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Last updated: Jan 2, 2009
Site hosted courtesy of the
Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

December 2009 Holiday Party (1/1/2010)

(artwork by Jeff Taylor)

On Saturday evening, December 12, around 40 MASA-ites gathered at the Chaska Community Center in the Sun Room for the annual club holiday party.  There were all sorts of potluck goodies to eat and holiday treats to enjoy.  Plus, rockets and other mementos to look at.  The party started around 6:30 pm and ended around 10pm.

Thanks to Carol Marple for organizing the party, and to Lyle Merdan for arranging the use of the room!  Thanks to everyone who attended!

Thanks to Todd Carpenter for bringing the liquid nitrogen and providing oodles of science-filled fun for everyone!

Thanks to Carol Marple and Jeff Taylor for the MASA holiday greeting cards.  Party attendees signed these cards to be sent to various friends of MASA.

The annual MASA wacky gift exchange game was once again a popular activity with more than 30 people participating.

(click on thumbnails above to see fullsize photos)

2009 MASA Year in Review

  • MASA's 11th Year

  • 10  meetings plus the summer picnic and winter holiday party.

  • 13 club launches in 2008:  1,052+ flights, 1,205+ engines burned, 33,991 N-s of total impulse ("O" motor equivalent!), roughly $7k worth of engines used!.  The total number of MASA flights to date is over 10,000!  This was the first year with more than 1,000 flights since 2002.  We had 39 high power flights; that's the most ever in one year!  We had several launches with near-perfect weather.  David Whitaker flew the first J hybrid flight at a MASA launch

  • MASA donated 36 rockets to NARAM 51 for the "Fly-It / Take-It".  Thanks to all who built and donated rockets:  Andy Heren, Mark Thell, Neal Higgins, Carol Marple, Ben Ericksen, Daniel Boe, Caleb Boe, Joshua Boe, Mike Erpelding, Jeff Taylor, Todd Carpenter, Ted Cochran, Alan Estenson, David Whitaker, Jim Myers, Buzz McDermott.

  • The LAC trophy for best NAR section newsletter was awarded to the MASA Planet for the 2nd consecutive year!  Thanks to all the newsletter contributors:  Alan Estenson, Ken Jarosch, Jeff Taylor, Ted Cochran, Ray King, Art Gibbens, Scott Gleason, Carol Marple, Lyle Merdan, Glen Overby, Andy Heren, Neal Higgins, Todd Schweim, Mike Erpelding, Buzz McDermott, Rick Vatsaas, David Whitaker, Larry Schwartz

  • Many, many outreach events.

  • MASA staffed the NAR booth at the NSTA convention.

  • We won the long-running court case against the BATFE!

  • MASA held its first ever regional contest.

  • Many MASA members trekked over to Wisconsin for NSL 2009.

  • Several traveled to PA for NARAM 51.


  • Thanks to Carol Marple for her service as MASA Vice President and for organizing the FiTi donations for NARAM.

  • Thanks to Rick Vatsaas for his service as MASA Secretary/Treasurer.

  • Thanks to Jeff Taylor for his service as editor of the (multiple award winning) MASA Planet newsletter.

  • Thanks to Ted Cochran for his service as NAR Vice President.

  • Thanks to Mike Erpelding for serving as director of MASA's first regional contest.

  • Congratulations to those with successful Level 1 certification flights at MASA launches this year:  Andy Juntunen, Scott Gleason, Kevin Anderson, Todd Carpenter.

  • Thanks to all those who volunteered their time to serve RSO/LCO shifts this year:  Ted Cochran, Mark Thell, Buzz McDermott, Dwayne Shmel, Lyle Merdan, Ken Jarosch, Jeff Taylor, Art Gibbens, Tim Barr, Neal Higgins, Rick Vatsaas, David Whitaker, Glen Overby

  • Congratulations to MASA's FAI Internats crew:  Caleb Boe, Ray King, Todd Schweim.

Ted Cochran and Jeff Taylor presented retiring club president Alan Estenson with a framed photo of his "Warrior 300" rocket as thanks for his service. [Thanks!]

2009 MASSY Awards

Following MASA tradition, club president Alan Estenson presented a few special awards.

  • "Scavenger Hunt Award", presented to Art Gibbens in recognition of his outstanding achievement in a "Successful cornfield expedition - Bagging three rockets, a fin, and a duck."

  • "Thermal Hunter Award", presented to Caleb Boe: in recognition of his outstanding achievements in "Achieving a new national record in 'A' streamer duration, B division... twice!"

  • "Angler Award", presented to Glen Overby in recognition of his outstanding achievements  in "Demonstrating exemplary rocket fishing abilities that went above and beyond the call of duty."

  • "Passion Award", presented to Larry Schwartz in recognition of his outstanding achievements in "Hating Corn.  [I mean it.  This guy really, really, really hates corn!  Really.]."

2009 Prang Awards

There were a number of  notable prangs this year.

Prangs Worth a Mention:

  • 3 foot ejection crunch – Ted Cochran’s Super Sprite on an E15
  • 2 foot ejection crunch – Mark Thell’s SPEV on a B6-4
  • Rod kick, cruise missile, lawn dart, then eject – Ken Hoyme’s Big Daddy on a D12
  • Lawn “dart” – Dwayne Shmel’s Death Star on a D13 (twice!)
  • POINK – Dwayne Shmel’s Dude on an E11 (Popped On Impact, No Kidding)
  • CATO, separation, early eject, QT meltdown – David Gensler’s Matrix on an H180

Prangs Worth a Dishonorable Mention:

  • “It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.” – The crunching of Art Gibbens’ 2-stage Saturn V at the club picnic.
  • Big Ballistic Lawn Dart – Ken Jarosch’s B4R on an H238
  • Rooftop No-Eject Crunch – Bob Moyle’s Black Mustang on a F22
  • “Anyone bring a garbage bag?”, Impressive no eject core sample – Glen Overby’s Aerobee 150 on an I146.

Honorary Prang Award:

“The Death of Dead Cow” – Hope Christian Academy’s TARC rocket CATO at the March launch.

Prang of the Year Award:

Jim Myers' "Flying Jenny Upscale" on a D12-3
Nomination - "
This rocket did an arcing, low-altitude pass from west to east along the entire flightline, plunged right into the middle of Overby Pond, and THEN ejected its motor pod!  It was literally fished out by Glen using a long pole."

"Jim Meyers launched a nice Jenny
And power it had more than plenty
It flew very straight
At a height of oh-eight
Hit the weeds....survivors? Weren't any.

The pilot did try to correct
But ultimately had to eject
Flew into the air
But he had no prayer
As Jim's little Jenny got wrecked

Did I mention that very low pass
Straight down the flight line, clipping grass?
It dove into Glen's pond
Not two inches beyond
Now Jim has no Jenny, alas." - Ted Cochran

Free Prizes for RSO/LCO volunteers

(The names of everyone who had served RSO/LCO duty during 2009 were placed in a "hat", once for each shift.)

  • (The following prizes were donated by Hub Hobby Center and Alan Estenson.)

  • F25 motor - Lyle Merdan

  • F40 reload kit - David Whitaker

  • G76 reload kit - Jeff Taylor

Free Door Prizes

  • (The following prizes were donated by Hub Hobby Center of Little Canada.)

  • Estes Screaming Mimi kit - Levi Anderson

  • Estes Fat Boy kit - Buzz McDermott

  • Estes Canadian Arrow kit - Dwayne Shmel

  • Estes Rock-It kit - David Schaffhausen

  • Estes Rubicon kit - Renee Gibbens

  • Balsa nose cones and Estes Viking kit - Susan Shmel

  • Quest C6-5 motors - Hannah Gibbens

  • Quest motor pack - Don Boe

  • (The following prizes were donated by anonymous rocketeers.)

  • Sunward Cluster Motor Mount kit - Neal Higgins

  • Quest Flash kit - Caleb Boe

  • Quest Sprint kit - Austin Whitaker

  • Estes Alpha kit - Jeff Taylor

  • Quest HL-20 kit - Bob Moyle

  • Dynastar nylon chute - Alyssa Taylor

  • Journey to the Moon dvd - Mark Thell

  • Estes Python 4 kit - Phillip Gibbens

  • Speed Freak kit - Aimee Whitaker

  • Custom Redliner kit - Art Gibbens

  • (The following prizes were donated by MASA.)

  • Handbook of Model Rocketry - Alyssa Hoyme

Congratulations to the winners!  (apologies for any misspelled names)

(Alan Estenson)

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