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,