We conducted a float test of our baby airship the Ascender 26 Saturday. It was a great shake out. The new internal configuration worked great. The inner cell held the helium but the outer envelope just won’t hold air. The outer envelope is about 11 years old, we’re recycling it from another program. The outer silicone coating it just about gone. The result was a very floppy vehicle. On the first float we usually just go a few inches off the ground and see how sound the structure is. However even with a floppy envelope we pushed a little and got her a few feet into the sky.
Just a few inches off the ground.
Charles and Steve working the valves.
Even with zero pressure in the outer envelope the inner cell system and the carbon keel performed well.
We conducted our 110th MHD firing Saturday. We got a great electrical power output. The motor had an odd start up.In the first fraction of a second you can see the motor throwing fuel fragments. By the time we get a 1/4 second into the firing the motor settled down into it’s normal pattern.
In celebration of the UAE’s 43rd national day JPA flew the UAE flag to the edge of space. It was a great mission and adventure. The first vehicle, Away 111, verified winds aloft and the second vehicle, Away 109 was our largest Away vehicle ever at just over nine feet long. It carried carried a huge 8 X 4 foot flag, signs from our sponsor, four HD cameras and the first 50 PongSats from the middle east.