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- Christian Social Network
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Click on the image to read the report.
You can read Part 1 at: http://www.chanitz.org/2011/03/rising-of-rocket.html
You can read Part 3 at: http://www.chanitz.org/2011/05/rising-of-rocket-part-3.html
The 1st Rockets Shot in the Middle East by a Small Lebanese-Armenian College
Mano Chilingirian: Everyone agrees today that The Haigazian College produced the 1st rockets shot in the Arab world. After the huge success of the HCRS, what were the political reactions from within and outside the country?
Dr. Manougian: In August 1961, President Chehab invited members of the HCRS to meet with him where he congratulated us. Also, Deputy Emile Bustany was very supportive. The Lebanese government offered us financial support as well as the Army workshop to construct the rocket. Initially we received 500 LL, followed by 25,000 LL for 1962 and 25,000LL for 1963. This encouraged a group of prominent Lebanese to form the “Comite d’encouragement du Groupe Haigazian” to promote the activities of the HCRS. The committee included Dr. Ibrahim Dagher, Dr. Bedros Aznavourian, Mme Issam Hussami, Mlle Huguette Kraichaty and Mme Marie-Paulette Karayan.
Our experiments and the activities of the HCRS drew the attention of the Lebanese news media and beyond, including articles in the News Review of the U.S. Information Service and in a publication of the American Friends of the Middle East. I was interviewed for Lebanese television, as well as Voice of America. Various Embassies showed an interest in our activities with visits from Cultural Attaches of the U.S. and the Soviet Union. I did meet Ambassador Porter of the American Embassy. Although I have no proof that foreign agents were monitoring us, I noticed on several occasions that my notes in my office were shuffled on my desk.
Mr. Karegeozian: The reaction from not only the other universities or the general population of Lebanon but the other Arab countries as well as Israel was that a small university in Lebanon had the ability to make these multistage rockets, and there was owe and surprise at the outcome. Because I came from Jerusalem, when the rocket exploded and caused damage to the building at Haigazian, my parents indicated that there was a lot of talk on the radio in Jerusalem and Israel about the Rocket club in Lebanon.
Mano Chilingirian: What were the benefits of having such a society to the college in general and the students in specific?
Dr. Manougian: It has been fifty years since I realized the dream of studying space flight. It has been fifty years since the young and dynamic Haigazian College, now a university, provided me, and my students, with a venue to explore the scientific method. It was this young and progressive Armenian institution of higher learning that opened its doors to students of all faiths and ethnic origins.
Incidentally, on November 12, 2010, I was the keynote speaker at the 55th anniversary banquette of Haigazian University which was held in Glendale, California. There were about 500 guests who attended. The main topic of conversation was the rocket project. Dr. John Markarian, the first President of Haigazian University, was in attendance. At the age of 90 plus years he even challenged me for a game of tennis. Also present were the French/Lebanese filmmakers who are producing a documentary on the HCRS. They will be coming to Tampa at the end of January to continue the interview with me. While in Glendale Hampar Karageozian – one of the HCRS’ committed members – came to meet with me. After Haigazian he attended AUB and MIT. Today, he is a very successful businessman / scientist conducting important innovations dealing with sight and eyes. He is a very good example of the influence the HCRS had on him and others.
Mr. Karegeozian: The most important aspect of the HCRS to everyone was the raising of the scientific expectation that a group of young students had been able to put their heads together, and having very little funds they were able to pursue the science. This I am sure raised a lot of scientific interest in me, and my future adventures in science and discovery have been very much impacted by the experience that we had at Haigazian.
Mano Chilingirian: On November 21, 1962 Cedar-3, a three stages solid propellant rocket prepared by the Haigazian group was launched. It had a length of 6.80 m and a weight of 1,250kg. After several other launchings, an accident occurred during the summer of 1964, which hospitalized 2 students who fortunately recovered. However, the launchings were ended then, and no "big bang" has taken place since. Do you think this accident was the main reason that the Society stopped being active and came to be dissolved?
Dr. Manougian: The Society’s activities did not end with the accident. In 1964, after receiving an M.A. degree from the University of Texas, I returned to Haigazian. To my horror, I found out that a few weeks earlier a member of the HCRS (Hrair) had tried to prepare a rocket with the potassium perchlorate as a propellant. The propellant ignited inflicting Hriar with serious burns. Another student (Hampar) who happened to be passing by rescued Hrair, but in the process he too received severe burns and the two were taken to the AUB hospital. Fortunately, both recovered are successful members of the Society.
We continued our activities from 1964 through 1966 during which we prepared and launched some sophisticated rockets. In fact the last launching was on August 4, 1966. Once I left Lebanon to continue my education for a doctoral degree, there wasn’t a leader left behind with the same drive and passion as mine to continue the project. By then the rocket project was moving in two directions. Mine was strictly a scientific non-military project and my departure ended that program. The Lebanese army saw the military implications of the project. Some believe, and I have no proof, that France pressured Lebanon to discontinue its quest for rocket production. Thus, we had the end of the program.
Mr. Karegeozian: In 1964 prior to the accident at The Haigazian College, Manoug Manougian had departed to the US, and Dr. Hart had taken over the responsibility of the HCRS. The dynamic character of what Dr. Manougian offered when he was at the helm was absent. In the accident that occurred at Haigazian Hrair lost his eye. My brother and I were the other students that went into the 5th floor room and got Hrair out of the room and in the process we got severely burnt.
(The program for 1964 – 1966 involved the construction of more powerful and reliable rockets to perform telecommunication experiments with rockets in flight. We received propellants from France.)
Click on the image to view the report.
After the great success of the Christmas event, the EC Production committee proposed to have a new event organized on Valentine’s occasion. Besides the light dinner - starters cold sandwiches, tuna/pasta salad, and soft drinks - the group has offered a bouquet of soft entertainment shows all themed up for St. Valentine’s day.
The opening of the night was a light worship lead by Christine-Ann Keshian, who also informed the rest about St. Valentine’s and its significance. The worship was followed by a Walts dance performed by 3 out of the 9 couples we have in our group - Vartan/Lucy - Shahe/Rita - and Joseph/Houry. The dance was choreographed by Shahe Demirjian. After the Waltz Christine-Ann and Raffi Akbasharian performed an Armenian duet called "Im Sere Kez" accompanied by Joseph kfoury on the piano. The production has prepared videos, which were screened in the evening; for a couple of advertisements which were recreated by the team to have them matching the event and making them funnier. The remakes were Nescafe and Tortilla chips ads. There were also 2 games in the program, one was called "Heik mn ghanni" lead by Sako Magarian and Houry Demirjian, with the help of Joseph Kfoury. The game was consisted of singing competitions of 2 levels - first they were supposed to guess the song when a small part was played, the other level was to sing a song with the word that appears on the screen. The other game was targeted to the singles, which was coached by Christine-Ann Keshian and Vartan Akbasharian. They were supposed to answer the questions they pick all related to being singles! The final part was a remake of The Talk of The Town where 6 people were invited to the stage to be interviewed along with the videos prepared previously that consisted of interviewed couples from inside and outside the Marash Youth group. The interviews were done by Christine Ann and Naryie Tertsagian. The Show was hosted by Shahe Demirjian.
The whole night was hosted by Sako Magarian and Houry Demirjian.
Last but not least, there were gift vouchers that were offered to the group 3 invitations from Roadster and Deek Duke. The winners were selected by a random picking up of the names.
I would like to thank all the EC-Production members, for their time, effort and worthy ideas that were put to reality. In addition to the members of the committee, I would also like to thank the members who came and took part in the event without them, everything was going to be useless. Topping all these, my gratitude goes to God who gave us the strength and love to serve wholeheartedly.
* EC - Event Committee.
*Photos courtesy of Aline and Lucy
On January 5, at night, the Emmanuel Chanitz youth gathered in the Chanitz room to carry on the mission of caroling to the houses of the church members and whoever opened their doors to the Good News.
After practice and prayer, the youth divided into teams and went from house to house, from neighborhood to neighborhood on feet and by cars.
After visiting all the houses, the chanitzagans were invited at Serop and Jimmy's house for fellowship and snacks.
* If he preaches longer than ten minutes, he's long-winded.
* If he preaches less than ten minutes, he's not prepared.
* If he owns a car, he's worldly; if he doesn't, he's always late for appointments.
* If he tells a joke at Mass, he's flippant; if he doesn't, he's too serious.
* If he starts the service on time, his watch must be fast.
* If he's a minute late, he's keeping the congregation waiting.
* If he takes a holiday, he's never in the parish.
* If he doesn't, he's a stick in the mud.
* If he runs a gala or bazaar, he's money hungry,
* if he doesn't, there's no social life in the parish.
* If he has the church painted and redecorated, he's extravagant.
* If he doesn't, he doesn't care that the church is shabby.
* If he's young, he's inexperienced. If he's old, he ought to retire.
Monday, March 07, 2011
You can read Part 2 at: http://www.chanitz.org/2011/03/rising-of-rocket-part-2.html
You can read Part 3 at: http://www.chanitz.org/2011/05/rising-of-rocket-part-3.html
The 1st Rockets Shot in the Middle East by a Small Lebanese-Armenian College
November 2010 marked the 50th Anniversary of Haigazian University’s Rocket Society. For this reason, I had a very interesting and empowering interview with Dr. Manoug Manougian – the man behind the creation of the Society and its dazzling achievements, and Mr. Hampar Karageozian – one of the brightest students of the Society and a holder of more than 30 patents in the field of pharmaceutics.
Note: The interview has been divided into 3 parts.
The Rising of a Rocket – Part 1
Mano Chilingirian: Dr. Manougian and Mr. Karageozian, can you give us a brief introduction about yourself? What you currently do, where you reside and what your interests are.
Dr. Manougian: I was born in the Old City of Jerusalem, and attended St. George’s School. In 1956, I received scholarships to study at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1960 I graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics, and returned to Jerusalem where I got married to Josette Masson. We have one son, Michael. From 1960 – 62 and 1964 – 1966 I was an Instructor/Assistant Professor at The Haigazian College. And from 1976 till this day I am a Professor of Mathematics at the University of South Florida (USF).
Honors and Awards
1. Outstanding Teaching Awards (1994, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004)
2. Honorary Texas Citizen, awarded by Governor Price Daniel.
The Oxford Round Table at Oxford University, U.K.
- Member and invited speaker.
Educational Programs in Progress
1. I am helping to establish an Armenian Studies Center at USF. The first symposium titled “Rediscovering Armenia” was held October 29 – 31, 2010.
2. I am establishing a six-week summer program for gifted high school graduates to be held at the University of South Florida. Armenian students will be selected from the Middle East and Armenia. This will be an intensive program in mathematics, computer science, and environmental science. Students who complete the program successfully will receive college credit.
3. I am helping engineering students to form the USF Rocket Society. I will be their faculty advisor.
Mr. Karegeozian: I have been in the United States since 1966, I came as a graduate student to MIT and did graduate work in the area of Biochemistry.
In 1969 after graduation I left for California and have been in California ever since. I worked with Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for 23 years and became the youngest Vice President of the company, and became the Senior V.P of Research and Development. During my stay at Allergan the company started with $10 million, and when I took early retirement in 1992 the company had sales of $1.5 billion. Both my team and I were very instrumental in the great growth of the company because during this period of 23 years I had introduced about 70 new products, and had filed close to 30 patents on behalf of the company.
When I took early retirement I was still very young, so I was interested in starting my own company and repeat the success of what we had achieved with Allergan. Since then, I have started 5 new different companies, and most have been very successful; in addition, my quest for new ideas, new inventions with US and International patent applications have increased dramatically.
Presently I have created a new company named Allegro Ophthalmic, which is focused on solving issues related to blindness associated with Diabetes, Diabetic retinopathy, Wet Macular Degeneration and other related blinding diseases in the eye. We have very close connections with several universities which are very close geographically to us, including California Institute of Technology, University of California at Irvine, University of Colorado, and John Hopkins. My son who is a practicing ophthalmic surgeon as well as my daughter who is a Human Clinical study person work with my company, and we are in the middle of Human Clinical Phase 1 studies on these new compounds that we have discovered and are testing in humans.
I reside in South Orange County in a city called San Juan Capistrano, and I am 60 miles south of Los Angeles, and 60 miles north of San Diego, California.
Mano Chilingirian: In November 1960, a group of The Haigazian College students got together under the guidance of Manoug Manougian - a Math and Physics instructor - to form the Haigazian College Rocket Society (HCRS). What was the vision behind the founding of the Society? Who came up with the idea? What were the Society’s major obstacles?
Dr. Manougian: My passion for rocketry began at an early age when I was at St. George’s School in Jerusalem. My wooden desk was covered with carvings of rockets flying to the moon. After graduating from the University of Texas with a B.A. (1960) I joined the faculty at The Haigazian College as an instructor of mathematics and physics. I was assigned as faculty advisor for the Science Club. This provided me with the opportunity to realize the dream of rocketry. Thus, I renamed the Science club and formed the Haigazian College Rocket Society. Initially the student members were Simon Aprahamian, Garabed Basmadjian, Hampartsum Karageozian, Hrair Kelechian, and Michael Ladah. Others who joined were John Tilkian, Hrair Aintablian, Hriar Sahagian, Jirair Zenian and Jean Jack Guvlekjian.
The purpose of HCRS was two-fold: (a) teach my students the methods of science, and (b) encourage them to pursue careers in mathematics, engineering and science. I made it clear at the offset that the project was not for military purposes. Rather, it is a voyage in the science of Rocketry. Members of the Society met regularly where I discussed rocket design and the mathematics of flight.
The next step was to come up with a propellant. And we did. In view of the inherent dangers of propellants our first attempts were conducted away from the College on a farm belonging to Hrair Kelechian’s family. After a few mishaps we perfected a propellant and launched a small 45 cm long rocket.
Excitement at The Haigazian College ensued. Thus, in April 1961 we prepared a rocket that was 1.75 meters long and invited the entire student body to witness the launching. We selected KCHAG in the Ain Saade area for the launching. Although the rocket performed successfully reaching a height of about 1,000 meters, the primitive launcher directed the rocket in the opposite direction from what was planned. This prompted the Lebanese government to control the launching sites. In May 1961, a second similar rocket was then launched on Sannine that reached a height of about 2,300 meters.
Incidentally, it was not until July 1961 that Israel launched its first rocket. Thus, The Haigazian College and Lebanon were able to claim to be the first to have launched a rocket in the Middle East.
Mr. Karegeozian: In 1960 most of the students at the HCRS were freshman students when Manoug Manougian came [up] with the idea of starting a Rocket Society and it started from there. At the very beginning there was a lot of frustration, because everything that the students were intending to use involved some explosive chemicals that we could not purchase from the market. The government had very strict restrictions for the sale as well as the use of these chemicals. However, as the Society got involved with the Lebanese Military, the military was instrumental in getting us the chemicals that we needed to use as fuel for the various rockets that the HCRS was able to build. In addition the steel tubing that we needed to make the rocket body was not available. Again the Lebanese Army was very instrumental in making sure that we had access and in addition they x-rayed the tubes to ensure that there were no weak spots in the body of the rocket so as not to cause an explosion on the launching pad. And lastly, the nozzle configuration had to be well lath cut according to precise calculations that we did at HCRS, but the lath cutting had to be precisely done and again the Lebanese military was very instrumental in helping.
The Vision behind the formation of the HCRS started as a science project to make sure that the students had the motivation and the ability to get a very difficult area of science and work with it to raise interest in science. However, as the HCRS became more successful it became a focal point for other universities as well as to other institutions about the science as well as the prestige associated with this success.
H. Kelechian, M. Manougian, A 45 cm rocket.
H. Karaguezian The propellant worked
on Kelechian’s family farm: