January 2021 Virtual Meeting

The Reaction Research Society’s first meeting of 2021 took place this past Friday, January 8th and was attended by 11 members. Dave Nordling provided a review of the December 2020 event at the MTA, a written account of which can be seen in the post preceding this one.

Screenshot of discussion during the monthly meeting

PLANS FOR THE UPCOMING MTA EVENT

The first discussion was regarding plans for the upcoming MTA event on Saturday, January 9th. Dimitri (and family), Wolfram, Bill, Waldo, and Dave (as Pyro Op) stated their intentions to attend the launch. Plans include continuing repair and replacement of the bent panel on the vertical launch structure led by Dimitri and Waldo, a launch of Dave’s hybrid rocket, a demonstration flight of Wolfram’s Gas Guzzler, and mention of a grill-out with hamburgers! Expect a launch event update on the results soon.

RESTROOM AND OTHER FACILITIES IMPROVEMENTS

The discussion continues on improving the restroom facilities at the MTA. While the Executive Committee pursues bids from contractors and other options for a more substantial restroom facility, finding a more immediate replacement for the current pit toilet is a top priority. Digging a new pit toilet should be made much easier by the recent delivery of a CAT backhoe to the Mojave. Due to security concerns, the equipment is being stored at the FAR site in view of their security cameras. Larry and Keith agreed to look into options for cameras that could provide similar security at the MTA.

Backhoe equipment in the desert

While the initial plan was to drag the concrete plinth from the current pit toilet to the new one, a decision was made to proceed with building a new wooden platform to mount the port-a-john instead. Of concern was the seemingly likely outcome of damage to the concrete plinth when trying to place it with the equipment available. Dimitri outlined his idea for the new structure and offered to sketch out a more formal design after reviewing at the MTA at the launch event.

DUES REMINDER AND FUNDRAISING BRAINSTORM

The RRS treasurer offered a reminder for members to pay their dues for 2021, which remain at $40 for full membership and $30 for student membership. As a reminder, the full membership dues will be increasing to $50 in 2022. For questions regarding dues payments, contact the RRS treasurer:

treasurer@rrs.org

Most of the members on the call got involved in the brainstorming session on how to increase fundraising at the society to cover our insurance and other yearly costs. Xavier proposed putting on a holiday party for the society as a ticketed event, and offered to take charge of scoping out costs and possibilities for the 2021-2022 winter season (when in-person gatherings will hopefully be allowed again). Dimitri discussed the challenges and opportunities involved in listing the MTA site with the Kern County Film Commission as a shoot location. The possibility of holding an auction, either stand-alone or as a part of the yearly symposium was also proposed, and Dimitri offered to put together a draft form letter to submit to companies to solicit donations. Additional items would be donated by members or other involved entities.

2020 CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE

A request was made for an update on the status of the 2020 Constitutional Committee, which has been drafting changes to the constitution of the Reaction Research Society. Committee member Frank described that only a few outstanding issues remain, including the definition of active membership, which need to be finalized by the Executive Council before being presented and voted on. The Executive Council intends to meet on this issue soon and present the new constitution to the voting membership in the coming months.

December 2020 virtual meeting

By the Reaction Research Society


The Reaction Research Society held its last monthly meeting of this difficult and eventful year 2020 on Friday, the 11th. The teleconference was well attended and included some students from Loyola Marymount University. We began the meeting with the treasurer’s report and moved to the first order of business.

Our meetings by teleconference will continue into the new year.

ELECTION RESULTS FOR 2021 EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

The results of the election were presented by this year’s appointed election chairman, Dave Nordling. The full slate of nominees were elected from the nominations at the November meeting.

President = Osvaldo Tarditti

Vice President = Frank Miuccio

Secretary = Keith Yoerg

Treasurer = Larry Hoffing

The society thanks our outgoing secretary and treasurer, Drew Cortopassi and Chris Lujan respectively, for their service in this year, 2020. We welcome our new executive council members as they start their annual term on January 1, 2021

We appreciate the many voting members who responded this year. The society was sad to learn of the passing of two of our lifetime members, Thomas McGaffey and Mike Gottlieb.

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES

The RRS treasurer reminds our society membership that annual dues are to be paid on January 1st of each year. This is a continuation of RRS policy set forth by the executive council in 2019. In year 2021, membership dues have increased for student membership while full membership dues remain the same. As always, student membership in the RRS is valid all year regardless of how many events we hold.

Full membership = $40 USD / year

Student membership = $30 USD / year

Annual membership dues are an important source of revenue to support the society’s operational costs. Associate, administrative, student and corresponding members are required to have their dues be fully paid to maintain active membership status.

For questions regarding dues payments, contact the RRS treasurer:

treasurer@rrs.org

There are two common means of dues payment:

(1) Click the “Donate” button on the RRS website which links to Paypal. This is the easiest method for the society to receive and confirm payment. When using this method of payment, please make a note that you are paying ‘annual dues’ and the name of the person it is for. The Paypal website gives you the option to share your address with the society, Please do so as this marks who the payment is from. Contact the RRS treasurer if you have questions.

(2) Payment by check can be submitted to our post office box in Los Angeles. As the executive council checks the post office box only periodically, it may take some time for your payment to register. With all mailed correspondence, please email or call the RRS treasurer to let them know it is coming.

Reaction Research Society
P. O. Box 90933
Los Angeles, California, 90009-0933

When making your dues payment, it is also important to update your contact information with the RRS treasurer. It is the responsibility of the RRS treasurer to maintain the membership roster and record payment of membership dues. It is the sole responsibility of every member, past and present, to keep their email and other contact information up to date with the society.

NEW PYROTECHNIC OPERATOR LICENSING

Keith Yoerg announced he has made significant progress in his application to becoming a licensed pyrotechnic operator. The RRS has been supportive of increasing our roster of pyro-op’s. Keith is one of several RRS members in this process. The RRS and the Friends of Amateur Rocketry organization have been working with CALFIRE since last year on improving definitions for state regulations on amateur rocketry in California. Our two organizations have been supportive of each other’s members’ desire for training and instruction in the course of becoming licensed pyro-op’s. It is to our mutual benefit to have more people knowledgeable about safe operations in our hobby.

SITE IMPROVEMENTS AT THE MTA

The RRS continues to evaluate its options for an improved restroom facility at the MTA. The council has put this as the top concern and is in the process of evaluating bids. The society would like to proceed with a replacement during this winter season. More storage space, replacing the roof on the old blockhouse and finding a towable fire-wagon with a water pump are also on our list of improvements.

MTA LAUNCH EVENT

The RRS has a scheduled launch event on December 12th. Dave Nordling will be the pyro-op in charge for this event. Three launches are planned including Wolfram Blume’s first systems flight test of his two-stage Gas Guzzler ramjet and Dave Nordling’s and Larry Hoffing’s 3-inch rocket with an improved nitrous oxide hybrid motor. Bill Inman also plans to be at the MTA to test his third design iteration of his solar collector which will now include his launch rail and his new SimpleCat 2-inch steam rocket.

LOYOLA MARS TEAM PRESENTATION

The society was happy to welcome upperclassmen students from Loyola Marymount University to our December meeting teleconference. Loyola MARS is a recurring senior capstone project to incrementally design, build, test and fly liquid rockets leading to a final design capable of reaching the von Karman line in under 10 years. It is an ambitious project that was inspired by the former Base11 competition. The RRS has supported the Loyola MARS team since its start and was impressed by their initial systems design. The society looks forward to supporting their first fluid systems tests and static hot-firing at the MTA in the coming new year.

As an educational non-profit group, the RRS provides assistance to several local universities who are building rockets for class projects. We welcome student groups to indicate their interest in attending our meetings by contacting the RRS executive council.

IN CLOSING

2020 Constitutional Committee is overdue in presenting the new draft and policy statements to our active membership for review. This will be delivered at next month’s meeting by the appointed committee. Once our membership has had the chance to offer it’s feedback and suggestions, the new Constitution will be sent to our voting membership for ratification.

The RRS treasurer’s report on membership status will also be deferred to next month’s meeting.

The RRS wishes everyone to be safe in this holiday season and take appropriate precautions in this COVID-19 pandemic.

The next monthly meeting will be on Friday, January 8, 2021.


November 2020 virtual meeting

by the Reaction Research Society


The RRS held its monthly meeting on November 13th. The teleconference brought several of us together again from different parts of the city and around the country.

The November 2020 monthly meeting by teleconference

PAST EVENTS

The society discussed the prior launch event at the MTA held on November 7, 2020. Details of the event are in the firing report posted this month. More RRS members are buidling more rockets and this is a good trend, We were not able to work on site improvements at the event, but these tasks can be resumed at the next event.

Bent panel on the vertical thrust stand to be removed and replaced.

The 2020 Constitution Committee is almost ready to release the recommended draft with updated policy listings according to RRS vice-president Frank Miuccio who is the single executive council representative on the committee. Release of the draft will go out in December 2020. If ratified by the voting membership, this new Constitution will clarify RRS rules and policies and supersede all past revisions.

FACILITY UPGRADES AT THE MOJAVE TEST AREA

The society discussed the current progress of facility upgrades approved by the executive council. At the top of the list is a new restroom facility. A couple contractor bids are forthcoming with one being delivered just a few hours before the meeting. Cost is an important consideration and other designs besides a block and concrete design are being considered. Containerized, portable systems may offer an effective solution with fewer complications.

The council approved the construction of a similar pit toilet like the one being used now at the MTA. The second toilet is meant to replace the first as it will not be usable for much longer. A few RRS members are already working to put in this stop-gap measure until the better facility can be selected and funded.

Second pit toilet at the MTA approved as stop-gap measure.

Other site upgrades discussed at the meeting was replacement of the roof structure on the existing blockhouse which would be a temporary but safer solution until a new structure can br funded and built. Another was removal and replacement of the bent panel on the vertical thrust stand which may be done at the next launch event. Still another improvement option is purchasing some of the existing containers from our tenant for more storage space at the site and a water storage tank.

The blockhou at the RRS mTA. Replacement of the roof would enhance the safety of this shelter.

Other improvements include locked and secured areas for high-pressure gas bottles and cryogenic liquid cylindeers. Towable water-spraying trailers have also been discussed to augment fire-fighting at the MTA. A larger launch rail system for heavier liquid rockets at the RRS MTA is also being considered.

DONATE TO THE RRS THROUGH AMAZON SMILE

Amazon Smile is a program that allows Amazon to donate a small percentage of eligible purchases to a non-profit group, such as the Reaction Research Society.

go to Amazon Smile and see for yourself

You first enter: smile.amazon.com

then select the Reaction Research Society as your chosen recipient. There is no extra cost to you and you allow the RRS to recieve quarterly donations from Amazon when sufficient purchase amounts have been made in that quarter. With the holiday season approaching, this is a simple way to benefit the RRS and the many activities we support.

For more details and assistance, contact Chris Lujan or just go to Amazon Smile.

NOMINATIONS FOR EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

As per the Constitution, the society holds nominations at the November monthly meeting for the four elected executive council positions. Terms will start in the new calendar year, First, an election chairman is appointed by the council. This person can not run for office in that election cycle. Dave Nordling was selected as election chairman.

Only administrative members in active status can be nominated and hold office. The nominees will be listed on the ballots going out to the eligible voting membership. Ballots will be sent by email which underscores the importance of all members keeping their contact information up to date with the RRS treasurer. Also, one of the requirements of active membership is being current with dues payments also tracked by the RRS treasurer.

treasurer@rrs.org

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP DUES

RRS policy is that all annual dues are to be paid on January 1 of each calendar year. New members joining the society throughout the year can pay a pro-rated dues for their first partial calendar year. Membership dues are $40 per year and student membership is $20 per year.

The executive council voted to keep dues at their current levels for the new calendar year, 2021. However, dues will increase to $50 per year starting in 2022 (January 1). All payments are made to the society to the RRS treasurer or the RRS president.

president@rrs.org

NEXT MTA EVENT

The next launch event at the Mojave Test Area will be held on December 12th. The nitrous oxide hybrid will be launched with the upgraded igniter and new airframe. Other rocket launches are planned.

IN CLOSING

The next monthly meeting will be held on December 11 by teleconference. Anyone with questions or suggestions should contact the RRS secretary.

secretary@rrs.org