Ascender 9 Assembly Test

September 12th, 2017

We conducted a full assembly test of the Ascender 9 airship. In this test the inner envelope divider walls were installed along with the inner lifting cells, the upper decks, and all the valves, vents, pumps and helium plumbing. This test took about four hours. Everything went great and give us a big list of todo’s before the next test.

Art to the Edge of Space

September 12th, 2017

On August 12th we were privileged to fly creations of Artist Azuma Makoto to the edge of space. We flew three balloon vehicles each with one of the artists flower creations. The missions were a success with each vehicle capturing thousands of amazing photos.

One of the vehicle used two balloon and a nine foot swing arm that rotated and locked the 22 pound camera in place after launch. It was one of our more complex launches.

This was the first mission that we were able to use our new building at area 42.

Ascender 9 Progress

July 29th, 2017

Yesterday the team fitted the outer envelope on the truss structure of the Ascender 9 airship.

The next step is the installation of the inner helium lifting cells and then the motors.

Ascender 9 Keel Trusses

July 18th, 2017

Meanwhile back in Sacramento the keel, nose and cross trusses are coming together.

MiniCubes!

July 17th, 2017

Here’s a single and a double stack MiniCube up top on Away 123.

New Building at Area 42

July 17th, 2017

The new building is up at Area 42, our test site in Nevada. Once you get three buildings up can you call it a facility?

Mission Success!

June 28th, 2017

On Sunday Away 123 carried it’s payloads to the edge of space and back. The recovery team picked up the vehicle five hours after landing and the entire team is home safe and sound. Away 123 was our 188th mission.

Away 123 in the air.

Away 123 looking back at the launch site just after take off.

On the way up.

Away 123 up top.