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Last updated: Jan 2, 2009
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2010 MASA Holiday Party

On Saturday evening, December 4, about 30 MASA members gathered at the Chaska Community Center in the “Community Room” for the annual club holiday party.  There was plenty of food to eat and holiday treats to enjoy, plus a couple of rocket “beauty” contests, and rockets and other mementos to look at.  The party started around 6:30 pm and ended around 9:30 pm.


Thanks to Lyle Merdan for arranging the use of the room, and to everyone who helped with planning, set up, and clean up!  Thanks to everyone who attended!


Thanks to Todd Carpenter for again bringing the liquid nitrogen and keeping the crowd entertained!  Everyone had a great time freezing marshmallows, graham crackers, flowers, and pennies


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


The annual MASA gift exchange game was once again a popular activity with nearly all the attendees participating.


2010 MASA Year in Review

  • MASA's 12th Year
  • 10 meetings plus the summer picnic and winter holiday party.  Thanks to all the meeting topic presenters!  (Caleb Boe, Alan Estenson, Carol Marple, Buzz McDermott, Glen Overby, Dwayne Shmel, Todd Schweim, Jeff Taylor, and the many club members who participated in the “hardware and reload show-n-tell” at the October meeting).
  • 15 club launches in 2010, including a 2-day regional contest:  910+ flights, 1,014+ engines burned, 29,962 N-s of total impulse, nearly $6,000 worth of engines used!  The total number of MASA flights to date is about 11,000!  We had 44 high power flights; that's the most ever in one year!  We had very few scheduled launches that had rocket-friendly weather; luckily, we were nearly always able to reschedule.  
  • MASA donated 50 rockets to NARAM 52 for the "Fly-It / Take-It".  Thanks to all who built and donated rockets:  Kevin, Hunter, and Levi Anderson; Steve Brown; Todd Carpenter; Mike Erpelding; Alan Estenson; Art and Philip Gibbens; Andy Heren; Neal Higgins; Carol Marple; Buzz McDermott; Bob Moyle; Dwayne Shmel; Jeff Taylor; Mark Thell; David Whitaker.
  • The LAC trophy for best NAR section newsletter was awarded to the MASA Planet for the 3rd consecutive year!  Thanks to all the newsletter contributors:  Todd Carpenter, Jason Colt, Mike Erpelding, Alan Estenson, Art Gibbens, Neal Higgins, Ken Hoyme, Ken Jarosch, Ray King, Carol Marple, Tim Melody, Glen Overby, Todd Schweim, Alyssa Taylor, Jeff Taylor, and David Whitaker.
  • We had a large number of members successfully complete their L1 and L2 high power certifications.  As a comparison, in the first 10 years of MASA, approximately 25 members completed their L1 or L2 HPR certification.  In 2010 alone, we had 12 members complete their L1 and L2 certifications (6 of each)!!
  • We received two NAR Safety Grants, totaling approximately $400.  This money was used to purchase additional safety equipment including a “smokechaser,” an additional set of speakers, and additional stakes and rope.  Some money remains to purchase an updated first aid kit and an air horn.
  • We supported many outreach events, including long-standing events like Westwood and new events with some boy scout and girl scout troops.
  • MASA held its second regional contest.  Planning is already underway for our 3rd annual regional contest next summer.
  • At least a few MASA members attended NARCON 2010 on the East coast.
  • About 10 members traveled to Pueblo, CO for NARAM 52 (and some are already making plans for NARAM 53 in Cincinnati, OH).
  • Caleb Boe, Todd Schweim, and Don Boe traveled to Serbia to compete in the WSMC.



  • Thanks to Neal Higgins for his service as MASA Vice President, and for ‘acquiring’ what is probably the coolest equipment trailer ever.
  • Thanks to Jason Colt 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 Mike Erpelding for serving as director of MASA's regional contest (first, second, third, and counting).
  • Thanks to Alan Estenson for serving as the MASA Webmaster, flight statistician, and Section Advisor.
  • Thanks to Ted Cochran for his service as NAR Vice President, and for serving on the NFPA Committee.
  • Congratulations to those with successful Level 1 certification flights this year: Steve Brown, Art Gibbens, Caleb Griswold, Ken Hoyme, Bob Moyle, and Dave Schaffhausen.
  • Congratulations to those with successful Level 2 certification flights this year: Caleb Boe, Todd Carpenter, David Gensler, Neal Higgins, Carol Marple, and Dwayne Shmel.

·     Thanks to all those who volunteered their time to serve RSO/LCO shifts this year:  Todd Carpenter, Mike Erpelding, Alan Estenson, Art Gibbens, Neal Higgins, Buzz McDermott, Glen Overby, Dwayne Shmel, Jeff Taylor, Rick Vatsaas, and David Whitaker.  Our launches run smoothly and safely because of all of you!

  • Congratulations to MASA's FAI Internats crew:  competitors Caleb Boe and Todd Schweim, and flight tracker extraordinaire Don Boe.


2010 MASSY Awards

Following MASA tradition, club president Carol Marple presented a few special awards.


·         "Pay it Forward Award", presented to Mike Erpelding and Buzz McDermott. 

o             Mike single-handedly ran two major outreach events this year, including a launch at the Stearns County Fair and the 2-day Boy Scouts “Star Camp,” which celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts.  For this event, Mike built and wired several new multi-rocket launch pads in order to handle the high number of flights.  The Scouts built paper pyramid rockets and flew them on Quest B6-2’s.  Approximately 11,500 Scouts attended the event; of those approximately 700 Scouts built and flew rockets.

o             Buzz hosted a club build session, plus donated many rocket kits (and rockets) for the NARAM 52 Fly-it / Take-it.  In addition, he also handled many outreach builds and launches, often times by himself and on short notice, including one outreach event for a scout group that was planned, coordinated, and done within 3 or 4 days.  

  • "Frequent Flyer Award", presented to Alan Estenson for having the highest number of flights during 2010, in addition to also taking many shifts as LCO/RSO.

·    “Longest Distance Traveled to Fly Rockets Award”, presented to Caleb Boe, Todd Schweim, and Don Boe for their trip to the WSMC in Serbia in August. 


2010 Prang Awards

There were a number of notable prangs this year.

 Prangs Worth a Mention:

·         February launch:

o       Ken Jarosch’s "SpaceShipEarth" saucer was completely obliterated when a D5-4 motor CATO'ed.

·         May launch:

o       Lyle Merdan's "Wildman Jr" on a G46 had a motor failure, caught on fire, and didn't leave the pad.

·         Solstice launch: 

o       Ken Hoyme’s Leading Edge Rocketry Alien, with 39 separately soldered and epoxied LEDs, on an E20-4W at the Solstice launch.  Lawn darted due to really long ejection delay.

·         June launch:

o       Todd Carpenter's "Steam Boy" on a D24 had a late ejection and lawn darted.

o       Mark Thell did loops with his "Colonial Viper" on a C6-3.  The comments say "unstable, mistook Bob for a Cylon".

o       David Gensler tried for his L2 cert with his Magnum on a J350. Unfortunately, he suffered a motor CATO.  The motor tore loose, flew through the rocket, punched into the payload section, and propelled it into the air while the bottom half of the rocket remained on the pad.

·         July launch:

o       Tim Barr exceeded the speed of balsa when he shredded his SLS Laser-X on a G77.

·         October launch:

o       Luke Brown launched the big and colorful "Bunny Storm" on 3 D12's.  The nose came off, but the chute never appeared and it core sampled.

 Prang of the Year Award:

Ken Hoyme’s Leading Edge “Rocketry Alien" on an E20-4W.

Nomination -
 Ken bought this kit shortly before the Solstice Launch, and spent many, many hours soldering and epoxying the 39 individual LEDs that come with this kit.  It was an awesome rocket, and we were all excited to see it fly.  Ken waited until right after sun down to launch it, to maximize LED visibility.  Winds were pretty calm when the button was pressed.  It wasn’t completely stable off the rod, but it stabilized as it picked up speed.  Unfortunately, it made a nice arc over the road and into the field across the street, where it crashed.  The nose cone was firmly planted in the body tube, and many of the little parts were completely shattered.  We’re pretty sure the delay was longer than 4 seconds, and I’m sure it felt more like a 40-second delay to Ken. 

Free Prizes for RSO/LCO volunteers and meeting presenters

(The names of everyone who had served RSO/LCO duty OR presented a topic at a meeting during 2010 were placed in a "hat") 

Todd Carpenter, Caleb Boe, and Alan Estenson’s names were selected, but I didn’t write down who took which prize

(The following prizes were donated by Carol Marple)

  • Pack of Estes D12-5 motors
  • “Journey to the Moon” DVD
  • Semroc Aerobee-Hi rocket kit (NARCON 2008 commemorative kit)

Free Door Prizes

Prizes donated by MASA club members (Thanks to Jeff Taylor, Dave Schaffhausen, Carol Marple, Ben Ericksen, Alan Estenson, and Neal Higgins!)

  • Estes Paveway kit - Ken Hoyme

  • Estes Electron Beam Controller - Cheryl Anderson

  • Estes Guardian kit - Kevin Anderson

  • Custom Razor kit - Bob Moyle

  • IMAX "Space Station" DVD - Ethan Erpelding

  • IMAX "Destiny in Space" DVD - Don Boe

  • NASA license plate - Dave Schaffhausen

  • Paratrooper guy - Rick Vatsaas

  • Tripod launch pad - Dwayne Shmel

  • Keychain video camera - Susan Shmel

Prizes donated by MASA

  • Six Estes C6-5 engines w/ igniters - Austin Whitaker

  • Estes Photon Disruptor kit - Kevin Day

  • FlisKits Long Overdue kit - Lyle Merdan

  • FlisKits Thing-a-ma-jig kit - Nancy Schaffhausen

  • Quest Totally Tubular kit - Jeff Taylor

  • Certificate for free 2011 club dues - Ted Cochran

  • water bottle - Ted Cochran

  • water bottle - Levi Anderson

  • 5 minute epoxy - Rick Vatsaas

  • 30 minute epoxy - Linda Boe

  • hobby knife set - Dave Schaffhausen

  • tool set - Cindy Whitaker

  • X-acto knife - Linda Boe

  • X-acto knife - Alyssa Taylor

  • Titebond glue - Cindy Whitaker

  • Estes B4-2 engines - Todd Carpenter

  • Estes B4-4 engines - Jeff Taylor

  • Estes B6-4 engines - Todd Carpenter

  • Estes B6-4 engines - Bob Moyle

  • Gorilla glue - Aimee Whitaker

  • CA glue - Cheryl Anderson

  • CA glue - Alyssa Taylor

  • Quest Q2G2 igniters - Levi Anderson

  • 12" Top Flight nylon chute - Caleb Boe

  • Certificate for free 2011 club dues - Caleb Boe

  • FlisKits 24mm cluster mount - Aimee Whitaker

Prizes donated by Hub Hobby Center, Little Canada

  • FlisKits Night Whisper kit - Neal Higgins

  • Quest Terrier-Orion kit - Alan Estenson

  • Semroc Golden Scout kit (#0579) - Hunter Anderson

  • BMS nose cone assortment - David Whitaker

  • Estes Spin Control rocket with engines - Craig Bowman

  • Estes Speed Freak rocket with engines - Mike Erpelding

Prizes donated by Hub Hobby Center, Richfield

  • Two packs of Estes B6-4 engines - Todd Schweim

  • Pack of Estes B6-4 engines - Nancy Schaffhausen

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

[Carol Marple]

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