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

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "monsieurboo@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: sugarshot@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 13:15:50 -0400 (EDT)

Thank you Richard for all your leadership and hard work on this project over 
the years!  Thank you too, Rick, for shouldering the challenge of moving 

Thinking back to the early days, the decision to go with a dual-burn 
single-stage concept was motivated by a couple of things.  First, many of the 
regulations that impact amateur rocketry were in flux and as a result there was 
much uncertainty among rocketeers.  In particular, the FAA was just starting to 
get involved in drafting rules for large, highflying rockets.  The major 
concern was in creating a rigorous dispersion analysis for a two-stager that 
would pass FAA muster -- something the FAA was focusing on at that time.  

The other issue arose quickly as a result of things like mass-fraction analysis 
and flight profile analysis.  It was clear that a delay between "booster" 
thrust and "sustainer" thrust was the way to go, considering the tight "corner 
of the curve" our project had to occupy.  Both these concerns led directly to 
the dual-burn concept.

The first of these has been largely mitigated over the years.  The FAA has 
proven to be reasonable partners.  We now have more powerful dispersion 
analysis tools available -- and because wayward flights haven't caused any 
significant, newsworthy problems in the meantime, it's a lower bar now than it 
was ten years ago.

The delay between booster burnout and sustainer ignition is still part of an 
optimal flight profile, but there's nothing preventing it from being 
incorporated in a less-cutting-edge design that won't require years of 

This is a good opportunity to refocus, reorganize and get our second wind.  I 
see success in our future.

Warm regards to all,

Mark L.



-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Nakka <richard.rocketry@xxxxxxxxx>
To: sugarshot <sugarshot@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Fri, Aug 15, 2014 12:46 pm
Subject: [SS2S-Main] Changes to SS2S; Moving forward in our pursuit of reaching 
Space on the power of Sugar...

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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