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View Full Version : Legendary rocket propulsion icon Frank Kosdon passes away


Cohetero-negro
04-14-2011, 08:15 AM
This is terrible news. Having met and flown on a project together, he will be surely missed by myself and everyone that knew the man.

http://www.rocketryplanet.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3598&Itemid=29#axzz1JB9UIc7h

stefanj
04-14-2011, 01:42 PM
Great article!

I was one of the volunteers who pushed everyone back out of the spectator area for this:
One example of his defiant nature was illustrated at LDRS 12 in Argonia, Kansas, when he set up his Full Metal Jacket 98mm minimum diameter rocket, reportedly without explicit permission, with one of his legendary O10000's loaded inside. According to some who were there, once on the pad, it was less trouble to go ahead and launch it than it was to take it back down and transport it away. KLOUDBUSTERS volunteers helped clear people to the back of the parking area for the head's up flight—which ripped to over 35,000 feet—creating a very memorable event for all in attendance.

Read more: http://www.rocketryplanet.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3598&

Wow, he was 70?

Cohetero-negro
04-14-2011, 01:52 PM
Great article!

I was one of the volunteers who pushed everyone back out of the spectator area for this:


Read more: http://www.rocketryplanet.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3598&

Wow, he was 70?


This was one of the main reasons I liked Frank ... he was a doer and not a talker.

Loved his sandles and torn jean shorts ... we was very very down to Earth!

After his heart attack a few years back, it really took the wind out of his sails. He really did die too young but he really did Live! Its cool to know that the hand I shook, shook the hand of Werner von Braun ... NICE! :cool:

Jonathan

Earl
04-14-2011, 07:31 PM
Yeah, that O10,000 at LDRS-12 left a contrail in the upper atmosphere that hung around for quite a while.....the highest flight most of us had seen at the time.

It's been some years since I have seen Frank, but I was surprised to hear he was 70. That certainly was a young Frank in the photo with Von Braun in the early 60s. Man, what a thrill that had to be in the early days of the space race to meet someone of Werner's stature and background.


Earl

Jerry Irvine
04-14-2011, 07:52 PM
Near as I can tell I am the only one who actually made propellant with Frank (visa versa). I was there for his heart attack and got him to the hospital his family preferred via his son. His "propellant wagon" was safely stored on my property after the heart attack till his family came to get it.

His primary life occupation was not mentioned in any of the retrospectives. Selling posters door to door and beers at the beach. He was never employed in his major and his foray into rocket production was clearly as a result of his interaction with me. I know because I was there.

Before that he had no idea what a BATES grain was, why a delay worked, what the benefit odd grain geometries had, or how to deal with erosivity.

He was making case bonded core burning polysulphide (before HTPB) motors.

He learned a lot from me about practical things and then used it all for himself personally. He licensed MY work to "Kosdon East", Animal Motor Works, and Aerotech, and RCS. He was a scofflaw through and through.

Some of our other issues are very public.

Powertech was set to be twice the size of errortech. Save for the drama and takings and lawsuits. He filed three so the claims would remain civil, not criminal. It worked. He also spent a bunch more on lawyers than I. That worked too. He even skated by on code enforcement and OSFM, so as scofflaws go he was one of the best.

I got him a t-shirt: CAPTAIN GUMSTOCK. He loved making every possible variety of rubber samples to perfect surfactants, curatives, plasticizers, catalysts, etc. He was a trial and error scientist. We shared that in common and had many lengthy and productive sessions. I will miss that most of all because that was FUN!

Jerry