“New and advanced aerospace technologies must be taken to flight early to “separate the real from the imagined, and to make known the overlooked and the unexpected problems”
– Hugh Dryden
On July 11th, HARA hosted Jim Jenkins, retired Boeing ground test systems engineers whose long and distinguished career has included testing the Apollo Saturn V stages at MSFC and Stennis Space Center. Mr. Jenkins shared with us a photographic history of rockets, launch vehicles, and test ranges offering a very interesting and exclusive perspective on project Apollo. Thank you very much Mr. Jenkins for sharing your experiences with all of us.
There were over 30 people in attendance to the meeting. Three teachers in town for Space Camp’s Space Academy for Educators program heard about the meeting and joined us. Several NASA summer internship students attended as well as a couple of Boeing Co-ops and other young engineers from local industry. Thank you all new faces for coming and thank you all regular attending members for being with us.
The first order of club business was to bestow upon Chuck Pierce, Bill Cooke, Vince Huegele, Joe Robinson, and Ray Cole an honorary lifetime membership to HARA in recognition for their significant period of continuous and extraordinary service to the club and to sport rocketry. Thank you, Gentleman. Other club business included reports on outreach events at a Lockheed Martin Intern, Co-op, and new-hire symposium which resulted in several interns attending the meeting. The club funds are in good shape with checks being received from NAR for SLI and MC2 for Southern Thunder. We discussed trailer work briefly and the remaining members of the trailer committee need to get together to form a plan to layout and outfit the new trailer. On July 12th, I hosted a HARA table at NASA night at the Huntsville Stars game. MSFC director Patrick Sheuermann stopped by to hear about the club asking us to let him know the next time we have a meeting and he’ll drag the NASA administrator with him. He’s a nice and funny guy.
HARA hosted a rocket launch on July 20th in Manchester, TN. The weather was wonderful and a light breeze and some cloud cover help cool things off a little. A Cub Scout troop from Knoxville, TN joined us and flew a lot of Estes Alpha 3 kits. They and their den leaders enjoyed every minute of the launch and look forward to coming back again. Dave Bishop, Jarred Green, and myself ran the range. There were 51 flights that day using 56 motors. Mr. Mike Toole won the Saturn V Challenge. There were two Pegasus rocket flights; one belonging to me, and the other to Matt Kohn a Boeing intern. The Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) rocket made a 3rd flight. I would appreciate any photos and videos that may be out there for those two flights. Brian Godfrey flew his rocket on an M-class motor. Keith Nyman and his family became HARA members. We are now up to 35 memberships. Beginning in August, HARA memberships will again be prorated (individuals: $10, families: $10). Remember that there will be a flyers fee of $5 for non HARA & MC2 members at each launch.
Our next HARA meeting will be on August 1st when we will have a Tech Talk on Parachutes. Our next launch will be August 10th in Manchester, TN. We expect a NASA nanosat launcher design team to join us to launch a subscale rocket to test some payload systems for their full scale rocket.
We are just over half way through the year now and the club has seen some really great growth this year. Thank you to those who have helped make that possible. I encourage other to become a part of this effort. HARA honors the legacy of the rocket city, and is in a unique position to inspire younger generation to take up the mantle of space exploration as well as provide educational activities for families. If you want to be more active in HARA but don’t know how to contribute or are concerned about over committing yourself, I would like to talk to you and assuage your trepidation. We are looking for volunteers to help with the website, finding and organizing launches and other public outreach events. There are lots of small but impactful ways to help. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you, and I will see most of you again soon on August 1st.