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

  • From: Ben Brockert <wikkit@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "sugarshot@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <sugarshot@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2014 13:54:04 -0500

Thanks to Richard for his years of work on this project, there are few
people who would have stuck with it for so long. I hope handing off
the reigns will free some time for more of the fundamental propellant
research that the Nakka-Rocketry site is such an amazing resource for.

Best of luck to Rick on taking over the project. I've discussed the
staged approach with him quite a few times over the last few years,
and am eager to see it successful.


On Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM, Richard Nakka
<richard.rocketry@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> 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.
> cheers,
> Richard Nakka

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