January 2023 meeting

by Joel Cool-Panama, Secretary, RRS.ORG


The Reaction Research Society held its monthly meeting at the front office of the Compton/Woodley Airport, 7:30 PM PST. on Friday, January 13, 2023.

Agenda topics of the meeting were:

  1. Welding helmets (Mohammed)
  2. Gas Guzzler progress (Wolfram)
  3. 1/14/2023 launch event
  4. * ROC high-power launches, terms of granting membership
  5. * American Artist – LACMA
  6. Work event 1/22-1/25/23
  7. launch event on 1/28/2023?
  8. 2023 symposium on April 8 (Frank)
  9. FAR liquid rocket symposium 1/28/23 at Flabob Airport (Dave)
  10. Restroom progress (Dimitri)
  11. Compton Comet work at MTA (Jamie)
  12. Launch rail designs (Jackson)
  13. Visit to Ventura Energy LLC, 1/12/23
  14. micrograin resources, alpha (Jim Gross)

Past Events

Another update which we were pleased to announce is that the President of the society has been formally admitted to the CALFIRE subcommittee on Fireworks, under which rocketry is governed, and which will be rewriting the existing regulations.

The Compton Comet project also had its first low pressure test earlier this month. There were many leaks, but the team is now nearing the point that they will need to carry on their testing at the Mojave Test Area (MTA).

A new member to the society, Abdullah Daya, also asked if there was any certificate available for those members who attended the society welding class in Vista. It was decided that the society would ask the instructors at a later time.

Current Events

The society is pleased to announce that member, Wolfram Blume, is currently seeking his pyro-op license. He currently only plans to obtain a Class 3 Rockets license, but the society currently seeks to expand its license holder count which will ease the planning of future MTA events requiring the presence of the same.

There was also a fairly lengthy discussion regarding society owned tools. Society member Mohammed Daya researched welding helmets on behalf of the society, giving a recommendation for a particular brand out of a few. There was also a recommendation for individuals to use prescription lenses, and helmets with small viewports should be used to prevent ones vision from wandering.

There was also discussion of a new requirement that individuals using society equipment sign waivers to reduce our liability, similar to the waiver required for MTA use.

Unfortunately, due to the recent weather in California, the launch event on January 14th for a project by American Artist has been cancelled. Dave still wishes to meet with him at another time, and hopefully schedule another date for his project at the MTA.

Another unfortunate situation has occurred, in that the FAA has reduced ROC’s height waiver by a substantial amount (7,000 feet). This will make the larger high-power launches impossible from their Lucerne Valley location. However, it was suggested that the society could reach out to ROC, and offer them use of the RRS MTA for their launch events. Keith Yoerg said he’d reach out to start a conversation.

In regards to the RRS MTA site improvements, the creation of more launch rails therefore was discussed. Materials for the construction of the same have been bought, and their design was briefly debated, with radio towers being mentioned as a frequent base. It was also mentioned that CAD software would be useful in our construction of any of the larger rail designs. A 60-foot launch rail for liquid-fuelled rockets is a top priority at the society this year.

An update on USPS protocols has been announced, that all mail addressed to a PO box must now also give the street address of the Post Office it is located at. Any such mail without an address will be returned to sender, so mail to the society should have the address written as such.

Reaction Research Society

8821 Aviation Blvd.

P.O. Box 90933

Los Angeles, CA, 90009-0933

An unexpected but minor blow to the society’s fundraising was delivered recently when Amazon announced that the AmazonSmile program will be discontinued in February this year. The money earned by the society therefrom was not a vast sum, but per our treasurer, Larry Hoffing, the loss of this small revenue stream means that pizza parties will be cancelled indefinitely. The society has yet to hold one of these events but the loss will still be felt.

Future Events

Starting on Sunday the 22nd, we are planning to have a multi-day work event at the MTA. This will do work on lighting and other electrical work on the site. Handicap rails and an access ramp also need to be installed soon. Dimitri will be present, and other volunteers are encouraged to participate as well.

On January 28th, there is another planned launch event for those wanting training in micrograin loading and launching. Jim Gross will be the pyro-op in charge.

Also on the same day, FAR will be holding a liquid rocket symposium at the Flabob Airport in Riverside. The RRS has been invited, but due to the limited gathering size only a couple individuals from the society will attend.

This April, Bill Claybaugh is planning to launch from the MTA. Likewise, the RRS symposium is planned to take place some time in April. Frank is currently in contact with the Gardena Community Center to see if we can hold the event there again this year on our 80th anniversary.

In regards to the symposium, there is currently no set budget, but it has been suggested that some of the society’s generous benefactors might be contacted to help cover costs.

Jim is currently in possession of zinc that might be used for sulfur micrograin. Some, contained in pales, are known to be good, but some received by mail are of unknown condition. It’s expected that the latter will be tested soon so as to determine its use.

Next meeting will be February 10th. Contact the secretary for details.


November 2022 meeting

by Frank Miuccio, Vice President, RRS.ORG


The Reaction Research Society held its monthly meeting November 11, 2022, at 730pm, at the front office of the Compton/Woodley Airport. Others were able to join us by teleconference.

Agenda topics for the meeting were:

  1. Review of recent MTA/rocket events:
  2. Upcoming MTA events including bathroom work & USC static fire on 11/12/22
  3. 1-day welding class in Oceanside – who is interested?
  4. CALFIRE fee increases
  5. 2023 executive council nominations

Recent MTA/rocket events were reviewed including the November 5th work event on the restroom.

RRS has purchased a 20-foot high cube container that will be placec next to the new bathroom container which will be our new fire station which will house fire suppression equipment. It was suggested that we paint the container red or at least part of it red. The RRS also purchased a 35 GPM water pump with 1” hose and adapters and spray nozzles. An all-terrain vehicle for firefighting has been on our bucket list for awhile. We discussed current fire suppression tools including the pressurized water type fire extinguishers and shovels. It was recommended we do a fire training class at the MTA yearly so people know how to use the current and future solutions. We will need a volunteer to coordinate this effort.

Upcoming MTA events include the static fire event with USC RPL from Friday 11/11/2022 and into Saturday 11/12/2022. USC’s latest 6-inch vehicle, Firebiter, will be tested before committing to launch their next flight article later this year.

Bathroom work continues. There are a few items that still need to be installed such as some plumbing and connections to the infrastructure.

The RRS has found a skilled private individual, Jay Miller (and son), willing to teach a one-day welding class. The cost will be substantial but split among those who will attend. It is not common to find this kind of training on a weekend. Jay will have 3 rigs to divide among the students at their shop in Oceanside, CA. Metal welding samples of aluminum, carbon and stainless steels with filler material and plates to weld on will be provided as well as gases.

Carpooling is recommended once a firm date is set. People with interest need to confirm very soon.

CALFIRE is opening a public comment sessions for proposed fee increases which affecting our operations.

Pyrotechnic operator annual license fees for Rockets Classes 1, 2 and 3 from $50 to $100

Public Display licenses will increase from $200 to $350 annually.

RRS members will attend this meeting with CALFIRE in December. The RRS will produce a joint statement representing the society’s opposition to fee increases. It is unlikely we will be successful in dissuading the state fire marshal from increasing fees.

This topic also went to discussing the process to become a pyrotechnic operator and encouraged more people to begin the application process to become licensed. Frank said he will update people as he goes through the process. The hardest part is securing five letter of recommendation from licensed pyro-ops. After letters are ready, applicants need to be fingerprinted at Live Scan locations in California.

Cameron Kurtz spoke to the RRS about a solid motor project he was working on (he is in Texas). He was looking if anyone had data that he could use. John Krell and Michael Rouleau will be working with Cameron offline

2023 executive council nominations were held as we do at each November meeting. RRS member, Drew Cortopassi, was appointed as our election chairman. Drew will be sending out ballots to the administrative members and must receive them back before the December meeting. Nominees are listed below. All offices are running unopposed.

Secretary = Joel Cool-Panama

Treasurer = Larry Hoffing

Vice-President = Frank Miuccio

President = Dave Nording

Straw rockets and air rockets were discussed. They are very simple and popular tools used in our educational programs. Frank showed the launchers used for the classes to launch them. Frank also showed examples of straw rockets and air rockets.

On straw rockets, the process of the nose cones was discussed. First phase starts with molded clay. Second phase was foam ear plugs. Third phase was rubber end caps (bolt caps cover). This latest version has improved the launch. Frank also discussed what students learn from the activities.

Next meeting will be December 9, 2022. Meetings are always held on the 2nd Friday of each month.


January 2022 virtual meeting

Keith Yoerg, Secretary, Reaction Research Society


The society held its first monthly meeting of the new year by teleconference on Friday, January 14, 2022. We welcomed our newly elected officers including our new society president, Dave Nordling.

The meeting started by reminding everyone that membership dues for 2022 must be paid by January 1. Despite prior notices, the RRS decided that member dues for 2022 will remain at 2021 rates, $40 for associate and administrative members, $20 for student members, Payments can be made through Paypal using the “Donate” link button on the RRS.ORG website.

In addition to the treasurer’s report, the Amazon Smile account of the RRS received over $100 from quarterly purchases made by those who selected the RRS as their charitable organization.

An update was presented to the society. on the progress made with the new restroom facility at the Mojave Test Area.

The recent MTA launch event on 12-17-2021 was reviewed. The firing report is posted on the RRS website.

A testing event at the Mojave Test Area on Saturday, January 15th, is planned, The pyrotechnic operator in charge is Dave Nordling,

Member project updates were made at the meeting including the Compton Comet and the Scalded Cat.

The society is encouraging our members to seek their pyrotechnic operator licenses through CALFIRE. This will help the society have greater flexibility in our operations and give us a greater voice in amateur rocketry in our state,

UCLA is planning to hold another static fire of their liquid rocket at the MTA on 2/5/2022. Dave Nordling will be the pyrotechnic operator in charge.

The Compton Comet team will make a presentation to the society on their progress to date and remaining objectives at the next monthly meeting to be held February 11, 2022.