like to work with this cryogenic fuel.

The last task was launching of Bill Inman’s old high-powered rocket that housed his instruments and recovery system he will use on the upcoming Solar Cat vehicle when it is ready to launch. He managed to get a similar speed and altitude to represent the same conditions expected from the steam rocket flight,