HARA’s TRA Prefect Fred Kepner delivered a great tech talk on parachutes at the September 5th meeting. Thank you, Fred for taking the time to compile that information and share it with us. If you weren’t able to make the meeting, or if you did an would like to get a copy, I’m sure that Fred would willingly get you a copy. Attendance was strong once again and I’m very happy to say that Facebook participation has never been higher. We just passed 205 likes and nearly 2000 people have seen HARA feeds in the last weeks. I would like to welcome new members Jesse Jones, Jarred Green, the Nyman family, Amit Patel, David Rabb, and Tim Weaver.
The first order of club business was to discuss where to get motors for future launches. It seems that Huff Performance may soon be burning out. Without another on-site or local vendor, flyers will need to make arrangements to order motors well in advance of launches. Some vendors are Chris Short, Wildman, and Giant Leap. All vendors offer different specials or cert motors, hardware, etc. We discussed organizing group purchases to save money on Hazmat and shipping costs.
We discussed upcoming off season activities as we are nearing the end of our flying season. The website will be moved to our new hosting site. That activity is being led by Josh, Bill, and Jesse. Work will begin on the club trailer once the flying season is over. Membership dues are now prorated to $10.00 for individual and families. The membership year will renew on March 1st, 2014. The club treasury is healthy, and there was some discussing on off season activities geared to promote HARA. One activity include a HARA music video roughly 3-5 minutes in length showing photos and videos of people engages in rocket building and flying activities. I encourage anyone who has interest in making a video to do so and bring it to a meeting. Another activity is a HARA paper rocket kit that anyone could print off from the website for educational engagements. It was also suggested that HARA could design and produce its own rocket kit and sell them to promote rocketry and raise a little money. I challenge club members to think of other club improvement projects. Some ideas are range equipment upgrades, workshops, finding a local launch site, and outreach opportunities. I look forward to hearing your ideas.
Sadly, the August launch was cancelled. The land owner had to spray for fire ants and the field was quarantined. The September launch was great and we could not have asked for better weather. A UAHuntsville aerospace engineering class came up to fly some ARCAS kits. Fisk University was out to fly a club rocket. NASA’s Nano Launcher project successfully launched their NL1B launch vehicle testing commercial avionics hardware for applications on a full scale launch system that one day many loft nano satellites to low Earth orbit (LEO). That launch also fulfilled HARA VP Dave Bishop’s requirements for a TRA level 3 certification. Congratulations Dave! The Hickman family flew an impressive boosted RC glider. Vince launched an interesting looking square tube rocket. Jacob Griffin and Jason Winningham flew a few impressive rockets. In all there were 55 motors fired on 54 rockets flown. Thanks to all who help put up and tear down the range. Thanks to Fred, Jesse, Dave, Vince, Brian, and Chris for serving as RSO and LCO.
Our next HARA meeting will be on October 5th when we will have NASA guest speaker Pat Lampton talk with us about the new Nano Launch 1200 project and how NASA will be leveraging the amateur rocketry community to expedite the design and testing of a new launch vehicle to deliver small satellites to LEO. Mr. Lampton was the Chief Engineer of the Ares 1 first stage 5-segment solid rocket motor. I will not be at the October meeting, but VP Dave Bishop will be there to introduce our guest speaker and leave club business. There will still be pizza. Our next launch will be the TARC kickoff launch on October 26th in Toney, AL. Our neighbor club Phoenix Missile Works begins their flying season soon near Winterboro, AL. Rocketober Skies will be the weekend of Octiber 12th -14th.
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.