May 2022 virtual meeting

by Keith Yoerg (RRS Secretary)

The latest meeting of the Reaction Research Society was held last Friday, May 13th 2022 and had seventeen attendees.

Screenshot of discussion during the monthly meeting


The meeting began with a discussion of the launch event upcoming at the MTA. Events planned for Saturday, May 21st include:

  • 30 students from a LAPD class launching Baby Bertha model rockets 2 times each
  • Launch of Wolfram Blume’s Gas Guzzler
  • Cryogenic testing of Compton Comet tanks

Dimitri has started work on a new set of launch pads to accommodate up to 18 model rockets (which is the number of separate igniters each Cobra firing module can accommodate). The high number of launches we expect to complete this weekend will give us a chance to train members who might be interested in learning how to use the relatively new Cobra Firing System.

Progress on the launch pads Dimitri is building

Wolfram is planning to conduct another launch of his rocket Gas Guzzler, hopefully fixing issues with the parachute system from the last launch. Several members of the Compton Comet team plan to conduct cryogenic shock testing of hardware for their liquid rocket project. Compton Comet team members agreed to send a list of attendees to the RRS President & Treasurer to help confirm that all the members have current membership and waivers on file.


We then discussed the recent MTA event where the USCRPL launched a rocket called “Jawbone.” Frank showed a YouTube video that the group made after the launch.


The RRS Executive Council (EC) met in each of the 4 weeks leading up to the May monthly meeting, and the council provided a brief synopsis of the topics and decisions made in those meetings to the membership. Specifically, one EC meeting included RRS members Richard Dierking and Kent Schwitkis and was focused on emergency preparedness at the MTA, including what infrastructure improvements might be useful from a safety standpoint. Another meeting was attended by Xavier Marshall and focused on modernizing and digitizing the administrative processes of the RRS. The other 2 meetings focused primarily on the new RRS bathroom, and decisions were reached on selecting a contractor as well as construction material (concrete) for the septic tank. The council hopes the septic system will be installed by the end of June, with the bathroom container installed not long thereafter.

Septic Tanks — Flemington Precast & Supply
Example of a concrete septic tank


After several monthly meetings with lengthy presentations, the EC decided to open a discussion with current members on the layout for monthly meetings. The general consensus was that presentations are an appreciated and valued part of the meetings, but that a hard time-limit should be enforced to limit meetings running too late into the night. Many members agreed that 20 minutes is a reasonable limit, and that Q&A periods should be limited as well to avoid lengthy questions that become their own monologues. Most members in attendance agreed that starting the meetings with presentations would be preferable to leaving presentations until the end of each meeting.


Our Vice President Frank Muiccio was asked to give a radio interview as part of a segment on local heroes. The interview will be on AirTalk with Larry Mantle on the local NPR radio station 89.3 KPCC Thursday, May 19th at 11:45 am and can be heard on the radio or streaming on their website. Frank also updated the society on the possibility of an update to the documentary about the RRS youth outreach programs called Rockets in the Projects.

This opened a discussion about the possibility of expanding the classes to potentially include entries in competitions like the TARC challenge. Jerry Fuller mentioned that his local high school in Palos Verdes has had many groups successfully compete in this challenge, and expressed interest in helping connect the RRS with the instructors of that group.

Although Jim Gross was unable to attend the meeting, he sent along information that he wanted the membership to be aware of:

Wanted to let the Society members know there is a 5-day “Cryogenic Engineering & Safety Course” scheduled for 1-5 August 2022 at the Colorado School of Mines.  The price is $3,250 per student.  This MIGHT be useful for anyone going for a Rockets Class 1 Pyro. Op. License.  I’ve never taken it, so I am not sure.  More info is available from 1 (305) 972-8847 or or via email at


The next RRS monthly meeting will be held virtually on Friday, June 10th 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:

Please check your spam folders and add to your email whitelist to make sure you are receiving the meeting invitation.

March 2022 virtual meeting

by Keith Yoerg, Secretary, Reaction Research Society

The society held its monthly meeting for March on Friday, the 11th, at 7:30pm by teleconference.

The following items were on the agenda.

  • Chris Lancaster’s presentation on rocket bikes and drag racing history
  • Review of recent MTA events, USC RPL static fire
  • Upcoming events at the MTA
    • Delivery of new 40-foot storage container by Dimitri Timohovich
    • Site maintenance and upgrades
    • Wolframe Blume’s next flight of the Gas Guzzler
    • Bill Inman’s testing for steam rocketry
    • Low power launches
  • Upcoming university event requests and inquiries
    • USC RPL static fire and flight
    • University of Michigan, MASA in May 2022
    • UC Irvine and Cal Poly Pomona
    • UCLA
  • Student classes and launches
    • LAPD CSP – STRIVE event, 4/2/2022
    • YMCA classes, launch on 5/1/2022(?)
  • RRS post office box, renewal and other options

We spent the majority of our time on the subject of early rocketry in drag racing and rocket bikes. Chris Lancaster of Pennsylvania spent an extraordinary amount of time researching this subject and the specific rocket bike built by Henk Vink now on exhibit in Germany. A stand-alone article on this topic may be forthcoming.

Henk Vink, racing a rocket-powered motorcycle in Europe

The MTA firing report from 3/12/2022 covers the events from that day following the meeting. The anticipated events were discussed at the meeting.

The RRS will continue to keep our post office box in Los Angeles (Inglewood) 90009 for another year. The annual cost has been rising but it remains well used for correspondence.

Reaction Research Society; P.O. Box 90933; Los Angeles, CA, 90009

Our director of research, Richard Garcia, agreed to investigate LNG safety guidelines with regard to flaring of this volatile fuel in amateur rocketry applications. He will submit his findings to the council for internal peer review. The RRS will be creating a policy on this issue as some amateur liquid rocket projects intend to use natural gas (largely methane).

example of an industrial-scale flare stack

Further updates to this meeting report are forthcoming.

Next meeting will be April 8th. For those interested in attending, contact the RRS secretary.

November 2021 Virtual Meeting

by Keith Yoerg (RRS Secretary)

The latest meeting of the Reaction Research Society took place Friday, November 11th and had 14 attendees. After a brief discussion on updates to this website (which are currently underway), we got the meeting started.

Screenshot of discussion during the monthly meeting


Official proceedings began with the nomination of Drew Cortopassi as the election chairman for this year. The following candidates were nominated to the ballot for the listed offices (write-in candidates are allowed).

President:    David Nordling (new)
Vice President:    Frank Miuccio (incumbent)
Secretary:    Keith Yoerg (incumbent)
Treasurer:    Larry Hoffing (incumbent)

Administrative and lifetime members should have received a ballot via email. If you believe you should have received a ballot but did not, please contact the RRS treasurer ( Ballots must be submitted by Thursday, December 9, 2021. Election results will be announced at the December monthly meeting on Friday the 10th.


With the election business handled, Osvaldo proceeded to extend a hardy thank-you to the RRS members who assisted in replacing the aging blockhouse roof earlier in the month: Dimitri, Bill, Jon, and Keith. A few photos and a time-lapse video of the process were shown, and an extra thank-you was extended to Dimitri for his efforts over several weekends to both finish the roof and haul the materials to and from the MTA. A more detailed write-up of the process from Dimitri is available on this blog here.


Several groups appeared ready to take advantage of the cooler desert weather during the upcoming month. Most of these events have already taken place at the time of the writing of this report, but were still in the planning stages during the meeting. Reports will be available on this site for each event if they are not already.

The planned events included: on November 20th, UCLA conducting a static firing of an ethanol-LOX liquid rocket in support of attempting to earn the FAR-Mars prize for an altitude of 30,000 ft; on November 28th, Keith Yoerg launching his 8″ diameter, 13′ tall rocket “The Hawk” on a 98mm solid rocket motor; and on December 4th, USC conducting further tests on their 8″ solid rocket motor. Wolfram Blume also expressed interest in attending to continue work on his rocket the “Gas Guzzler.”


Frank updated the membership on the youth rocketry classes. The launch date for the class in Boyle Heights was rescheduled to January 22nd because of concern the students and group may not have had the logistics prepared for the field trip.

Classes with the “Strive” group (which had been discussed in more detail during previous meetings & their write-ups) have been scheduled to run from February 2nd – March 2nd at 4pm on Wednesdays. The launch for this class will take place on March 5th, with March 12th reserved as a contingency day. The plan is to use lessons learned from the Boyle Heights class to help inform how this class will be run, which will also use Baby Berth Estes model rocket kits so that each student will be able to take a rocket home after the launch. Frank is also working with the LAPD “Community Safety Program” (CSP) to schedule a class with that group for the summer of 2022.

Osvaldo showing off the e-match igniters sized for use in model rocket motors

Talking about the classes kicked off a discussion of the support the society has prepared for the launch day during these classes. Osvaldo showed an example of the igniters which we plan to use – something far more reliable than the nichrome wire igniters included with Estes rocket kits. Larry and Dimitri shared what they had learned about the Cobra Wireless Firing System which we intend to use to launch the rockets. Dave Nordling also updated the attendees on the status of the PVC launch pad systems he has been working on.


More RRS members keep catching the bug and deciding to build model rockets! Chris Lujan showed of a model rocket kit that he built with his son and they plan to launch during the next youth launch up at the MTA.

Chris showing off the rocket he built with his son

Keith Yoerg then did an impromptu presentation on the build process that he used for his rocket “The Hawk” by showing a series of photos that he took along the way. This project has been in process since early 2021, and it is very exciting to see it nearly complete!

Photo showing the epoxy injection process for the internal fin fillets on “The Hawk”

Fred Radford then shared about his 8″ rocket – one very similar to “The Hawk” – including some very clever tools for sanding and the build process. This rocket is expected to use s C02 cartridge system for the parachute deployment. Fred is building this and other rockets out of a Maker Nexus makerspace in the Bay Area of California, where he operates his nonprofit “Space Makerspace” to teach kids how to build rockets.

Photo of several of the rockets built in Fred’s classes


The next RRS monthly meeting will be held virtually on Friday, December 10th 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:

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