Archive for December, 2007

Top Ten Reasons to go to Space

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

10. If we don’t get the pizzas to orbit in the next 30 minutes they’re free!

9. Outta ozone, outta oil, outta HERE!

8. A red sky matches my hair.

7. Planet living is so 20th.

6. People living on the Earth 6 billion, people living in space 3, you do the math.

5. Zero Gee ________, fill in the blank.

4. So “to boldly go” will mean more than a TV show.

3. I want to be the alien.

2. Have you seen my neighbors?


Add your reasons here.

Pasta in Spaaaaaace….

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Saturday was time for both a build session and the Sacramento L-5 Society Christmas party lunch. After a morning of Tandem work we trundled over to the Spaghetti Factory restaurant for the festivities. The L-5 Society bought lunch for the whole JPA crew. Thanks guys, it was wonderful!!!

After waddling back filled with pasta I didn’t think we would be very productive. The team surprised me with a hard push nearly till the next day.

Work continues on adding protective filter circuits on all the data lines on Tandem. Other work included making the container for the drogue parachute, mounting the motor sensor boards and adding a support cable behind the main parachute cannon.

Ed cutting
Ed making a foam vent panel

New Hat

Kevin showing off the new black hats. The hats were a mistake by the printer. They looked cool so we kept them anyway. There are three left if anyone wants one. Just add a note when you order at hat the rocket store that you want a black one.

ASME Presentation

Friday, December 7th, 2007

A big “Hi” goes out to the Sacramento State ASME. I gave a talk last night at the University chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Pizza, airships, and edge of space music videos, a good time was had by all.

The Big Op

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

The Big Operation

This was our biggest desert operation. In June of 1999 we flew a rockoon to 72,000 feet in Black Rock, Nevada. Between the team, family and reporters there was over 70 people on the roster. The care and feeding of such a big crew for five days was more challenging than the mission itself.

We run much small crews in the field now. A team of around ten seems just about right. Although those five days back in 1999 were amazing.

Google Sketch Drawings

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

We’re slowly getting all of the vehicles drawn in Google Sketch. Both future vehicle and past one are going in. So far MicroTandem, Away 33, Tandem HL and Mach Glider Block 4 are done. I’m working on standard Tandem now.

Tandem Progress

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

We’re adding more filters and other protections circuits to the Tandems electronics. We fixed “noise in the lines” problem we found last week, however we want to prevent that entire class of problems. It may be a bit of overkill. It add over 80 electronic parts to solder, but it will make the system very resistant to radio interference problems.

Target Store Selling Airship to Orbit Book

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

I for one am pretty jazzed.