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July MASA meeting – Science Museum of Minnesota, August 4, 2011

The July MASA meeting was held at the Science Museum of Minnesota on Thursday, August 4, 2011. A total of 7 people attended.

Introductions:

New member Chris Feld attended.  Welcome to the club, Chris!

Launches:
The next regular club launch will be on Saturday, August 27, at the Nowthen sod farm.  The theme is “Come On Out To The Races.”   We’ll be holding the 13th annual Great UFO drag race, the 10th annual Commanche-3 drag race, and the 2nd annual Back-to-School Crayon race.

Meeting:
The next meeting date is Thursday, September 1, at the Science Museum. We need a presenter for the September meeting; please let me know if you’re interested.

Reminders:

  • Outreach events:  None planned at this time.
  • National Events for 2012 - NARCON is not confirmed, but will likely be in Kansas; NSL is in Geneseo, NY; and NARAM is July 28 through August 3 in Muskegon, MI.
  • If you’re planning a high power certification attempt, please notify Carol in advance so we can make there’s a cert team available.  Also, if you’re planning an L2 attempt, please contact Carol to make arrangements to take the L2 exam. 

  • The picnic was held on Saturday, July 16th.  We had a great turn-out, despite the high heat and humidity.
  • Reminder that Jeff needs articles for the MASA Planet!  We really need contributions from across the club, and no contribution is too small!  Ideas include kit reviews, build articles, techniques and tips, new products, old products with a new use, etc.
  • Treasury – club funds and membership levels remain in good shape. 

Show ‘n tell:

Carol Marple brought along a few of the kits she acquired (purchased and freebies) at NARAM 53, including a Semroc Moonglow, Semroc Arcas, and an Estes QCC Explorer (with NARAM 53 decals).

Recognition:
Congratulations to MASA members Ray King, Todd Schweim, Alyssa Stenberg, and Zackary Stenberg, who competed at NARAM. They all did very well and brought home some impressive hardware!

Meeting Topic:

The group discussed NARAM 53, including the auction, launch, scale viewing, banquet, competition results, etc.

We also reviewed Trip Barber’s “What’s Happening in Our NAR” report, which was presented at the NAR Town Hall meeting at NARAM. The full presentation is available on the NAR website.

Highlights include:

  • NAR Membership levels are going back down. - Reached 5150 in March 2011, but losing ground since then despite continuing the $5 per new member recruiting bonus. - Still not attracting and retaining enough young NAR members to sustain the future. Junior membership is only ~600 (used to be 1000), and there are not enough 25-40 adults to move into key positions in the future.
  • NAR finances are very good, with about $300K in unrestricted funds.
  • Sport Rocketry is excellent, but Tom Beach needs more “how to” article submissions - Begin offering $250 payment for 1-2 substantial “feature” articles per issue on “how to” and/or technical topics
  • NAR Outreach programs such as TARC, NASA SLI, and 4-H partnership are doing well.
  • Plan to restructure the NAR website
  • The NAR needs volunteers! - Every committee is just 1-2 people deep and needs more people to share the work
  • Igniter issue with BATFE is not an immediate threat - NAR met with them in March, and the meeting went well. The BATFE near-term plans to not include detailed regulation.
  • Insurance coverage has been increased as of April 2011 - $2M limit vs $1M - $300K for fire damage to launch site vs $100K - TARC and SLI teams are covered when participating in section launches
  • Recent NFPA 1125 changes in effect as of June 20, 2011 - Raised propellant mass limit for “model rocket motor” to 125 grams; 160 N-sec and 80N average thrust limits remain - Added major labeling requirements to “sparky” motors and other G and below motors that are considered HPR - Clarified that only solid propellant motors can be “model rocket motors”; all hybrid and sparky motors are HPR
  • NFPA 1122 and 1127 changes are in draft form, with one more review before final update takes effect mid-2012 - Greater standoff range for mass launches (such as drag races) - For HPR with onboard pyro systems, must only be armed when in launch position, then only minimum people at the pad

[Carol Marple]

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