[SS2S-Main] Changes to SS2S; Moving forward in our pursuit of reaching Space on the power of Sugar...

  • From: Richard Nakka <richard.rocketry@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: sugarshot@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:45:58 -0500

I have decided to step down as Director of the Sugar Shot to Space
program.This decision followed a great deal of contemplation and was
not an easy decision to make. We are now entering our 10th (yes, 10th)
year of the program, and while a great deal of accomplishments have
been made, and we have much to be proud of, truth is we are no closer
to our goal of reaching Space than when we started.

Two recent motor failures of the innovative DD-slot grain weighed in
on my decision. Not only did this grain configuration prove to be a
dissappontment , it made me come to the conclusion (rightly or
wrongly) that large motors utilizing conventional sugar propellant may
not be feasible. Or at the very least, require a lot more research and
testing to come up with a suitable technique.

Approximately one week ago I notified some of the key SS2S team
members of my decision.  This past Sunday, a telecon was held in this
regard. Participants were myself, Chris King, Rick Maschek, Hans Olaf
Toft and Hayk Azatyan. Much discussion followed as the the future of
SS2S. Chris King made the decision to step down as Lead of the
Avionics group, stating the he has achieved much of what he aimed for
when he first joined SS2S. Rick Maschek, on the other hand, felt that
the SS2S program has a definite future and that he offered to take
over the directorship role. This change in leadership was endorsed by
all participants. Hayk offered to lead the avionics endeavour, and
Chris offered to provide assistance with the transition and to help
out in the future if the need were to arise. I also stated that I
would be glad to take on a lesser role and provide any technical and
project-related help that would might be requested in the future.
Regarding his future participation in SS2S avionics, Hans stated that
he will have to ponder his participation over the next while and will
inform us when he has made his decision. Vicente, Randy Dormans,
Mattias Lampe and Paul Avery have since indicated their eagerness to
continue their participation.

One of the first decisions that Rick made as new Director of SS2S was
to shelve the dual-burn concept, and instead, focus on developing a
two-stage rocket. Rick strongly felt that most of the setbacks we
encountered were a result of pursuing the dual-burn concept. Rick
recently provided a sketch (attached) of a rocket that simulations
indicated would be capable of reaching the 100 km altitude goal. A
smaller prototype is planned to test the motors and staging concept.
Rick has recently been directly involved in high altitude
staged-rocket flights that proved to be successful and has therefore
gained confidence that this is the way to go with SS2S.

More information on the future direction of SS2S will be provided as
developments unfold.

Let's give Rick and the team our full support in this renewed quest to
reach Space on fhe power of Sugar.

Richard Nakka

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