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November MASA meeting – Science Museum

MASA November Meeting
1 Nov 2012
Science Museum of Minnesota

Attendance:  Jeff Taylor, Neal Higgins, Chris Feld, David Gensler, Michael Farrell, Gary Stroick, Art Gibbens, Rick Vatsaas, and noticeably tardy: Todd Carpenter.

Neal made the following club announcements:

·        November Launch:  The November launch is scheduled for Saturday November 17, one week earlier than the usual date due to Thanksgiving.  Neal said that the launch will be at the Otsego field, and was asked why it couldn’t be at the Nowthen field.  Neal said that the sod is fairly robust this time of year and he will contact the landowner to see if we can have the November launch in Nowthen.

·        Holiday Party:  Neal said that plans for a location and date for this year’s Holiday Party are to be determined.  Art offered that it could be held at Bailey’s Nursery in Cottage Grove on Saturday December 8th if another location and date did not become available.

·        2013 Club Officer Nominations:  Club Officer Nominations (President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer) officially opened at the meeting.  No nominations were announced for any of the officer positions, but Art announced that his 2013 schedule is so busy that he will not seek out or accept a nomination for VP next year.

·        NARCON 2013:  Registration for NARCON 2013 is now open as Alan described in a post on the Yahoo Group.

·        2013 Dues Increase:   Neal announced that the new dues structure will be voted on by the club members at the Holiday Party.  This proposal will  increase dues for a Junior membership to $10, an Individual Membership to $20, and a Family Membership to $20 for the first person and $2 for each additional family member (with no maximum).

·        MASA Bylaws Amendment:  The proposed amendment to the MASA Bylaws has been posted and will be voted on by the club members at the Holiday Party.

New Business:  Rick announced that he attended a model boat show and suggested that MASA might consider putting on a model rocket show somewhere.  Different ideas were kicked around such as having it at the Science Museum, FIRST LEGO League tournaments, or holding it in conjunction with other hobby shows/conventions.

 Speaker Presentation:  "Thinking Outside the Tube"

If you have ever seen any of Rick Vatsaas’ rockets, you know that he doesn’t build “ordinary” rockets from straight body tubes.  He builds whimsical and fun rockets using some very interesting materials and techniques.  Rick’s enlightening presentation called “Thinking Outside of the Tube: Alternate Approaches to Rocket Airframe Construction” focused on different ways to build very different rockets.   Standard rocket designs include a round tube for the airframe, but Rick prefers to design and build rockets that capture the imagination of the whimsical sci-fi bulbous-shaped rockets that you see in classic sci-fi.  Rick discussed several different construction methods that he has used, and along with a slideshow presentation, he had examples of his incredible work to pass around.  Such construction methods included; (A) hotwire bow cutting of foam then covering with fiberglass, (B) building plugs and molds to lay up shapes from fiberglass, (C) the extensive use of disposable and reusable drink ware such as paper coffee cups, plastic tumblers and plastic wine glasses, (D) using Christmas ornaments, Easter eggs, and plastic bowling pins, (E) tapered paper shrouds, and (F) Rick’s latest works using 3D printers to make lightweight ABS parts.  His nephew built a homemade 3D printer that allowed Rick to generate the parts needed to build an actual flying scale model of the MASA logo rocket!  With advancements in 3D printing technology and Rick’s pioneering use of this application to generate rocket parts, this could definitely be the future of rocketry for anyone who wants to think outside the tube.

[Jeff Taylor]

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