August 2022 monthly meeting

by Keith Yoerg, Secretary, Reaction Research Society


The RRS held its monthly meeting on Friday, August 12, 2022, by teleconference starting 7:30pm. The agenda was below.

  1. Review of recent MTA/rocket events, reports are posted on the website
    • 7/9 & 7/16: Work parties at MTA to install bathroom container (video Keith made of the delivery with the drone)
    • 7/21: Aerospace Ccorporation intern launch event
    • 7/25-7/31: Michigan liquid engine hot fire test campaign
  2. Upcoming MTA events
    • Bathroom work to continue in September
    • Other planned events are
      • USC RPL pad work
      • USC propellant sample testing
      • and a USC RPL static fire
      • Bill Claybaugh is preparing a new pad for launching heavier rockets from the MTA
      • Bill Ca;ybaugh will launch his six-inch rocket from a new rail launcher
  3. Social media milestone reached: 1,000 Instagram followers
  4. Preferences for future monthly meetings:
    • Monthly in-person (w/ zoom option) is something desired by many
    • In-person 4x per year (zoom other months), some supported the idea, other thought it may be confusing
    • Other ideas included meeting at a new location at the Compton Airport front office
  5. Other items addressed by the Executive Council this month:
    • Looking into society workshop/workspace at the Compton airport
    • Addition of more/semi-permanent high power launch pads
    • RRS membership has surpassed 2021 levels
    • Progress still being made on website update, hope to show something next month

Our next meeting will be September 9th. Contact the RRS secretary for details.

The Reaction Research Society reaches a milestone in our social media campaign.

June 2022 Virtual Meeting

by Dave Nordling, President, Reaction Research Society


The Reaction Research Society held its monthly meeting by teleconference on June 10, 2022. The meeting covered several recent topics and we welcomed new member, Rushd Julfiker.:

We discussed the two recent events at the RRS MTA. Firing reports have been posted for each.

5/21: YMCA student launch event

6/4: UCLA Senior Capstone project launches

The society has had a few groups interested in using the MTA in the next month. Formal requests to use the MTA must be sent by email to the RRS president with specific dates requested.

Wilbur Owens’ loader in action on 5/21/2022 at the RRS MTA.

Dimitri Timohovich and Osvaldo Tarditti went to the MTA on Sunday, 6/5/22 to disassemble and examine the condition of the loader used at the MTA and owned by member, Wilbur Owens. The hydraulic cylinders will require a complete rebuild to return the machine to working order. The backhoe and loader has been a very useful asset to the society and as such the repairs will be paid by the society. Our security cameras are working well to monitor the site in our absence.

The 40th annual Large and Dangerous Rocket Ships (LDRS40) event by the Tripoli Rocketry Association is being hosted by the Rocketry Organization of California (ROC) in Lucerne Valley this weekend. Some of the RRS will be attending. it is an excellent event that brings many groups together and this year it is back in southern California.

lrds40.org

Progress is being made on the new restroom facility. The septic system and leach field will go in soon. Dimitri provided updates on the container interior which should be finished by month’s end. The next step will be adding the roof platform and water tanks followed by completing the electrical systems.

Site maintenance and upgrades were discussed for projects after the new restroom facility is complete including more water storage and fire suppression gear. We could also use some metal cabinets and industrial shelving to better organize the contents of our new 40-foot storage container.

We have had a persistent problem with nails and metal debris puncturing tires at the MTA. One solution to this problem is a magentic sweeper which can pull up and remove any iron pieces left in the shallow layers of sand and dust.

Magnetic sweepers make picking up nails, bolts and other iron debris simple.

The society has bought two of these devices. With some dedicated and coordinated efforts, our site can be cleaned of this hazard. We will be asking our membership to spend some time sweeping the MTA, collecting the findings and disposing of them in the burn pit.

The north pad (foreground) by the Dosa Building is a convenient spot for loading and unloading.

The society has bought a new 1-ton gantry crane, trolley and chain hoist. This equipment will be useful in loading and unloaiding heavy materials on and off pickup trucks. Items such as cryogenic liquid cylinders would benefit from having a simple means of lifting them on and off with no power source required. The gantry crane will have the wheels removed and will be permanently mounted to a fixed foundation at the north pad by the Dosa Building.

An example of a gantry crane, trolley and chain hoist lfiting a heavy article on or off a pickup truck.

After some consideration, the executive council decided it would be best to postpone the next RRS Symposium until the spring of 2023. It takes a significant amount of preparation and we felt it best to wait to begin in the new year when we will celebrate our 80th anniversary. Before the pandemic, we had three increasingly successful annual events and we look forward to restarting them soon.

Next meeting will be July 8th as they happen on every 2nd Friday of the month. Our meetings will remain by teleconference but we are checking with the Ken Nakaoka Community Center about returning to in-person meetings soon. We will continue to have the teleconference feature even after we return to in-person meetings.

To attend our meetings, contact the RRS secretary.

secretary@rrs.org


July 2021 Virtual Meeting


by Keith Yoerg (RRS Secretary)


The latest meeting of the Reaction Research Society took place Friday, July 9th and had 15 attendees who came and went – all members. We kicked off the meeting chatting about various items, including the news that Relativity Space (a 3D-Printed rocket engine company led by 2 USC Rocket Propulsion graduates who have tested rockets at the MTA) has just signed a contract for a building in Long Beach.

Screenshot of discussion during the monthly meeting

RICHARD BUTTERFIELD REMEMBERANCES

The RRS received sad news of the passing of an extremely devoted and well liked member – Richard Butterfield. Richard became a member of the RRS in the 1950s, and was heavily involved in recruiting new members for the organization while he lived in Long Beach working for a local aerospace company. Eventually, he moved out to the Mojave Desert at some land to the northwest of the MTA. Following a fire at his property which destroyed his workshop & part of his house he moved back into town.

Richard Ransom Butterfield, 1933-2021

Several members who knew Richard shared their remembrances and stories of Richard, recalling that he was always very welcoming to those new to the hobby. All spoke very highly of him. We intend to compile a more formal collection of stories (and photos) to pay proper tribute to this great man.

MTA PERMANENT BATHROOM UPDATE

Progress is continuing on the permanent RRS Bathroom structure. A 20-foot shipping container has been purchased and work is being done to cut out areas for doors and ventilation windows. That work is expected to be completed within the next week or 2, at which time the container will be delivered to a hangar of RRS member Wilbur Owens for the next stages of construction including adding plumbing, fixtures, and the doors and windows. See below for a schematic of the current plans for the bathroom.

A side-view and floor plan of the container bathroom

The bathroom conversation opened a discussion on other MTA site improvements that members would like to see – including solar power solutions, firefighting (possibly via a Kowasaki mule or similar ATV), and sun-protection behind the Dosa building. While the bathroom is the top site improvement priority, these other improvements are an important part of providing a world-class location for amateur rocket enthusiasts to conduct their activities.

AMAZON SMILE DONATION

The RRS received $23 in donations as a result of members and others using smile.amazon.com when ordering online – and selecting the Reaction Research Society as the charity to benefit. Thank you to all who have helped with this contribution, it should help us celebrate when we can finally have our monthly meetings in-person once again (pizza party anyone?).

Register your account with Amazon Smile to donate to the Reaction Research Society

IN-PERSON MEETINGS IN GARDENA

While the City of Gardena does not have concrete plans on when they may re-open the Ken Nakaoka Community Center – they have informed us that it will be the last thing that is going to open. It sounds like Gardena is taking a very cautious approach, and intends to see how opening the parks goes first and then move from there. While we don’t know for sure – the hope is that we may be able to host an in-person meeting in September. Members will be informed via the monthly meeting invite once meetings will be allowed in person again.

Out of town members (temporary or permanent) don’t need to worry – we will continue to provide a zoom component for our meetings to allow those members to join. We have several members who have been very dedicated to meetings but would have trouble making it in-person & we want to keep everyone engaged! Not to mention it makes guest presentations from colleges and other groups from around the country much easier.

CLASSES & COMMUNITY OUTREACH

Frank has been working diligently to set up classes to get back to our community outreach of getting the local youth exposed to & excited about rocketry. The goal is to teach out of the Strive learning facility in Watts, which has been providing a space for local at-risk youth to expand their horizons for over 30 years. We pan to teach the classes on Wednesdays in September – and then taking the kids for a launch day at the MTA in early October.

Frank showing information about the Strive Learning Center to the RRS membership

Any members interested in assisting the teaching of these classes can reach out to Frank at: vicepresident@rrs.org.

NEXT MONTHLY MEETING

The next RRS monthly meeting will be held virtually on Friday, August 13th at 7:30 pm pacific time. Current members will receive an invite via e-mail the week of the meeting. Non-members (or members who have not received recent invites) can request an invitation by sending an email to:

secretary@rrs.org

Please check your spam folders and add secretary@rrs.org to your email whitelist to make sure you receive the invitation.