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Last updated: Jan 2, 2009
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Minnesota Rocketry Network
Alan Estenson, Webmaster

2011 MASA Holiday Party

On Saturday evening, December 10, about 30 MASA members gathered at the residence of Buzz & Kathy McDermott in Blaine for the annual club holiday party.  There was plenty of food to eat and holiday treats to enjoy, plus rockets and other mementos to look at.


Thanks to Buzz and Kathy for hosting the party!  Thanks to everyone who attended!


The annual MASA gift exchange game was once again a popular activity with nearly all the attendees participating.  As usual, there were a couple "hot ticket" items that changed hands a few hundred times.

2011 MASA Year in Review

  • MASA’s 13th year
  • We now have more than 150 members
  • 12 club launches were held in 2011, including a 2-day regional contest (stats are courtesy of Alan Estenson):
    • 1100+ flights (second highest in club history)
    • 1200+ engines burned (second highest in club history)
    • Nearly $8000 worth of engines used (a club record!)
    • The total number of MASA flights to date is nearly 13,000!
    • We had 71 high power flights, which is the most ever in one year (and nearly double last year’s total)
      (all stats are courtesy of Alan Estenson)
  • We were fortunate to have some amazing flying weather this season, with only a few launches needing to be rescheduled.
    • We held 9 meetings plus the summer picnic and winter holiday party.
    • We had 7 members completed their L1 and L2 certifications (5 L1s and 2 L2s).  In the first 10 years of MASA, approximately 25 members completed their L1 or L2 HPR certification.  In 2010, we had 12 members completed their L1 and L2 certifications (6 of each).  Approximately 30% of our total club members have obtained their HPR certification at some point in their rocketry career.
  • We supported many outreach events, including long-standing events like Westwood and TARC, and new events with some boy/girl scout troops and homeschool groups.
  • MASA held is third annual regional contest.
  • About 10 club members traveled to Cincinnati, OH for NARAM 53 (and some are already making plans for NARAM 54 in Muskegon, MI).


  •  A HUGE thank you to Buzz and Kathy for hosting this year’s holiday party!  We appreciate it!!
  • Thanks to Neal Higgins for his service as MASA Vice President, and to Gerald Meux for his service as MASA Treasurer/Secretary.
  • Thanks to Jeff Taylor for his service as editor of the (multiple award winning) MASA Planet newsletter.
  • Thanks to Mike Erpelding for serving as event director of MASA’s regional contest (first, second, third, and counting).
  • Thanks to Alan Estenson for running a number of fun contests, and serving as MASA Webmaster, flight statistician, and Section Advisor.
  • Thanks to Ted Cochran for his continued service as the NAR Vice President.
  • Thanks to all those who volunteered their time to serve RSO/LCO shifts this year: Todd Carpenter, Ted Cochran, Mike Erpelding, Alan Estenson, Chris Feld, Neal Higgins, Ken Hoyme, Carol Marple, Gerald Meux, Buzz McDermott, Bob Moyle, Glen Overby, Kent Peterson, David Schaffhausen, Todd Schweim, Dwayne Shmel, Jeff Taylor, and David Whitaker. Our launches run smoothly and are safe because of all of you!
  • Thanks to all the newsletter contributors: Ted Cochran, Jason Colt, Mike Erpelding, Alan Estenson, Art Gibbens, Ken Jarosch, Ray King, Carol Marple, Buzz McDermott, Gerald Meux, Jason Pokorny, Todd Schweim, Alyssa Taylor, Jeff Taylor, and Brian Uhlenkamp.
  • Thanks to all the meeting topic presenters: Caleb Boe and the Inver Thrills USLI team, Ted Cochran, Alan Estenson, Carol Marple, Buzz McDermott, Jeff Taylor, and the many club members who participated in build sessions and show ‘n tell sessions we held throughout the year.
  • Congratulations to Caleb Boe and the Inver Thrills USLI team. They competed in the NASA USLI contest, and placed 4th out of 33 teams.
  • Thank you to Kurt Knox, who is the new MASA Planet Editor. Thank you for volunteering your time to make sure the club continues to have a great newsletter!
  • Congratulations to the 2012 MASA Officers: Neal Higgins (President), Art Gibbens (Vice President), and Gerald Meux (Treasurer/Secretary). Thank you for volunteering your time for the club!

 2011 MASSY Awards

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

  • Service to the club - Jeff Taylor
    Jeff recently retired from his position as MASA Planet Editor, after serving for 4 years in the role. During that time, the MASA Planet won the LAC/North American Rockwell Trophy for best NAR Section Newsletter three times (in 2008, 2009, and 2010). The newsletter also won Honorable Mention in 2011. Thank you, Jeff!

  • Congratulations to those with successful Level 1 certification flights this year:

    • Craig Bowman

    • Chris Feld

    • Kent Peterson

    • Alyssa Taylor

    • Anand Vyas

  • Congratulations to those with successful Level 2 certification flights this year:

    • Kent Peterson

    • Todd Schweim

2011 Prang Awards

There were a number of notable prangs this year - in no particular order.

 Prangs Worth a Mention:

  • Buzz’s “Candy Striper” on 3 D12-5s with Quest Q2G2 long-lead igniters.  In his own words, “I was hooking up to an Estes controller that had been modified for 12 volts.  As soon as I put in the safety key, one of the motors list.  There wasn’t enough current to light more than 1 of 3, though.  The rocket lobbed 50 feet into the air and then pranged right next to me.  Ejection was AFTER impact.”

  • Neal’s 4” Crayola crayon rocket on an H165 in the Back to School drag race.  The chute did not open, it came close to hitting Ken, and he got a very impressive core sample.  Neal said, “I think it would work great for cutting new holes on putting greens.”

  • Neal’s LOC Norad in the OctoberFAST G80 drag race.  According to Neal, “Watching 6 rockets take off and 1 explode made for a very exciting drag race.  Jeff and I posted pictures of the CATO aftermath.  It will get rebuilt and fly again next year.”

  • Todd Carpenter’s beautifully steampunked “Steamship One” on a D13-7, which suffered late ejection and lawn darted.

  • Alan’s Fat Boy on a C6-5, which suffered rod whip, turned into a cruise missile, lawn darted, and then ejected.

  • Neal’s “Angry Bird” on an E20-7, which shredded at ejection.

  • Neal’s “Tres Super Alpha” on 3 B6-6s, or at least he attempted to light 3 motors…  only one lit, it lawn darted, and then the ejection charge went off.

  • Dave Schaffhausen’s “Mega Baron” on a D12-3.  According to the flight card, it suffered a core sample and “explosion.”

 Prang of the Year Award:

Neal Higgins’ Crayola Crayon Rocket on an H165
Nomination – With 50% of the notable prangs, Neal has earned the 2011 Prang Award.  The specific flight that earned him this honor was his 4” Crayola Crayon rocket that core sampled during August’s Back to School drag race.

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 2011 were placed in a "hat")

We didn't record who won what, but the prizes given away were a $10 Hub gift card, a History of NASA DVD set, a one-year free MASA 2012 membership, and a Stanley motor toolbox

Free Door Prizes

Prizes provided by MASA

  • Custom "Liberty" kit - Andy Heren

  • Estes "Der Red Max" kit - Jeff Taylor

  • Estes "Astron Elliptic II" kit - Maaren Schweim

  • Estes "Hyper Bat" kit - Susan Shmel

  • Pegasus "Apollo 27 Rocket" plastic model kit - Jace Flansburg

  • Estes C11-3 engines - David Whitaker

  • Estes D12-5 engines - Alan Estenson

  • hobby knife - Nancy Schaffhausen

  • hobby knife - David Whitaker

  • 15 minute epoxy, Sig-Bond glue, Sig Super-Weld glue, Medium & Thick CA - Kurt Knox

  • Independence Day DVD - Mike Erpelding

  • Paid MASA 2012 membership - Nancy Schaffhausen

Prizes donated by Hub Hobby Center, Little Canada

  • Aerotech "IQSY Tomahawk" kit - Todd Schweim

  • Semroc "SPEV" kit - Buzz McDermott

  • Estes "Sky Duster" rtf rocket - Ethan Erpelding

Prizes donated by Sirius Rocketry  (Thanks David & Evie!)

  • Detail decal sheet set - Dave Schaffhausen

  • 9" nylon parachutes - Nancy Schaffhausen, Alan Estenson, Dave Schaffhausen, Kari Kieger, David Whitaker

  • Interrogator kit - Gerald Meux

  • Discount coupons for everyone!!!

Prizes donated by MASA club members (Thanks to Alan Estenson, Jeff Taylor, Gerald Meux, Carol Marple, Dwayne Shmel, and Rick Vatsaas!)

  • Vaughn Brothers "Buzzard" kit - Neal Higgins

  • BMS "Gyroc" kit - Dave Schaffhausen

  • Semroc "Aerobee Hi" kit - Kathy McDermott

  • Estes "Orbital Transport" kit - David Miller

  • Estes "BLU-97B" kit - David Whitaker

  • Holverson Designs "Tangent" kit - Bob Moyle

  • Rockets of the World poster - Kari Kieger

  • Quest "Terrier Orion" kit - Todd Carpenter

  • Formula 54 kit - Evie Miller

  • Semroc "Moonglow" kit - Mike Erpelding

  • Estes "Satellite Interceptor" kit - Aimee Whitaker

  • Semroc "Astron" kit - Dwayne Shmel

  • LOC Mini Missiles "Cruiser Mini" kit - Ted Cochran

  • Quest C6-5 motors - Dwayne Shmel

  • Sunward "Star Watcher" kit - Alyssa Taylor

  • Squirrel Works "Space Ranger" kit - Rick Vatsaas

  • FlisKits "Thing-a-ma-jig" kit - Austin Whitaker

  • Quest "Superbird" kit - Jeff Flansburg

  • FlisKits "Adfecta" kit - Jen Flansburg

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

[Carol Marple]

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